IN CONVERSATION WITH RAINBOW WEDELL
Interview by Marie-Pauline Cesari & Jana Letonja
Rainbow Wedell was just seen starring in Paramount+ drama series ‘School Spirits’, which aired its finale on 12th April. Originally from Australia, ‘School Spirits’ marks Rainbow’s first big project in the United States.
Rainbow, you have always been creative, since a very young age. How did you start your career as an actress and what are some of the things you are most passionate about in this dream profession?
I’ve always loved art and movies, anything creative. I love the ability to step into different lives, I learn something new from each of my characters.
‘School Spirits‘ marks your first big project in the United States. You were born on the island of Vanuatu, off the coast of northern Australia. How did it feel to go and shoot an American project, on the other side of the world?
I had only worked on Australian productions before shooting ‘School Spirits’, so I didn’t know what to expect. There isn’t many differences in regards to the filming process, however, the lifestyle and culture does differ to Australia. I had never been to Canada before, so it was incredible to be able to experience life in North America for a couple months.
Based on the to-be-released graphic novel by Trinruds and Maria Nguyen, ‘School Spirits’ follows Maddie, a ghost trapped in afterlife limbo at her high school. Did you get the chance to read the preview of the book before playing in the series? What attracted you to this role?
The ‘School Spirits’ graphic novel comes out later this year, so I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, none of us even knew who the killer was until a couple weeks before we filmed the last episode. My jaw was on the floor reading each episode. Nate and Megan are truly creative geniuses.
How did you prepare for this role and what scene did you enjoy shooting the most?
My favourite part of playing Claire was learning to cheer. I watched the documentary ‘Cheer’ on Netflix to understand the cheerleader’s mindset, the handwork and dedication it means to be a cheerleader.
Can you tell us about your experience working with your co-stars Peyton List, Milo Manheim and Kristian Flores on this series?
We became a big family. I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with such kind- hearted and talented people. I learn from them every day.
Tell us about your character, Claire Zomer. What made you connect with Claire?
Claire is mysterious, she’s cheer team captain and honor student, but she’s not what she appears to be in the first couple episodes. There is more to her than meets the eye.
I was attracted to Claire’s confidence and ambition. She is so well written and I was excited to play a character with so many layers.
In episode 106, your character went through a major emotional change. How did that impact Claire, how did it transform her?
In episode 106 all of Claire’s secrets finally come out and she’s forced to be vulnerable and let down her mask. You learn a lot about Claire’s family life and her relationship with Maddie.
You spent much of your childhood and early adolescence traveling the world with your grandparents, participating in missionary and charity work. What are the most valuable lessons and values this will carry on throughout your life? And what are some of your favorite memories from visiting over 15 countries, where you got to help underprivileged communities?
Having the opportunity to travel to so many countries at a young age and experience different cultures defiantly shaped the way I see the world and the person I am today. I learnt gratitude and happiness from people in all walks of life and now I have friends all over the world.
When you are not on set or in transit between Canada, Australia and the United States, how do you like spending your time? How do you keep your artistic spirit alive also in your free time?
I am always learning and growing. I’m traveling a lot lately, but when I get the chance I always love to experience art in different forms, such as movies, theatre, reading, music and art museums.
Tell us more about your future projects after ‘School Spirits’.
I have some exciting things to come and I cannot wait to share it all with you guys.
Photographer JONNY MARLOW @jonnymarlow
Makeup SHANNON PEZZETTA @shannonpezzeta
Stylist KATIE BOFSHEVER @katiebof