Rachel Miner is a veteran actress of stage, television and film. For fans of The CW’s long running show Supernatural, Miner is best known for her portrayal of the demon Meg, a recurring role she held from 2009 through 2013. I recently interviewed her. Read what she had to say below.
When did you first realize that you wanted to become an actress?
For me the desire to become an actress really crystallized by the age of two. Perhaps it was germinating for a while before that , but I distinctly recall a few key inspirations— the biggest one being a BBC production of Alice in Wonderland that I saw at an early age, I wanted to be Alice and I felt like acting was the way to do so. I also was always interested in so many other things, in pursuing many different occupations— by four I know that I wanted to be an astronaut, a paleontologist, a chef, a ballerina and list goes on and on. Acting was a wonderful way to combine all of those things, my interests in life, art, humanity, and human behavior all seemed to be satiated by this one thing.
You have appeared in both television and film. Which medium do you prefer?
My preference has actually changed depending on the circumstances of that time. For decades television in general struck a less realistic cord. It was mostly shot on sound-stages, the filming style was less innovative, the cameras of lower quality, and I distinctly recall receiving notes from television auditions wherein I was told I was told my acting was “too realistic for television”. However at a certain point there was a seismic shift wherein the quality of television became pretty much equal to that of film, and at times surpassed it. In fact many writers, directors, and actors moved into that genre. Not long after that the advent of cheaper DV film cameras meant that virtually anyone could make a film, and unfortunately the quality of many films suffered (all it took was a small amount of funding and attaching a few actors to get a film off the ground). So I began to notice that the variable in terms of film quality was much greater, and the outcome was more uncertain when signing on to a film as opposed to a TV show. At that point I often started to enjoy working in television more. Beyond all that, on a show like Supernatural, there is such a wonderful feeling working with a crew who really knows what they’re doing and have been working together for years (SPN also just happens to have some of the nicest human beings I have had a chance to work with). All of that said I am lucky to have had some wonderful experiences in Film, Television, and Theater. The measure of each experience for me has more to do with the talent, work ethic, and camaraderie of the people involved then it does with the medium .
Supernatural fans love your performances as Meg. What do you remember about your audition for Supernatural?
Thank you for saying that, well definitely loved playing Meg and I love the Supernatural family so much. I can’t think of much that would make an interesting story about the audition, but a few of the small things that stood out to me about that particular audition were: One, I just loved getting to say those lines, to be Meg. I think writers did such a wonderful job of writing her, those words just tripped up the tongue. Sometimes as an actor you’re lucky enough to come across one of those characters that just makes sense to you, and that you really enjoy playing, Meg was one of those characters for me. Two, I also recall that it was just a really nice room to be in. I read for Eric Kripke (who wrote that episode) and he was funny, nice, the perfect combination of ease and energy, and he made things feel very comfortable.
What were some of your most memorable moments on the Supernatural set?
You know I’m often asked that and I really wish I had some wonderful anecdote to share. The truth is though, for me it is not so much about there being once standout moment, instead it was the cumulation of wonderful moments on that set. It was one of those lucky times in life, where you end up being surrounded by the right people, in a place where things just flow. That is the best way I can describe how working on that show was for me. It was the perfect combination of kindness, humor, hard work, and lack of pretense. There is a feeling there that it goes without saying that we have each other’s backs, and we all just want to make life a little nicer little easier for each other. It was all the daily small moments working there, which added up to make it feel so special. The thing that I really want people to know is that those wonderful qualities run throughout, and all around on that set, yes of course with the actors and people you know about, but it is also true of all the people you don’t see when watching the show, the people who are there making it happen day in and (often very long) day out.
How much of your own personality do you bring to the characters you have played?
Very little and a lot. In other words, I don’t often play characters that are like me (I am a real nerd, often called “goody-two shoes”, and also a bit of an introvert. Whereas the characters I played were often cool, confident, badass, or very evil, sometimes all of the above). But there are a lot of ways that my personality and inclinations inform the characters I play. With Meg for example, even though I am no centuries old Demon, the aspects of her which I fell in love with (like her unwavering strength, clarity of purpose, broad scope perspective, and brilliant wit ) of course have to do with what qualities I personally most admire.
If you could have a conversation with your younger self when you were just starting out in the entertainment business, what advice would you give to the younger Rachel?
Trust yourself, don’t compromise or alter who you are. Ends actually don’t justify means—when we compromise who we are to get where we think we want to be, in truth we only end up farther away.
You are very active on social media. You inspire people. What inspires you?
Thank you for that, true or no it is certainly something I hope to do. To make the day even a bit brighter for someone else. Love. Lack of ego. Selflessness. Kindness. I am moved and inspired every day by the good I see in others.
Are there any current projects that you are able to share with us?
No, right now I actually don’t have any current project to talk about. These past few years have been a bit of a strange stretch for me as I’ve been adjusting to my changing physical condition. It is possible I will decide to act again (perhaps on wheels?), or that I will move fully into another area such as writing, or producing or teaching of some kind (I’ve always truly admired great teachers), but it has taken me this time to reevaluate, reflect, and adjust course. It has really meant a lot to me that so many from this SPN family have been so embracing, and encouraging through these years.