(Living Well With)
Reneé Rapp On Finding Her Confidence & Voice Through Music
She speaks her truth.
Actor, singer, and songwriter Reneé Rapp has very little downtime in her work schedule these days. After filming The Sex Lives of College Girls Season 2, she went on her first tour, titled “Everything to Everyone: The First Shows,” to perform her music in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Boston in December 2022. Post-tour, she went into prep mode for the upcoming Paramount+ film, Mean Girls: The Musical, where she plays Regina George. The role is one she’s familiar with, as Rapp originally starred as Regina in the 2019 Broadway production. On top of this, last month she was announced as the new face of international travel and lifestyle brand TUMI. (We told you, she’s busy!)
Rapp is seemingly the perfect person for the travel brand’s Spring 2023 campaign, as the message centers on the importance of finding and believing in yourself. The actor, through her music and interviews with the press, has been candid about her personal growth in this area. Her song “Bruises” is about her being sensitive and easily wounded, but ultimately persevering in the end. On this topic of confidence and the words of encouragement that helped her see projects through, she says: “What my dad always told me as a kid, which stuck with me, is that the most confident person in the room is the person who also understands they are insecure. I’ve always believed in myself because I also know that I’m really, really afraid to fail.”
That said, this self-belief has certainly helped Rapp hit her stride in both the music and acting worlds, as she’s performed at sold-out shows and stars in a hit HBO Max TV series (The Sex Lives of College Girls was renewed for a third season). Acting aside, the multi-hyphenate, who grew up playing piano and singing, says that where she truly finds her voice is through music. “It is the only way I know how to properly communicate how I’m feeling and it’s the only time that I genuinely feel like I’m understood,” she says.
Ahead, the actor unpacks the current state of her life and gets candid about everything from stress to the advice she’d give to her younger self.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I dread going into work and I need total silence in the mornings.
When you have the chance to treat yourself, what do you do?
Treating myself is taking time off work and being able to work out.
What are you listening to these days?
It’s interesting, I feel like, as a musician, I spend so much of my life creating music that I don’t really listen to any [in addition to what I make]. But right now, I guess I would say I’m really listening to the Mean Girls movie cast album that has yet to be released — we listen to it every single day.
One thing you can’t live without is…
Where are you dreaming of traveling to? Why?
Anywhere, I just need a break. I’m going to Sedona with my two best friends immediately after filming is done and I cannot wait. I’m so excited.
What are your favorite products to travel with?
Tumi, at this point, goes with me everywhere I go. I’m at work right now and I’m staring at my Tumi backpack with all my sh*t in it. The bag holds so much, which is nice, because I’m always on the go and traveling. I know with this backpack and suitcase, for example, I don’t have to worry about ‘oh, do I have the right thing for this or do I have the right thing for that,’ the styles are versatile and can take me from a meeting to the airport.
What’s your go-to secret weapon when you want to look and feel good?
Do you have a favorite workout/wellness practice?
I love both mat and reformer pilates.
What’s the best piece of relationship advice you’ve ever received?
What’s a healthy meal you always make/order?
Do you remember your first big splurge? Do you still own it?
Yes, when I got Mean Girls I went and bought a pair of Louis Vuitton boots. And yes, I still own and wear them.
What’s the small stress-saving luxury you swear by at home?
I literally don’t save stress. There’s no saving it.
What are you saving up for at the moment?
A house! I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.
One thing you want to go back and tell your younger self?
That I’m doing the thing I always talked sh*t about doing. It worked.