Rachel Boston lives green, bids farewell to 'In Plain Sight'
She talks about eco-practices on set and off, and the series finale.
Wed, May 02 2012 at 2:02 PM
Photo: John Barr
As a country girl who grew up living sustainably and appreciating nature, Rachel Boston has always been eco-aware. "I grew up in a house my parents built together on a mountain in Tennessee. When we moved in, the walls were still going up, we didn't have hot water, and we turned it into an amazing adventure," says Boston. "My dad is an engineer and works on green energy, so I'm very aware of what it takes to keep a modern home running and how we can simplify. In Los Angeles, I drive a hybrid and live in a very simple home. Anything you do from carrying a canteen of water to starting a recycling program in your office makes a difference. Reusing what you already have has always been green — from clothes to boxes to glass jars from the supermarket," she says, noting that she has been a vegetarian most of her life. "I explored it in middle school and it just felt right. In my 20s, I committed to it and my energy changed. I felt much more alive and started to enjoy cooking."
Based in New Mexico while shooting USA's "In Plain Sight," which has its series finale May 4, Boston lived on an organic lavender farm near the Rio Grande. "It was so lovely. There are baby goats and peacocks and beautiful gardens surrounded by fields of organic vegetables and lavender. It was a wonderful place to come home to after a day of filming."
The set itself was quite sustainable, and in fact was awarded the Green Seal from the Environmental Media Association last fall. "We used real dishes at lunch and in the kitchen and old scripts were turned into note pads. All paper products were 100-percent recyclable and there was a recycling center set up in the offices," Boston reports.
She has played Det. Abigail Chaffee, now the fiancée of Marshall Mann (Frederick Weller) for the last year, and has relished many of the character's qualities, including unconditional love. "She's a very strong woman and her core is very kind. In a world where kindness can be mistaken for weakness, she shows that her work ethic, passion and heart inspire her strength. And I liked shooting guns. Love and guns, a special combination."
As for how the story wraps up, her character, "Abigail has to get really honest with herself and her relationship in order to move forward. She's in a relationship with a wonderful man but suspects something she's known all along. It takes so much courage to speak the truth. But with great risk comes great reward, so I am very happy how the show ends for Abigail."
She'll miss the camaraderie on set but has her note-covered scripts that "mark the journey of Abigail on the show," and the memories and friendships she made to remember it by. "It was an extraordinary group of people," says Boston, whose film "Blind Turn," "about letting go of the past and stepping out of the chains of guilt and shame that hold you back from being the person you are meant to be," is now out on DVD.
She also has several films awaiting release. In "Black Marigolds," which she also produced, "I play a woman who sets out into the woods with her husband on a beautiful adventure and has to face letting him go. We are editing it now and it will hopefully be on the festival circuit next year. 'It's a Disaster' will be at the Hollywood Film Festival this summer, and it's about facing the end of the world. I play a woman who joyfully chooses to live in denial. She also plays the glockenspiel. In 'Ten Years Later,' I play a woman facing a fear and a man who deeply wounded her 10 years ago. She finds her inner strength to fight through the support of her childhood best friends. It's on the festival circuit."
Boston, who caught the acting bug doing church plays as a kid, studied theater at NYU and Fordham University. "Moving to New York City by myself at 17 was certainly my bravest moment. I bought a one-way ticket and stayed with a friend of a friend and figured it out along the way. I knew what I wanted to do and trusted those instincts and went after it," says the actress, who got her first big Hollywood break in TV's "American Dreams" and went on to appear in movies like "(500) Days of Summer," "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" and "The Pill." She'd like to return to New York to do a TV show, do a comedic play in London, and "work on a lovely, inspiring romantic film in Africa. If I had my choice, that's what I would line up. I'm excited to see what the next journey will be," she says, leaving it up to a higher power. "I spend a lot of time in prayer," she says. "God doesn't always show up on my time but he always shows up!"