Shrinking Star Rachel Stubington Talks Playing Summer and Hair and Makeup With Harrison Ford

Not every Hollywood newcomer gets to get their hair done on the lot next to Harrison Ford, but Rachel Stubington's acting career is off to a particularly special start.

Rachel is one of the stars of the new Apple TV+ series Shrinking, starring both Harrison Ford and Jason Segel. The show was released on Jan. 27 to both critical and fan acclaim, thanks to its incredible stars, as well as its ability to balance its humor and deeper, more difficult subject matter. The show follows Jason Segel as James Laird, a therapist struggling in the aftermath of losing his wife. With his passion for his work gone, he finally snaps, deciding to break all of the rules of being a therapist and telling his patients what he really thinks they should do with their lives.

Rachel plays the role of the free-spirited Summer, best friend to James' daughter Alice, who strives to help them both cope with the death of a wife and mother. We had the pleasure of chatting with Rachel all about the new role and what it means to her, as well as getting a tease of her upcoming Lifetime original movie and a secret project with one of her all-time faves. Read the full interview below.

Sweety High: When did you discover your passion for acting? Was there any specific a-ha moment that made you realize it was the path for you?

Rachel Stubington: My parents were both very gifted athletes, and they were very excited for me to follow in their footsteps. I think I tried about nine sports before we collectively gave up—I had zero coordination. It was in my despair that I went to go see the musical Annie with my Nana. I remember being so jealous of the girl on stage. I wish I could sound like a better person and say my passion was brought to me through love and joy, but it was actually all because I was super, super jealous of a 10-year-old (who also was definitely not a real redhead, like I was, but that's neither here nor there.) I knew that I wanted to do what she was doing. My parents were incredibly supportive and found me a program right away— I loved it. I felt like I had truly found a place where I belonged.

Rachel Stubington wearing patterned dress in elevator

(Photo credit: Tommy Flanagan)


SH: Can you tell us a little bit about Shrinking? What is the show about, and where does your character, Summer, fit into the story?

RS: Shrinking follows a therapist, played by Jason Segel, who is grieving the recent loss of his wife all while trying to maintain a relationship with his daughter (Alice), coworkers, friends and clients. I play Summer, his daughter's best friend.

My mom was proudly bragging about me to a stranger who mentioned they had watched the show and after she explained what role I played the stranger went, "Oh, she's the bad influence one!" Summer is constantly trying to get Alice to go out with her, whether it's going to a high school party or a high school party that's under a bridge. At the end of the day, Summer wants her best friend to be happy and do all the dumb things high schoolers are supposed to do.


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SH: How similar are you to Summer in real life? What would you say are your biggest similarities and differences?

RS: I think the biggest similarity between us is that we care a lot about our friends. Summer is a lot bolder and cooler than I was in high school. She also is really good at soccer, and as we all know sports is a very sensitive subject for me.

Rachel Stubington in white flower sweater and green pants

(Photo credit: Tommy Flanagan)


SH: What's been your most memorable moment from the set? Did you have any moments with some of the bigger names in the cast?

RS: I wish I could narrow it down to one moment, but truly every part of this experience has been insane. From the first day I started filming, I was running from sound stage to sound stage on the Warner Brother's lot. I was getting my hair done next to Harrison Ford. I got to spend the whole day with Lukita [Maxwell], who plays Alice, and we got to build this really cool, authentic TV friendship. I worked with such incredible directors and writers. Getting to improv on set as well as try lines that the writers came up with in the moment was such a cool collaborative experience. I had to actively try not to cry out of happiness every time I was there, because if I did cry, I would ruin Summer's blue eyeliner.


SH: What have been your favorite fan reactions to the show so far?

RS: I think my favorite part about people finally being able to watch the show is that my friends and family will now quote my lines to be constantly. I've been invited several times for "drinks under the bridge."

Rachel Stubington wearing a denim jumpsuit sitting on stool

(Photo credit: Tommy Flanagan)


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SH: Can you tell us about your upcoming projects for this year? What are you most excited for your fans to see?

RS: I'm in a movie coming out on Feb. 18 called A Rose for Her Grave, which will be on Lifetime and Hulu. The movie is based on a novel written by Ann Rule that follows the real-life crime story of Randy Roth, a serial killer who would marry women and then murder them for their money. The cast and crew were absolutely incredible. I even got tears and snot all over Chrishell Stause. It was an amazing project to get to work on.

I also recently got to work on a dream project with Alicia Silverstone. I'm not sure how much I get to say about that one, but it'll be out sometime next week! Currently, I just finished working on an HBO Max pilot. I have yet to be cast on Sex Lives of College Girls, but the absolute second Mindy calls me I'll be there.


SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

RS: It has been so incredible talking to you guys. If anyone is interested in upcoming projects or pictures of me crying, they can follow me on Instagram @rachelstubington.

Rachel Stubington in green shimmery emerald dress

(Photo credit: Tommy Flanagan)


For more on our favorite actors and their stories, click HERE to read our interview with Tyler Posey on Teen Wolf: The Movie.