When Rachel Marsh finished her chemistry read with Rob Lowe and his son John Owen Lowe for new Netflix comedy Unstable (which was co-created by the duo and came out earlier this spring), the 31-year-old had a pretty good feeling about it. A quick call with her manager reaffirmed that gut instinct: She was the top pick for the role of Luna, a brilliant, quirky young scientist who works for Lowe Senior’s tech-billionaire character, Ellis Dragon. Still, there was no official offer, so the Seattle-raised actor, who has a background in improv comedy courtesy of the iconic Upright Citizens Brigade theatre group, went home and immediately started prepping for another audition she had that afternoon. It also went well, but it ended up not mattering because Marsh officially won the part on the charming sitcom—her first major series regular role—and was finally free to celebrate. “We went out for seafood because that’s my favourite thing,” she says with a laugh. “It all feels like a blur.”


“When I first got [Unstable], I had also just booked another role, which was crazy and overwhelming for me. Choosing Unstable meant that I’d be leaning into comedy—that was who I wanted to be—because the other role was a dramatic one. As an actor, you never really get any kind of agency. It’s rare to get to choose your own path. I was given a gift because comedy is what I’ve always wanted to do.”


“I grew up watching Rob [Lowe] on Parks and Rec, so it was really special for me to get to audition for this project and eventually work with him. And [Unstable co-star] Fred Armisen too—I grew up in his era of SNL and watched him on Portlandia. That was my intro to what was funny. It’s surreal for me to look at Netflix and see that I’m on a show with them.”


“When I first started taking acting classes, I had a teacher who [would say] ‘Nerves are vanity.’ That has always helped me. It sounds intense, but if you think of [nervousness] that way, it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m just being concerned with myself.’ It’s almost a way to trick your mind into getting over it. I also have a background in improv, and that taught me a lot of confidence over the years, so I feel like I’m not afraid of failure or embarrassment right now.” 


“I was [living] in L.A. and not really loving it. Unless you’re born here, you have to have a reason to be here, and I felt like I didn’t have a purpose. I watched a lot of theatre with my mom and did plays in high school, but I grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, and nobody I knew was a working actor. So even though it was a passion of mine, I didn’t know you could do it  as a job unless you, like, grew up in the industry. When I graduated [college], I saw some friends going to auditions, so I started taking acting classes and improv classes and slowly found my thing—the reason I was in L.A.


“I’d love to do another project that’s really challenging but in the same world of comedy, [like] dark comedy—I’d love to do something really dramatic. I look up to a lot of people from SNL, like Kristen Wiig, who everyone knows is so good at comedy but no one really knew she could do something dramatic, and then she really proved to the world that she is versatile in that way. I would love to try out a bunch of different things but keep my roots in comedy.” 

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