Welcome to the Luxury Shoe Club interview series where we introduce you to impeccably styled women whose stories need to be told.
Today we interview Rachna Khatau, an actress, writer and producer. You know her from The Big Bang Theory, Baby Daddy, to her latest series Bizaardvark and Hicksters.
I am so excited to interview my friend Rachna Khatau. Rachna and I are kindred spirits, both creative, driven, and passionate about our careers.
Rachna is an inspiration personally and professionally. Her energy is magnetic, her devotion contagious, her determination infectious, and her creativity inspirational.
Share with us a little about yourself and your background. How old were you when you landed your first television or film part?
I was born in the United Kingdom and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. I had debilitating stage fright growing up, but I absolutely loved to perform. I started working professionally as a singer when I was 17 and pursued music and shot several indie film projects in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, I worked as a TV host before I started booking acting jobs. My first big acting gig was a 50-episode web series that we filmed in Los Angeles and in New Delhi. That trip was a blur and a dream! My first network television job was Days of Our Lives.
How do you prepare for your roles? What is your process to develop your character? Which character did you feel was most similar to who you are in real life.
I’ve studied several acting techniques over the years, so my process is a combination of methods and practices I’ve learned. I’ve found objective work and my improv background to be very useful in creating and developing characters.
I got to play the lead in the world premiere of the play “Washer/Dryer” (written by the fantastic Nandita Shenoy), and I felt most similar to that character. She was an actor navigating a new-ish relationship who was obsessed with her first washer and dryer, all of which I could totally relate to.
Who was your favorite actress or actor to work with (can be plural). Which Director did you enjoy working with most? Was it a series or a play?
I grew up watching Mayim Bialik on Blossom, so getting to work with her on The Big Bang Theory was kind of surreal and a dream come true. In character, she was spot on and hilarious, and off camera she was so kind and friendly. I also loved working opposite Tahj Mowry on Baby Daddy. He cracks me up, and I loved how our characters played off of each other.
I’ve been fortunate to work with many talented, actor-friendly directors. But the first time I got to work with a female director felt extra special — Jody Margolin Hahn is a joy to work with and is a lovely human being, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with her more than once.
Do you enjoy working in the theater or television more? Tell us what the differences are for you.
I love working in theatre, that’s what I grew up doing. But I also love television as a medium. The best is when the two worlds combine, and I can shoot a TV show in front of a live studio audience, which is what happens on multi-cam sitcoms. It’s the best of both worlds, and I’m always so grateful to be working on live shoot days!
Are you currently working on a script? Can you give us the inside scope?
I’m currently writing an original multi-cam pilot. They say to write what you know so, while it’s not auto-biographical, it is definitely inspired by some real experiences I’ve had in my life. I’m happy to be working on a new original project just as the last original project I worked on, Hicksters (created by the brilliant Christina Wren), is about to air season one finale. I love telling unique stories that represent the diverse world that we live in.
I’m also attached to work on 2 film projects in the new year, and I’m so excited to play both of those well-written female characters.
I am fascinated to know more about your Improv. Where do you get your material from? How often do you perform?
I trained in improv in the conservatory program at The Second City Hollywood and fell in love with improv, sketch, and the sense of community. There, I met one the funniest people I know who became one of my best friends, Molly Donnelly, and together we created a two-woman sketch comedy show called, “MR. (with the period).” We get our material from anything and everything — things that happen to us in our real lives, things we see in the news, things we read about somewhere. Comedy can be found almost anywhere! We’ve performed our show to sold out crowds in Austin, Chicago, and all around Los Angeles.
Have there been any roles you wish you had taken?
I have learned something from every role, rejection, and close call. For better or worse, that is all part of this industry, and thankfully, there haven’t been any roles I wish I had taken or regret taking.
How did you get involved in The Art of Elysium, performing for kids with intellectual disabilities, and Laughter for a Change, playing improv games with the patients and families at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital?
My hilarious and talented friend Emanuel Borria told me about The Art of Elysium several years ago, which is how I learned about them and the wonderful work they do. I’ve spent most of my time with them performing short stories and plays at a special education center for the most lovely students and teachers.
Another exceptionally talented friend, Ernie Gonzalez, introduced me to Laughter for a Change. He created the program that brings improv performances to children and their families receiving treatment at CHLA.
I’m so grateful to partake in these programs, those are often some of the most fulfilling performances of all!
If you can, we would love to see your fabulous closet. Tell us who are your favorite designers and why?
My closet is a real mixed bag! My stylist friend, Venk Modur, was digging around in there the other day and was so skilled at making old pieces feel new again. A talented stylist can do that! My favorite designers are classic with a little something special. Rag and Bone, Helmut Lang, and Stella McCartney.
What’s Your Perfect Shoe + Clothing Combo? Why?
I love a classic investment piece. In the winter, I can usually be found pairing my Rag and Bone jeans with Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots. I love a stylish, well-fitting jean and simple t-shirt or blouse that marries femininity with a little edge.
That’s A Wrap!
Thank you Rachna for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. I am in awe with everything you have accomplished, truly inspirational. We are thrilled to have you part of the Luxury Shoe Club ‘Sustainably Chic’ Family. Our Readers can follow Rachna on instagram @RachnaKhatau
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