Interview with Rachel of "The Hero" - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Mendie

Interview with Rachel of "The Hero" 6/3/13

The first thing that struck me during my conversation with 34-year-old Rachel Renee was her open and positive outlook on life. This is a woman who despite or perhaps even because of the hardships that she has faced refuses to let any obstacle thrown her way keep her from succeeding.

Mendie: I understand how children can be a motivation to do get you to do things you may not be afraid of.

Rachel: I was never really in to reality television, but when I read about The Hero and that they were looking for 9 ordinary people I was like well I'm ordinary, I work 5 jobs, a single parent, and I want to prove to my son and all my students that no matter what challenges you are faced with in life if you put your hear and soul in to it you can accomplish anything. So I was just like, let me do this. Let me just audition for the show. I got this. And I knew that because it had The Rock's name on it that it wasn't going to be garbage. So absolutely it has been an experience. It's been a journey and it's been amazing.

Mendie: Now what do you think it is that makes someone a hero?

Rachel: What makes someone a hero is compassion, first and foremost. Putting yourself before others. I'm that type of person that is constantly putting myself before others, doing for others, and I always push myself aside and I think a hero really defines that. You are always doing for others and sometimes you don't look and do for yourself and told myself that in 2013 I was going to do something for me. Which is why I auditioned for the show. Definitely putting others before yourself, being brave, having strength and integrity. Just having compassion and being a real person and being strong.

Mendie: I like that answer and you're right sometimes in the end it's just being a good person.

Rachel: Absolutely, I think there are so many different types of heroes and there are so many different characteristics in a hero. But if you have a good heart and are being a good person that defines what a hero is. Not well, I'm going to do this preach this but then I am going to go behind everyone's back and be hypocritical. That's not a hero. Being good and wholesome person. Compassionate, that's the key word.

Mendie:  Why do you think it's important for the world to have heroes?

Rachel: It's important for the world to have heroes because I feel there is a hero with in all of us and I think in someway shape of form we help each other in some way. So even if you may not like someone they may have heroic characteristics that help you to learn to better yourself and build your inner hero. I really feel that you just learn from each other. Different heroes have different characteristics. You might be a mentally strong hero, but someone else might be physically strong and they can balance each other out and help each other and motivate each other. So I think it's very important that there be more than one hero in this world.

Mendie: You mentioned that you have a son and that you work multiple jobs, how has your life experiences prepared you for the competition?

Rachel: Well first and foremost I was born with a condition called Metatarsus Adductus where the doctors told my mom that I would never walk. So that was my motivation and when I was a child my motivator was someone telling me I couldn't do something and I was going to do it period. So being in a cast from my waste to my toes for multiple years I forced myself and motivated myself to walk. Just getting through that and being able to run and to dance and to walk and to do all the other things I did growing up. Also having my child who was born hearing-impaired. I tell him as well, I say "You have to take what God gives you and make the best of it." You have to take your disabilities, what is taken from you there is always something that is put in its place. There's always the extra something that's given to you.

I definitely feel a lot of struggle starting with being born not able to walk with this condition. Going through a lot of what I had to go through in life, I was bullied extremely badly as a child in school, and having a hearing-impaired child I was like what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I am a very strong woman and I have a huge heart and you just have to use that to get through. All those situations have definitely prepared me to be on this show.

Mendie: If there is one thing you hope the viewers take away what would you like it to be?

Rachel: I would like the viewers to take away that always remember who you are. You are going to have temptations thrown at you. You are going to have challenges given to you on a daily basis whether it's work or school or even a parent. Never let people try to twist your mind and try to manipulate you and try to change your ways for the sake of themselves. Always remember who you are and I have this saying its "Keep it real or keep it moving." If you can't keep it real with me you just have to keep it moving. I want to surround myself with people who bring light and not heat. I definitely want people to watch the show and be like 'oh I would have done that' but could you have slept good that night. Always remember who you are. I look back at the show and I believe all my decisions and everything I did on the show I don't regret anything because I kept to that motto of always remembering who you are. I look back and I don't regret saying that or I don't regret doing that. So I think that's very important.

Mendie: I know you can't really reveal anything about what's going to happen but what was your favorite part about the competition?

Rachel: Honestly when you have The Rock in your face and in your ear and he is pushing you and motivating you, encouraging you to get this challenge done that was just awesome to me. I was that person. I coach basketball so I'm always the one in my kid's faces and I teach school and dance so I'm always the one in the kid's faces. So I loved the fact of being pushed from somebody else because I don't really get that and the fact that it was The Rock, I mean how awesome is that. And obviously doing cool stunts and going to amazing places and visiting that part of the world was awesome. That whole experience was just great to me.

Mendie: Did the show teach you about yourself or in general that you are going to continue to use in your everyday life?

Rachel: Absolutely. Living in a house with 8 strangers, I really have an issue with trust anyways, and the way things would change throughout the show and people would change and things would start to happen...I've always learned go with your gut feeling about people because at the end I wasn't wrong. I feel I wasn't wrong in what I thought each person brought to the table. If you surround yourself with real people and you keep it real that's what's beautiful at the end of the day. The people who created the heat for me, if you don't allow that to come in to your circle it makes you feel better.

Honestly I've always doubted myself and second guessed my decisions because I'm a Libra and I'm very indecisive.

Mendie: I'm a Libra too, I know exactly how you feel.

Rachel: This show really taught me to stop being so indecisive and go with my gut feeling. There was no time to make decisions sometimes. It was like you have to make decisions right now and that was hard for me because I would be like I'll just put it off for 10 minutes and I will think about it and what's right and what's wrong.

Mendie: You can see the sides of both situations so you're like "I can't I can see the good and bad in both decisions."

Rachel: Exactly and I couldn't do that. So I was just like "Rachel, go with your gut feeling and do what you gotta do." And that is what I ended up doing. Which was tough for me because sometimes at the end of the day I would be laying there "Did I make the right decision? Rachel you can't question yourself. It's over with, you had to do that."

Mendie: You said that you taught both dance and school, what do you teach?

Rachel: I teach K-8th Spanish; I'm a Spanish teacher during the day. After school I teach hip hop; I'm a dance choreographer for an academy after school. I also coach the middle school basketball team.

Mendie: You really are busy.

Rachel: Yeah, and then I wait tables Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. I wait tables on the weekends. I know it's nut. People ask me when do you sleep? And I do find time. It's just not as much as I would like. But it was awesome because all my jobs were supportive of me being on the show. They were all very understanding and they all support me 110%. I was very grateful for that because most places would have been like "You're going to be gone for how long?" And every single one of my jobs was said go and kick booty and come back and make us proud.

Mendie: Do you have anything you want to do next? Do you have another goal in mind that you are just going to go for?

I've always wanted to open up a center for underprivileged and at risk kids or kids that just that want to take dance or they want to be in sports but they don't necessary have the means because they come from a single parent home and the money situation is tight. I just wanted to open up a center for kids to come and jam out after school and have mentors there and tutors there to help them with their homework. Maybe take some classes. I've always wanted to open a center like that for kids. So we will see what happens. Maybe one day because this area definitely needs something like that.

Mendie: That would be amazing. So where can fans go to show you their support? Are you on Twitter?

Rachel: Absolutely. It's @RachelRenee01

Mendie: Well thank you very much. It's been great talking to you.

Rachel: Thank you, it's been awesome talking to you as well. Thank you so much.

More Information:

Age: 34
Hometown: Little River, S.C.

Occupation: Spanish Teacher, Basketball Coach, Hip Hop Dance Teacher/Choreographer
Motto: “This day happened like it did so tomorrow can happen like it should.”
About: Rachel is a 34-year-old single mother who works five jobs in order to support her son, Alijah, who is hearing impaired. When Rachel was a child, she faced numerous struggles, including being born with a condition that caused misalignment of the bones in her legs and feet. She spent multiple years in full leg casts, but she was determined to be able to walk no matter what the doctors said. Despite enduring constant bullying, Rachel persevered and now coaches basketball and teaches dance.

Acts of Heroism:
•Rachel taught dance classes for underprivileged and at-risk youth. She showed up early to counsel the kids and established
an outreach program for them free of charge.
•After noticing that the kids had no shoes upon coming to class, Rachel started a charity called Sneaks 4 Dance Freaks. She had shoes for all of the kids by Christmas of that year, and the charity is still going strong.

Personal Facts
•Rachel does not let too many people into her inner circle.
•She went to the Philippines to play basketball for a year after high school.
•She is also a classically trained pianist.

About The Hero

This summer, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is going to challenge a group of ordinary people to face extraordinary situations and see who can emerge as the ultimate champion in TNT's exciting new competition series The Hero. The series will incorporate social media like never before and allow viewers to vote on the winner. The Hero will be headlined by Johnson, who will executive-produce with his producing partner,Dany Garcia. The series is set to premiere on TNT Thursday, June 6, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT),


TNT's The Hero will bring nine ordinary people together in an unexpected and dramatic setting, then assign them various missions that will test their brains, their brawn and even their morality. The show will challenge the competitors to prove they've got what it takes to be heroes, pushing them to their limits to see what they are willing (and able) to overcome, undergo or sacrifice.


Johnson will serve as The Hero's mentor and motivator, encouraging the contestants to reach far beyond their personal limits. In the end, one player will rise above the others, overcoming obstacles he/she never thought possible for a chance to walk away with up to a million dollars. The series is set to premiere on TNT this summer.


The Hero will incorporate social media throughout every facet of the show. Through the series’ unique and interactive digital platform, viewers will be able to engage with the show and one another, ultimately playing an important part in the outcome and helping to define what it means to be a true hero.

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