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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Fresh off the strike, up-and coming-actress Rachel Sennott took time to sit down with Pace University students, offering industry insight, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and letting us in on both the glamorous and lackluster side that comes with being a young star. 

Having been on hiatus from interviews, Rachel Sennott seems more than happy to indulge the audience in all aspects in her career – specifically, her new movie, Bottoms, that she had been unable to promote until now. She touched on how at times she was grateful for this inability, saying that all the hype and promotion came from social media. Sennott discussed how she and Emma Seligman, the director of Bottoms, knew the movie was a success because audiences were able to find the movie without it being forcefully thrust into their lives. 

Like many of us, Sennott grew up watching movies with a specific demographic catering to young males, such as Superbad. Although these movies aren’t created for women, we still find humor and enjoyment while viewing them. She said this was part of her and Seligman’s inspiration while writing Bottoms; that if they can enjoy movies not made for them, then men can enjoy a raunchy comedy about women and queer people. I wonder if this idea that not every movie needs to be created for everyone’s enjoyment, which I do agree with, is further exemplifying the idea that there are “boy” movies and “girl” movies, and harshening the divide between genders. Sennott then gave us tips she used to overcome the negative responses she was receiving while they were trying to find a company to produce and create the movie: stay diligent, knowing that it only takes one person to say yes and studios need the creative people more than they let on. So, stand your ground when it comes to your work and what’s important to you. 

In this film, she was both a leading character and a producer. Hearing the difference in responsibilities between the roles was insightful. In some ways, it removed any and all glamor in relation to the life of production and the creation of a movie, while regarding the job of actors with an air of simplicity that we don’t usually get to hear. For example, Sennott described sitting in a trailer with fellow actors, playing truth-or-dare, while receiving texts from Seligman, who was unsure if they would get the pivotal final shot of the movie. Even learning about the swarming termites they faced and rainy set days gave me a new perspective of the industry. When a review was released stating that Bottoms was the “horniest, gayest movie ever,” all their locations in Louisiana pulled out, leaving her and the rest of the production team to scramble, while not letting it ruin or disrupt the movie. Hearing how she was able to overcome these obstacles and still look back on the production proudly made this movie even more special. We don’t often hear much about the obstacles faced on the business front when creating beloved movies.

Sennott graduated from NYU, as did Seligman, and her having also attended college in New York allowed her to give us tips and advice that was actually meaningful, as she was once in our shoes. She suggested that we all make goals, for both this year and for the near future, which allows you to accomplish more and really visualize what you want your future to entail. Personally, I’ve already been brainstorming my goals since she suggested this.

Her first claim to fame was when she starred in Shiva Baby. She talked about how this was actually Seligman’s short film thesis that got turned into a movie, emphasizing the importance of networking with your peers while in school. Similarly, that’s where she met Ayo Edebiri, her co-star in Bottoms. Sennott told us that half of the people we have class with, go out with, or just meet in passing will become highly successful in their field and that we might end up working alongside them or for them, so keep connections and relationships strong. 

During the Q&A portion, a fellow student asked if she thought going to school was worth it and if it has helped shape her career to what it is today. Sennott explained that she believes that although it is not a necessity, it has bettered her career. For instance, she wouldn’t have met Seligman and starred in Shiva Baby, just as she wouldn’t have met Edebiri. Hearing this has calmed my worries when it comes to attending college for a degree in creativity.

Cassidy Burry is originally from northern California and is a current freshman at Pace University. She is majoring in Communications and Media and planning on picking up a minor in journalism. She is a member of Her Campus Pace. Throughout her childhood she has collected various magazines, and Vogue in particular has been a great inspiration in her decision to pursue journalism. Cassidy loves spending time with kids. Over the summer she was a summer camp counselor, at Camp Winnarainbow. Before that she worked at a school program. That involved taking kids, ages four through seven, to different parks, beaches, and other locations native to northern California. They would focus on teaching the kids the importance of the environment and how to leave it better than we found it. They regularly would clean up the beaches and parks they visited. Cassidy has always had a love for her community and giving back. She spent a large majority of her time in high school volunteering at a kitchen and garden that grew and produced meals. These meals would go to patients and their families that were suffering from chronic illnesses and diseases. They would be curated to help aid with their healing and recovery process. In her free time she enjoys all forms of art. She has a special interest in fiber arts, specifically crocheting and knitting. She loves poetry and reading all types of books. Cassidy has a deep love for music ranging from all genres. She was actually named after the song “Cassidy '' by the Grateful Dead. She has found that being named after that legendary band has brought meaningful connections to her everyday life. For the majority of her childhood she played competitive soccer. And now that she is no longer playing herself, she looks forward to the Women’s World Cup every four years. She hopes that women in sports will gain more recognition in the future, and will not be seen as second to men’s sport.