Rachel Stubington: No Shrinking Violet
Rachel Stubington: No Shrinking Violet
June 2, 2023



Be honest. If you were tasked with writing a story about a 22-year-old rising Hollywood star with perfect teeth and a crown of magnificent crimson curls, who comes from a nice Jewish home with a functional observant family she adores, and is currently starring in a successful television show opposite Jason Segal and Harrison Ford, wouldn’t you be sort of hoping not to like her? Enter Rachel Stubington and all your contrived negativity instantly vanishes. 



This down-to-earth beauty is charming, open, and funny as hell.  You simply can’t help relating to a young woman who went to Hess Kramer Jewish overnight camp, participates in her congregation’s Cantorial training program, and cannot wait to sing at her younger brother’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah. She notes that her brother will keep her in check on his special day. “I’m pretty sure he’ll limit me to L’dor V’dor,” she smiles.

When I ask Rachel what started it all? She laughs, “I think as a kid, I just really wanted attention.” From singing at High Holidays to school talent shows, camp skits, and a theatre degree from UCLA, Rachel knew from a young age that she loved comedy. She credits her comedy focus to the Jewish summer camp experience. “You’re at camp, and there are skits, and talent shows…it’s the place where I realized you can be funny and get attention.”

Asked about her burgeoning success, she says she doesn’t see herself as an overnight sensation. “I’ve been auditioning for 10 or 11 years,” she comments. And being in the spotlight doesn’t keep her from feeling star-struck when she steps on a film set or appears at a movie premier. “You try to play it cool,” she notes. “But you’re standing next to Harrison Ford!”

Her comic influencers include Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling. In fact, she’s sure she didn’t get into Dartmouth because when asked at her interview why she wanted to attend, she said, “Because Mindy Kaling went here.” It was the truth. But, looking back, she thinks that may not have been the best answer.

Her current show on Apple TV is called Shrinking, and she plays  Summer, a fun-loving best friend to the main character’s daughter, played by Lukita Maxwell. The show follows Jason Laird, played by Jason Segel, a grieving therapist who tells his patients exactly what he thinks. His brutal honesty, however, has a turbulent effect on both his clients and him.

Rachel can’t say enough good things about everyone on who works on the show. “The crew and cast are some of my favorite people,” She tells me, “I have so much respect and love for everyone. And I think everyone is so talented. She adds, “My favorite thing about Shrinking, aside from it being so funny, is that it brings a lot of light to something that people are really ashamed to talk about, which is mental health.”

“My mom watches every episode,” Rachel beams, “Twice!” With good reviews and a strong buzz, she expects the show to be picked up for a second season. “It’s an incredibly topical show these days.”

I ask her if she’s ever been in therapy herself, and she openly shares “Sure, I used to see a shrink.” She wants to help shatter the stigma around mental health and isn’t shy about sharing her own struggles, “Humor comes from insecurity,” she explains, “Especially in this business. You’re constantly fighting to prove to other people that your worth their time. You know, you’re on a tv show and the pressure is like ‘What’s next?’ And that doesn’t end. You need to keep working to keep proving  your worth it.” 

And what about her personal life? She’s in a great relationship with a guy she went to Jewish High School with. “We all came home because of the pandemic and a bunch of kids my age ended up dating people from High School.” It’s not surprising that Rachel is currently partnered with a Jewish man whose father happens to be a Rabbi. “Judaism has always been a big part of my life,” she asserts “My nan is really big on doing all of the Jewish holidays at her house. And my mom was adamant that we go to Hebrew School.

While Rachel loves comedy, her recently released Lifetime movie, A Rose for her Grave, where she stars opposite Chrishell Stause and Colin Egglesfield is not exactly a laugh riot. “It’s actually very serious,” she says, “It’s based on a true story where this man named Randy Roth would marry women and then kill them. It’s totally true and no one caught on to him for the longest time. It’s a very cool story. This man preys on insecure women. And at the end of the film, it’s these women that are the ones to put him in jail.”

How does Rachel feel about being in the public eye. “I’m suddenly that person who can really make a statement and it’ll ripple through the world. That’s weird to think about.” She goes on to confess,” I get kind of nervous at these interviews because I worry that I’m going to say something I shouldn’t. Like I used to always tell people that my favorite movie is The Muppet Movie and that I’ve seen it at least 300 times. My publicist suggested I not mention that in every interview.” 

I must admit, I feel kind of bad putting it in here given the above statement. But it’s just so cute that I can’t leave it out. Because Rachel Stubington has the energy and joy of all your favorite Muppets combined. She’s charming and glamorous (think Miss Piggy), funny and warm (like Elmo), she has a heart of gold and, like Fozzie Bear, will stop at nothing to get a laugh, and most importantly, she’s comfortable in her own skin, which reminds me a lot of Kermy’s signature “It’s not easy being green” song.

Keep your eye on Rachel Stubington, she’s something to see.

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