Miranda Rhode played Gina, the surrogate mother with brain damage in the pilot episode of Chicago Med. Rhode recently spoke to us about how she got into acting, what she’s been working on and who her dream costar would be. Check out our interview with Miranda below, and tune in for Chicago Med every Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC!
Tell me how you got into acting. How did you stumble upon it?
It’s a funny story, really, because I moved to Chicago from Atlanta six months ago just for fun. I needed a new place to be, and I got there and I was an extra on Chicago Fire. This lady was like, “hey, you look like you’d be really great for this role that we’re trying to fill for Chicago Med. You just need to come audition!” and I said I’d never acted before. I had no idea how that works. But she said I should just come audition for the director. It’s a thing of being in the right place at the right time, I guess.
You live in Chicago, but you’re still auditioning for major television and movie roles out there. What is that like being more of a local actor as opposed to being out in Los Angeles?
I feel like it’s a lot harder. A lot of the auditions and stuff are in places like Los Angeles and New York, and I feel like if maybe I was local to there, it would be a lot easier. But it’s actually really fun. It’s kind of crazy.
Are there any advantages to being local versus being out in California?
Absolutely. When I was working on Chicago Med, I didn’t have to do any crazy stuff to get there, I literally just had to go to set. (laughs). Which is only ten minutes from where I already lived. It worked out pretty well.
You’re new in the industry, but what advice would you have for anyone who wants to break into the entertainment industry- whether it be acting or however else?
Do not stop trying. At first, I was totally scared and just like, “there is no way I can do it, and Chicago Med is going to be the only thing I ever do,” and then I just kept trying and was just like, “wow- there’s so much out there that you can do,” and a lot of people just get kind of freaked out and give up. It’s definitely something worth holding onto.
Let’s talk about Chicago Med. That pilot hit the ground running. What was it like filming that episode? Was it hectic? Was it fun? Are there any behind the scenes secrets you can share? You shaved your head for the role, right?
I shaved my head because I played the role of the surrogate mother in the train accident who was brain-damaged. It was kind of crazy filming the pilot for it because it’s the first episode of this major spinoff, and they’re trying to get everything perfect. The initial filming was about a week or so, but for at least a little over a month, I was coming back for reshoots and re-shaving my head. I probably shaved my head about four or five times, actually. As soon as my hair would start coming back, they’d be like, “nope! Gotta shave it!” (laughs).
What was the cast like? Did you get to work with the veterans like [S.] Epatha [Merkerson] and Oliver [Platt]?
I got to meet Oliver Platt, which was crazy because he’s such a major actor. It was really cool; they’re all super nice and super open with you, too. You wouldn’t expect them to be like, “oh- here’s a fact about my life,” but they are. Just like if you were at a bar talking to a bartender. Torrey DeVito is by far my favorite person. She’s great.
What are you working on now?
I’m not doing too much with the Chicago shows. I’m trying to branch out, but I would love to get back onto Chicago Med. It’s what I’m hoping for in the future. My character didn’t die.
What are some of your acting goals, now that you’re in? Are there shows you want to be on, or people you want to work with? What are some things on your acting bucket list?
After playing a patient on Med, I feel like I have to be on Grey’s Anatomy. That is just something I need to try to get on. And Law & Order, but Law & Order is also a Dick Wolf show, so that’s kind of rough.
But it did just get renewed.
Right! That’s crazy. They’re on season eighteen, aren’t they? And I can’t believe Med just got picked up for season two!
Did you see the video of Torrey and Nick [Gehlfuss] high-fiving to celebrate?
No, I need to see that. I worked a lot with Nick Gehfluss, too, because he was one of my main doctors, and he’s a great person. He and Colin [Donnell]. Colin is kind of quiet, but he definitely is out there. He brought everyone candy on Halloween and was just throwing it at people.
You’re auditioning for shows in what people are calling a golden age of television. There’s so much to choose from. What shows are you currently binging?
I’m still binging One Tree Hill- which is kind of sad because I’ve seen everything six thousand times, but I’m really getting into Orange Is the New Black. I played a monk on the upcoming season four, so I’m trying to get into that show so I can really understand what it’s about.
So you are traveling for roles here and there?
Yes, I went to Brooklyn for that one.
Did you get to work with Taylor Schilling or Laura Prepon?
A little, it wasn’t too much because I play this monk who was just kind of by themselves. It was kind of awkward because it was just me the entire time, but being behind the scenes was really fun.
So what other shows have you been on that are not Chicago?
Fist Fight, it’s a movie that I filmed in Atlanta. Orange Is the New Black, Chicago Med and Steve Harvey.
You said you moved to Chicago from Atlanta. What are some of your favorite things about Chicago? How is it different from your hometown?
The public transportation! I love it; I don’t need my car at all. And Chicago is a beautiful city on its own; the food and the culture. It’s definitely something that Atlanta lacks a little bit.
What about a dream costar? Do you have a dream actor or actress who just working with them would make your life?
Sophia Bush. I didn’t get to see her on set when we were working on Med, but she is definitely my dream costar. I feel like I would probably fall in love with her.