Rachelle Henry—a 17-year-old writer, actress, director (and Seattleite)—is set to hit the red carpet later this week at the 39th Annual Young Artist Awards in L.A. She’s been nominated for Best Teen Actress for a Voice-Over Roll for her work in “Beast,” a drama about a father confronting his daughter’s killer, which she narrates. She’s also up for Best Teen Actress in a Short Film for her work in “Hitched,” which she also produced, a runaway-bride comedy that takes a horrific turn. The YAA is Hollywood’s oldest running awards show that honors and recognizes young talent. Previous winners include Leonardo DiCaprio, Neil Patrick Harris, Jodie Foster, and Dakota Fanning.
Last year Henry made a splash at the 38th Annual Young Artist Awards, winning the title of Best Teen Actress in a Short Film for “Jersey Gurl,” which she both produced and performed in. She also snagged Best Young Actress at the 2017 Young Entertainer Awards for her role in “Grifters.”
Henry’s love of film began when, at age six, her friends told her about a Nickelodeon casting taking place in Seattle. She remembers being told that she would have to work very hard for a long time to get where she wanted to be in this industry. It’s a huge investment, a lifetime commitment, one she was willing to make and continues to make every day.
Henry hasn’t lived the typical teenage experience. She splits her time between Seattle and a room her family rents in North Hollywood. Oftentimes she is asked to be in L.A. a day before an event, so her grandparents, who are also her managers, pack up the car and head out for the 20 plus hour car ride.
She’s been in online school since fifth grade, and is now enrolled in Running Start. But Henry is still committed to a film career. “To be able to master three different branches of film production would be a dream,” she says, “and to be able to work full time doing it and still be able to play, is like the dream.” Although most teenagers would be going to class on campus every day, Henry doesn’t feel as though she’s missing out because of her full schedule: “It definitely does not feel like a lack of a life. It’s a very full life.”