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A Rachel True

A Rachel True

Rachel True

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Film

Rachel India True (born November 15, 1966) is an American film and television actress and former fashion model. She is best known for her roles in such films as The Craft (1996), Nowhere (1997), and Half Baked (1998). True is also known for her role as Mona Thorne on the UPN sitcom Half & Half, which ran from 2002 to 2006.

In 1993, True appeared in the feature film CB4. After appearing in the horror film Embrace of the Vampire, she had a breakthrough role as Rochelle in the 1996 film The Craft, where she played a member of a teenage coven. (Source: en.wikipedia.org The following year, she starred in Nowhere, then appeared in the 1998 film Half Baked. From 1997 to 1998, she also had the recurring role of Janet Clemens on The Drew Carey Show. From 1999 to 2000, she appeared in the ABC drama series, Once and Again. (Source:en.wikipedia.org))

A highly attractive biracial actress who began to get press after appearing in "The Craft" (1996) and Gregg Araki's "Nowhere" (1997), Rachel True has been a working actor for most of the 1990s. She broke into the business with a recurring role on the NBC sitcom "The Cosby Show." After moving to L.A. in 1993, True appeared in the rap parody "CB4" (1993) and landed a recurring role on the HBO sitcom "Dream On." She made guest appearances on several TV series, including "Beverly Hills, 90210" and had featured roles in the TV-movies "Moment of Truth: Stalking Back" (NBC, 1993), and "A Walton Wedding" (CBS, 1995). True's big break came when she was tapped to play an over-achieving witch alongside Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell and Fairuza Balk in the hit film "The Craft" (1996). Since her breakthrough, she was James Duval's fickle girlfriend in "Nowhere" and Dave Chappelle's romantic interest in "Half-Baked" (1998). In 1997, True landed the recurring role of a buppie neighbor to the blue-collar Drew on the ABC sitcom "The Drew Carey Show" and in 1999 she began her reoccuring stint on the television drama "Once And Again." She was soon cast as Mona in the UPN television comedy "Half And Half" (2002), which also co-starred Essences Atkins. (Source: www.rottentomatoes.com)

Variety has learned exclusively that True will be starring in the upcoming feature, alongside Academy Award nominee Bruce Davison and Emmy winner Keith David. The film begins shooting on Aug. 9 in Morristown, N.J., with planned shoots also in Los Angeles, Calif. (Source: variety.com Playing Dr. Rowen, True was best known for her role as Rochelle Zimmerman in the 1996 horror film “The Craft,” which co-starred Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell and Robin Tunney as four teenage outcasts who begin to practice witchcraft. She got her start with guest roles in hit television series such as “The Cosby Show” and “Hanging with Mr. Cooper,” before playing the rapper-hating girlfriend of Chris Rock in “CB4” and the anti-marijuana love interest in the Dave Chappelle stoner comedy “Half Baked.” She recently released a personal tarot deck and guidebook, “True Heart Intuitive Tarot.” (Source:variety.com))

As of late, New Jersey has become a new and exciting filming hub for the moviemaking industry, both for studio and independent projects. Upcoming films such as Halle Berry’s directorial debut “Bruised” and Steven Spielberg’s remake of “West Side Story” all filmed in locations across the Garden State, including Atlantic City, Newark and Paterson. In addition, recent Oscar-winning and nominated movies such as Todd Phillips’ “Joker” and Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” have also been shot there. (Source: variety.com “The Last Call” is directed by Mike Sargent and written by Mike Kuciak. The feature is produced by Michael Alden, Ian Holt and Kuciak of Alt House Productions, in partnership with PFG Films. Some of the artisans of the film include Oscar-winning sound designer Cecelia Hall (“The Hunt for Red October”) and Emmy nominee and special effects makeup artist Vincent J. Guastini (“Saturday Night Live”). Hall received the career achievement award from the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild in 2020. (Source:variety.com))

Rachel True is an American actor, tarot-card reader, and former model, best known for playing ‘Rochelle,’ one of the four skirt-clad witches in Andrew Fleming’s cult-favorite teenage horror film ‘The Craft.’ She is also known for her performance in independent films such as ‘Nowhere’ and for her memorable roles in titles such as ‘Half Baked’ and sitcoms such as ‘Half & Half.’ She recently became vocal about the subtle racism prevalent in Hollywood and how it affected her career in the industry, after at least one public convention booked all three of her ‘The Craft’ co-stars for their event but chose to ignore her blatantly. “Sounds about white,” she remarked in a ‘Twitter’ post, which heralded her protest. She clarified that this had not been the first time she had been left out of events related to the film, recalling an ‘MTV’ awards show where all three other actors of the film were on stage, presenting an award, while she sat haplessly among the audience, uninvited. “Being left out of these events didn’t just hurt ego,” she posted, “it had a direct effect on POC (people of color) actors pocket books & public profiles & level of celebrity.” The media attention due to her habit of calling things out seems to have prompted some organizers such as ‘Monster-Mania Con,’ Cherry Hill, New Jersey, to have her join her fellow “witches” at their March 2019 event. However, True has not since minced her words about her experience in Los Angeles. “Hollywood made it clear I was not the leading lady but her quirky best friend,” she once remarked. (Source: www.thefamouspeople.com)

True attended ‘New York University.’ Her younger sister, Noel, the “whiter” of the two, is also a former actor and a one-time documentary film producer, who was active during the 2000s. (Source: www.thefamouspeople.com She moved to Los Angeles in 1993, beginning her full-fledged acting career with recurring TV roles in ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ (1993) and ‘HBO's ‘Dream On’ (1994–1995). Her first notable film job was the rap parody ‘CB4’ (1993), alongside Chris Rock. (Source:www.thefamouspeople.com))

True’s next starring role came with ‘Embrace of the Vampire’ (1995), opposite Alyssa Milano, followed by what turned out to be the biggest film of her career, reinforcing her niche in the occult genre, the widely appreciated teenage witch film ‘The Craft’ (1996), alongside Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, and Neve Campbell. (Source: www.thefamouspeople.com)

True returned to commercial films with the stoner flick ‘Half Baked’ in 1998, opposite comic Dave Chappelle, followed by more recurring spots on TV, with ‘The Drew Carey Show’ (1997–1998) and ‘Once and Again’ (1999–2000). (Source: www.thefamouspeople.com She did several inconsequential films after that, the only ones worth any mention being Greg Harrison's ‘Groove’ (2000) and the Taye Diggs-starrer ‘New Best Friend’ (2002). She later earned the role of ‘Mona Thorne’ in the ‘UPN’ sitcom ‘Half & Half,’ co-starring Essence Atkins. The show ran until 2006. (Source:www.thefamouspeople.com))

After ‘Half & Half,’ True appeared in a few forgettable Black ethnocentric and multi-racial films such as ‘The Perfect Holiday’ (2007) and ‘Divas’ (2009), followed by a decade of sparse TV work and minor jobs in shorts and telefilms. She has also done a few voice roles. (Source: www.thefamouspeople.com True has been doing some low-budget independent films of late, such as ‘Limelight’ (2017), ‘Good Grief’ (2017), and ‘The Manor’ (2018). She was last seen in a 2019 episode of the ‘Golden Globe’-nominated comedy–drama ‘Better Things.’ (Source:www.thefamouspeople.com))

She and her ‘The Craft’ co-star Neve Campbell, whom she met for the first time on the sets of the film, are great friends. The two hit it off instantly and continue to speak to each other frequently. (Source: www.thefamouspeople.com)

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“I think I’m relevant past Halloween,” laughs Rachel True, who first broke into our pop-cultural consciousness as “Rochelle” in the 1996 teen witch thriller The Craft. With a now decades-long career in Hollywood, that is, of course, true (pun intended); but as The Craft has now been a cult classic long enough to inspire the recently released Blumhouse follow-up The Craft: Legacy, it’s equally impossible to separate True from the original film’s legacy. (This, despite the fact that her other most-beloved role, as “Mona” on UPN’s early-aughts sitcom Half & Half also recently hit the streaming zeitgeist via Netflix—and no, she doesn’t know who Mona chose.) (Source: www.theroot.com)

“I know the script for The Craft was attracted to me because of my enduring relationship to the cards and mystical studies,” she writes in True Heart Intuitive Tarot, a book and tarot deck True released on October 13. Considering the fact that the film was originally written for four white characters, there may be something to her theory. “Maybe I still would’ve somehow ended up booking The Craft—some parts are meant to be yours,” she adds, “but...[w]ould my vibration have matched my character, Rochelle? Thank goodness I’ll never have to know.” (Source: www.theroot.com)

Thank goodness for all of us who loved seeing a Black girl cast in the film’s supernatural quartet (one who delivers her racist bully a karmic comeuppance, no less). “Listen, Black witches are some of the OG witches!” she only half-jokes. But as True explains during our phone conversation, the true uses of the tarot aren’t sinister at all—or even necessarily supernatural. (Source: www.theroot.com)

“I thought about that at the time: ‘Do they see my Blackness as a problem?’” she says during our conversation. “Because, oh racism—yes, of course, I have to deal with racism. But what’s my actual problem in this film? Not that I thought racism wasn’t a problem; it was just so much a part of my everyday life.” (Source: www.theroot.com)

If the film’s writers problematized Rochelle’s race in 1996, that misstep has sadly not been resolved in the decades since. “It’s decidedly weird to be known as ‘the Black chick in that movie,’ but it is what it is,” she writes. “Actor ego aside, being regularly excluded is unfortunate. Representation matters. The sheer amount of cognitive dissonance required to be Black in America is utterly exhausting.” (Source: www.theroot.com)

To her point, True has repeatedly been omitted from The Craft’s enduring legacy, whether left off of the film’s starring credits in media outlets or on the film’s IMDb page. More recently, as she recounts in True Heart, she was excluded from an invitation to join her three co-stars at a major convention appearance; an omission that was not only deliberate but a potentially missed opportunity to stage the first cast reunion in 25 years. (Source: www.theroot.com)

Twenty-five years ago came the release of The Craft, a teen supernatural horror film that centered around four outcast teenage girls who pursue witchcraft. At the time and since then, the film has sparked conversations about so much: the sensation of being an outsider in a community and how ostracization is its own type of trauma, especially for teens; the age-old concept of “absolute power corrupts absolutely”; poverty and the challenges of trying to escape it; open ableism; and blatant racism. The latter is an issue explored through one of the four teens: Rochelle Zimmerman. Portrayed by actress and tarot practitioner and advocate Rachel True, Zimmerman faces bullying by a group of popular white girls at the Los Angeles high school she attends. As she, Sarah Bailey, Nancy Downs, and Bonnie Harper all learn how to manifest their powers through a powerful deity they worship call “Manon,” they execute spells for their own personal gain. For Zimmerman, she casts a spell on bully Laura Lizzie that leads to her losing her hair. (Source: www.okayplayer.com)

It’s a tipping point for sure. But it’s also “kill the patriarchy” a little bit. I mean, I like that [the film] does a little nod to the fact that [it’s] not even going to belabor his death. Because it’s long overdue that the ideology of the patriarchy dies. I also want to put a theory to fucking bed. (Source: www.okayplayer.com)

Well, I would say everyone’s entitled to their opinion and to interpret things any way they want. I think we’re all going to have different opinions and I don’t expect everyone to necessarily agree with my thoughts on it. But I do feel like it is [still] a film about female empowerment, mainly because I think [that] when we’re talking about female empowerment, we tend to leave out the aspect that we are pitted against each other [under patriarchy] and almost meant to compete, compare, and contrast to one another. Leaving that out is idealistic. It is truthful in that. (Source: www.okayplayer.com)

I think Manon is gendered in the film because of the times. It was a long time ago in the scheme of history today. In the end, I didn’t think of Manon as male, even though I do think Fairuza Balk [who played Nancy] has a line where she calls him “he.” But that is because of the times. In the ‘90s, there was a movement of “Hey, why is everything masculine? Why do we [view] everything through the male gaze?” Or there was but it wasn’t quite public [as it is now]. (Source: www.okayplayer.com)

The film makes it a point to illustrate that Rochelle was wrong for wanting her racist bully and tormentor to be cursed, which was a choice. If you had had total control of that storyline, how might it have panned out? (Source: www.okayplayer.com I think at some point it’s just going to be stories, right? Horrific stories where people just happen to be whatever they are. I’m excited to see where it’s going to go. Frankly, it could go anywhere. I know though that, like a lot of people, I’m not necessarily looking for torture porn aspect from [films focused on subjects like] slavery. Yeah, I’m over that too. (Source:www.okayplayer.com))

Clarkisha Kent is a Nigerian-American writer, culture critic, former columnist, and up and coming author. As a University of Chicago graduate with a B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and English, she brings with her over seven years of pop culture analysis, four years of film theory training, and a healthy appetite for change. (Source: www.okayplayer.com Her writing has been featured in outlets like Entertainment Weekly, Essence, The Root, BET, PAPER, HuffPost, MTV News, and more. She is also the creator of #TheKentTest, a media litmus test designed to evaluate the quality of representation that exists for women of color in film and other media. (Source:www.okayplayer.com))

In addition to her acting and modelling, in The New '10s she has become far more outspoken on racism and colorism in the film industry - and campaigns to spread awareness for better treatment and representation for African-American performers. (Source: tvtropes.org)

Ability over Appearance:invoked In two of her films Embrace of the Vampire and The Craft, characters she auditioned for were written to be white, and she won the parts. In the latter, they then incorporated racist bullying into the storyline. (Source: tvtropes.org Actor-Shared Background:invoked Like her character Rochelle in The Craft, she grew up in a majority white neighborhood. She was also the only black girl at her high school (a deleted scene confirms that Rochelle is too). She had already begun her tarot reading at this stage, and actually auditioned for the film with crystals in her pocket. (Source:tvtropes.org))

Her agent refused to submit her for The Craft because she was "too old" to play a teenage witch. Rachel however lobbied for the role, even finding a manager who wanted to represent her on the condition she be submitted for the film. Naturally she was cast. What was her age at the time? Twenty-nine! (Source: tvtropes.org She was also playing a teenager in Nowhere, and the film's lengthy two year production meant that she was in her thirties by the time it got released. (Source:tvtropes.org))

Older Than They Look: As noted above, many fans are shocked when they find out what age she was when she filmed The Craft. Likewise nowadays she's in her fifties, and fans think she looks more like she's in her thirties. (Source: tvtropes.org)

 

 

 

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