We sat down with the radiant and insightful Rebecca Rittenhouse, star of the new reboot of Four Weddings and a Funeral… Ever engaging, curious, insightful and most definitely on a quest for consciousness, get to know Rebecca and how she is feeling the current shape of things. Her take on deep diving into what provokes you particularly struck me… And… Scene!



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Erin Walsh Hello darling Rebecca! Thank you for joining our SBJCT Collective. And for letting us bathe you in Prada. Such a chore, I know 🙂

Rebecca Rittenhouse Thank you so much for having me! It was an absolute honor to be shot by HC and styled by YOU! I had a blast!

EW Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get started in acting?

RR Acting is something I expressed an interest in when I was about 5. I think it’s because I watched so many classic, beautiful films like “Roman Holiday” and “Rebecca” with my dad growing up. He had such an admiration for these films and the actors in them. Performing runs in my blood, even though no one in my family has become a professional performer – my Dad is a singer.  He taught himself to play the piano and the guitar and was in the Glee Club at Harvard, and he did a lot of musical theater as well.  I think that was probably a big influence on me.  I started taking after school drama courses when I was 9 and doing plays on an extracurricular basis as soon as I could until I finished college and decided to go to acting school.  I didn’t get my degree in theatre because I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to it at that point, but I couldn’t be happier I did.

EW Tell us a bit about your latest project, Four Weddings and a Funeral. How did this come about?

RR We were close to wrapping up the final season of “The Mindy Project” when Mindy Kaling approached me about a reimagining of the classic “Four Weddings and a Funeral” that she was working on with Matt Warburton, which was likely to end up at Hulu.  I didn’t know exactly how I would fit into the project or which character I would be portraying but needless to say I wanted to work with Mindy again so I was in immediately.

The series is so refreshing because its a funny, moving, romantic comedy that gets to explore so many different story lines, and only ten hours to tell it.  It’s not dark, but it gets deep and real.  It’s extremely inclusive, but in a way that is genuine and thoughtful, never haphazard.

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EW You live in LA these days, yes? Do you like LA? I always wonder, being a New Yorker, if LA folk really have it made. What do your days look like? How do you like to spend your time?

RR I do live in LA.  I grew up in Pasadena, which is basically the LA suburbs, but culturally feels so far removed. I love that about it.  People don’t care about the entertainment business or celebrities there.  I actually didn’t used to like LA, but now I think that’s because I wasn’t living in the right neighborhood for me. I moved to the east side, and I now love LA so much.  Obviously the weather is amazing, but as a result you can live your life with minimal inconvenience.  My mood here is generally more elevated because day to day life is easier and more relaxed than New York.  I used to be obsessed with New York – I wasn’t ready to leave when I was preparing to move away from there and was constantly thinking about moving back, but now I’m over that. I felt like living in New York somehow validated me as an artist, but that is just insecure BS.  I go to New York probably 5 times a year at least, and I get to just enjoy it while I’m there–see

Broadway shows, catch up with friends etc. but am now very happy to come home to LA.  I love being close to my family, which I think gets more important as you get older.  Its quiet and calm.  I have space to think.

I’m not one of those LA outdoor obsessed people.  Hiking, surfing, beach going–I’m not that interested.  I grew up here so maybe I take all of that for granted but…whatever.  I’d rather hang out with my Dad in his backyard.

During the week here I wake up and do Pilates, then usually make a list of what I need to get done that day.  I spend a lot of my time in my car so my daily schedule often revolves around what part of town I need to be in and I try to build errands around that–the traffic is unreal…You’ve got to listen to audiobooks and podcasts so you’re not wasting your life sitting in the car.  Being an actor is a weird profession in terms of downtime, but I feel like there are always a million things to get done! I rarely sit down during the day unless I have administrative stuff to take care of on my computer or I’m driving.  I keep busy. I am obsessed with my space and improving it so I spend a lot of time cleaning out closets, organizing, or redecorating. It makes me feel like I have control.

EW Walk me thru your process as an actor- does it vary from project to project? Where do you usually start with a character?

RR It is definitely a little bit different depending on what the role demands.  If I feel challenged, I rely on my training from the Atlantic, and an acting technique called Practical Aesthetics. I still use a lot of what I learned from my teacher Paul Urcioli who taught me comedy.  He taught us a great deal about rhythm and timing.   I also do vocal and speech warmups regularly so that I can have some agility when it comes to creating a character.  A lot of it is intuitive.  For example, when I played Anna Ziev on “The Mindy Project,” I felt her character should speak in a lower register and in a very formal manner.  She doesn’t have a lot of vocal variety because I wanted her to feel slightly robotic.  My character, Ainsley in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” is the opposite of that.  She literally squeals on multiple occasions.

EW Are you the type of person to have a 5 year plan? Is that even possible in your industry?

RR Honestly, no.  I used to be more rigid and type A about that type of thing–it wasn’t serving me; it was only creating anxiety.  At this point I just try to make decisions every week that propel me forward versus decisions that encourage stagnation.  That can take a lot of different forms, but I find it usually has to do with leaving my comfort zone.



It usually has to do with leaving my comfort zone.


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EW What is your overall GOAL as an actor? As a performer?

RR As an actor I want to bring value to a script.  I want to make it three dimensional in a way that the writer/director maybe didn’t anticipate when they first envisioned it.

As a performer/ entertainer, I want to make people’s lives more enjoyable. I want them to feel seen.

EW Who has been most instrumental in your development as an artist?

RR My parents.  They both exposed me to different types of artistic expression from a very young age.  I watched classic films with my dad.  I went to the opera with my mom.  I visited countless museums with both of them. I was also a pretty serious watercolor artist as a kid – which both of my parents encouraged greatly.  There was some talk of me going to art school, but I knew it wasn’t the right outlet for me.  I was worried I wasn’t creatively autonomous enough to be a visual artist, and I think I was right about that. I needed a lot of guidance when it came to what to paint.

EW How do you nurture yourself? I guess I am asking, I think being an artist demands a great deal of your body and spirit. What do you do to keep your instrument tuned? If anything? And it could be smoke a joint (!) I am just curious…

RR The vocal and speech training I do helps me stay tuned. Anything physical also really helps – that’s part of why I love pilates so much.  I have become really physically strong, but have also developed a mind body connection that really helps me in my work.

I try not to be too hard on myself when I need to rest.  I have always been a good student and a high achiever and I think that mentality overflows to a point that isn’t healthy sometimes.  When your brain is telling you to go go go, and that you are a loser if you take some time to rest, it can be counterproductive.  That’s what I try to focus on.  I believe there is real value in taking time off to think, rest and recharge. It helps you think deeply and meaningfully, and get creative instead of trying to problem-solve immediate surface level issues all the time.

I also find that I never know what is going to inspire me, so being open to new experiences helps me nurture myself.  I can’t help thinking about the Troye Sivan concert I saw at the Greek last summer.  I didn’t know a lot of his music before I went, but liked what I did know.  Now I’m a huge fan because he was such a fearless performer. It made him gorgeous. He owned that stage, he was otherworldly.

EW Rebecca, we started SBJCT as a platform to explore the subjects that really move and shake us. What is moving you these days?

RR I recently lost my mother, which has had me thinking a lot about how life is meant to be lived and what’s actually important. That sounds cliché, but I think when you lose the most primal, essential being in your life, you are forced down that path of reflection if you want any chance of coming through on the other side as a semi-whole person.  I read “Tiny Beautiful Things” while I was on my “Eat, Pray, Love” trip to Italy this summer which, admittedly, became more “Eat, Eat, Eat” than anything else, but it really moved me and helped me navigate my grief.  I am very moved by stories of strength and how people move through loss and adversity.  My friend told me recently that if you are swimming in the ocean and you get caught in a whirlpool, that the way you get out of it is by swimming into the eye.  I find it incredible that the Earth itself gives us these metaphors and shows us how to live, how to survive.

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EW What do you hope people take from this latest project of yours?

RR I hope they feel represented, and I hope they look forward to watching it.  I hope it makes their day better.

EW Who or what inspires you?

RR Classic films with great performances, like “All About Eve.”

Dance.  I think because I’m not a dancer, when I see great dancing I feel inspired to push myself creatively.

Courageous people.

Travel.  When I’m traveling I have time to decompress and think, which usually helps with creativity.

EW Go-to podcast?

RR Fresh Air

EW Go-to film?

RR “Pride and Prejudice” (Joe Wright)

EW Go-to TV show?

RR “Friends,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Frasier”


EW What do you think we need to know more about?

RR Personal responsibility.

EW Any causes you feel particularly drawn to?

RR The homelessness problem in Los Angeles.  I don’t even know where to begin that isn’t just a band-aid.

EW Do you believe in reincarnation?

RR Yes.  Recently I’ve been toying with the idea that the earth is simultaneously a heaven and a hell, and that we are reincarnated into different roles based on the lessons we still have to learn.

EW Do you prefer theater/ live performance or film? Why?

RR Can’t choose.  They are too different and demand completely different skills.  They can both be transcendent or painful. A bad film is easier to get away from without feeling rude.

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EW Favorite muses thus far?

RR Katherine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Carole Lombard, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, Kristin Scott Thomas, Julianne Moore, Annette Benning, Emma Thompson, Frances McDormand, Cate Blanchett

EW Tell me about your relationship with publicity. Do you enjoy it? Do you enjoy being in the spotlight?

RR I love doing creative photo shoots and thoughtful interviews like this one.  I guess I do enjoy being in the spotlight but I don’t live for it.  It’s nice to have your work celebrated.  The flip side of that is that you have to be ready to receive negative attention as well. Like water off a duck’s back.

EW Any advice for any aspiring actors out there?

RR Be persistent.  Analyze your work, ask for feedback.  Don’t let your ego get in the way of developing as an artist. Don’t try to do it “right”.

EW Any hidden talents we should be aware of?

RR I can speak Spanish and French!

EW What resonates most with your soul on a daily basis?

RR Probably music.  I listen to music constantly and find that I’m always drawn to genres and playlists that reflect my mood and what I’m dealing with.  Especially this year it has helped me deal with loss and process my emotion. I have probably listened to the Rhye album “Spirit” a couple hundred times since the spring.

EW Rebecca Rittenhouse, whats your SBJCT?

RR Courage.  “We’re all going to die, Johnny.  Hit the iron bell like its dinnertime.” –Cheryl Strayed