Edge

A drive by chat with “P2’s” Rachel Nichols

At 27, actress Rachel Nichols has graduated from Columbia, walked the catwalk in Paris, and kicked ass alongside Jennifer Garner on ABC’s “Alias.” At a movie theater near you, Nichols can be seen taking on her latest challenge: trying to establish herself as a big name actress.

In the thriller “P2,” Nichols plays the role of Angela, an ambitious executive working on Christmas Eve. But just as she thinks her holiday is about to begin, she finds herself stranded on the second floor of a parking garage. Her car won’t start, her cell phone loses signal, and the exit to the slams shut. Within minutes, security guard Thomas, played by Wes Bentley, has handcuffed her to a chair in his office.

The Miami Hurricane recently spoke with Nichols about the film, her career and how Hollywood has relieved her from pressure to be thin.

The Miami Hurricane: “P2” wasn’t too glamorous to shoot, huh?
Rachel Nichols: Glamorous, no? It was two months, underground, shooting nights in a working parking garage. I was in a garage, usually handcuffed, sometimes covered in blood and barefoot.

TMH: Your character Angela is a driven woman. How do relate to her on that level?
RN: Oddly enough, she’s very much the person that I always thought I would be. I went to school in New York, majored in economics and psychology. I always thought, that’s what I want to do. Clearly, I’ve taken a different path. But as far as acting or any career for that matter is concerned, to be successful, you’ve gotta want it.

TMH: Were you creeped out by your costar Wes? He seems really freaky in the trailer.
RN: When they told me they were going to hire Wes, I was thrilled. I met him and immediately really liked him; we became best friends. And then honestly, when we started shooting, he scared the shit out of me! He would turn on a dime into this person Angela fears and it was very easy for me to be petrified of him.

TMH: How did “Alias” affect your career?
RN: Before I was hired to do season five, I had seen every episode. I kept it a secret from the producers when I went in to meet them. I didn’t want them to think they were hiring a deranged fan. The visibility of the show was obviously very high. And I got to do a lot of cool stuff between the fighting and the killing and the foreign languages. It was a really fun time.

TMH: How do you feel as a woman in Hollywood and as a former model? Have you ever felt like, ‘Oh my gosh, I really have to meet the expectations of studio execs’?
RN: It was a lot worse for me when I was modeling. It had been suggested to me to lose weight when I was modeling in Paris and that’s something that I did. I didn’t do it the healthy way because I don’t really think there is a way to get as thin as I used to be. When I moved into acting, it was kind of a relief because I could be more of my natural size. Since I’ve become an actress, I’ve always taken really good care of my body, I’ve tried to eat healthy, and work out. But I’m pretty sure everyone feels the constraints of Hollywood, and that’s why I like to see people break the mold. I find that really encouraging.

Nick Maslow may be contacted at nick@miami.edu

November 15, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

When UM coach Mark Richt summoned quarterback Malik Rosier into his office last year, a few months a ...

Quarterback Malik Rosier of the No. 8-ranked Miami Hurricanes maintains a solid third place in what ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes will look to slow down an inspired Syracuse team at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

University of Miami head coach Mark Richt was selected to the 20-member Paul "Bear" Bryant ...

University of Miami sophomore Bruce Brown Jr. was among 21 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

Head coach Katie Meier and senior forward/center Erykah Davenport will represent Miami Thursday at t ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.