Way before Meghan Markle was a royal, she starred as attorney Rachel Zane on Suits, and her acting career had humble beginnings.
While many of Meghan Markle‘s Hollywood credits started as blink-and-you’ll-miss-it roles, the duchess successfully transitioned from a Deal or No Deal briefcase model and nonspeaking cameos to leads in two Hallmark Channel movies.
Markle who was born in California in 1981 was influenced by her father, who worked as a lighting director in TV. She acted her career appearing plays and musicals at school. After a stint at Northwestern University, Markle opted to pursue acting full-time, paying her bills by working as a waitress and babysitter.
She appeared on Suits until 2018, when she entered a high-profile relationship with Prince Harry. The pair would step away from their roles as senior working royals in January 2020, moving to California to launch a series of business and charitable endeavors. So, what has she said about her time in Hollywood?
Meghan Markle First Auditioned For A Romantic Comedy With Ashton Kutcher
Meghan Markle admitted she had some struggles landing auditions for roles. At the start of her career, she scored an audition for a movie starring Ashton Kutcher.
Markle revealed in a 2016 interview with UKTV, that her very role acting role was as hot girl #1 in A Lot Like Love. While her role in the film was brief, it gave the star valuable experience on the set of a Hollywood movie.
Meghan Markle Reminiscent About Auditioning
During an appearance on Ellen, Meghan Markle revealed that she had actually been to the Warner Bros several times before.
“The security guards would always say, ‘Break a leg! We hope you get it!’ So the drive in today was very different,” Markle told the host. The Duchess also said back in the day, she would drive an old Ford Explorer Sport that had a “life of its own.”
“At a certain point the key stopped working on the driver’s side so you couldn’t get yourself in through the door,” she explained. “So after auditions, I’d park at the back of the parking lot, and I’d open the trunk and climb in and pull it shut behind me and climb in over all my seats to get out. That’s how I would come to and fro.”
Meghan Markle’s Experience On Deal Or No Deal
On “Archetypes” podcast, Meghan Markle spoke with Paris Hilton about the bimbo stereotype. She explained how she resonated with that label during her time on Deal or No Deal. Meghan worked on the game show for 34 episodes between 2006 and 2007 while trying to land a more substantial role in her acting career.
She used her podcast to talk about being “objectified” and how she “didn’t like feeling forced to be all looks and little substance.” These claims have been refuted by other “suitcase girls” as well as staff on the game show.
“You have to imagine, just to paint the picture for you, that before the tapings of the show all the girls would line up and there were different stations and you had your lashes put on and your extensions put in and the padding in your bra.”
“We were even given spray tan vouchers each week, because there was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like, it was solely about beauty and not necessarily about brains,” she adds although admits the show gave her financial security and health insurance.
“And when I look back at that time, I will never forget this one detail, because moments before we’d get on stage there was a woman who ran the show and she would be there backstage and I can still hear her. She couldn’t properly pronounce my last name at the time and I knew who she was talking to because she would go ‘Markel, suck it in! Markel, suck it in!'” She says she quit the show after being objectified, but some people have disputed this claim.
Meghan Markle Had Off-Screen Chemistry With Co-Star
“I see Rachel as such a good friend, and when you play a character you love, it’s so much easier. I root for her; I’m almost like a fan,” the actress told Marie Claire back in 2013.
In the same interview, Meghan Markle also explained why the relationship between her and her co-star Patrick J, Adams’ character worked so well.
“Before Suits, I did a pilot every single year. I even did a pilot for ABC with Patrick J. Adams, who plays Mike Ross on the show, like six years ago. He’s the rough-around-the-edges guy, I’m the polished girl, and there’s that, ‘Will they ever be together?’ tension,” she explained.
Markle also revealed that she and her costars were close friends off-screen. “I think that’s part of why the show has become so successful. You can feel that we all get along on- and off-camera,” she told Esquire.
How Meghan Markle Felt About Her Role In Suits
The California-born actress opened up to Esquire about how lucky she felt to be a part of the successful legal drama. “I feel so fortunate because as an actor you spend so much time just trying to get a job,” she gushed. Meghan Markle appeared in 108 episodes of the hit law show, which ran for nine seasons, but she left the show at the end of season seven, which aired in 2018.
“Suits is not what I ever thought, I never thought my life would be that awesome!” she told Create & Cultivate founder Jaclyn Johnson during a Q&A.
Will Meghan Markle Return To Acting?
Meghan Markle left acting behind when she announced her engagement to Prince Harry, and it looks like she won’t be back on our screens anytime soon.
Variety recently unveiled its Power of Women cover with the Duchess of Sussex, alongside an interview where the royal was asked about her possible return to her acting career.
“No. I’m done,” Meghan said before adding, “I guess never say never, but my intention is to absolutely not.”
And while the duchess hasn’t pursued an acting role since marrying Prince Harry, she hasn’t shied away from the entertainment world. The royal narrated a Disney Plus movie released in 2020, and the couple has a major partnership with Spotify, resulting in Meghan’s first podcast, Archetypes.
Who Should Play Meghan Markle In A Movie Or TV Show?
With an upcoming season of The Crown coming up, Variety asked the Duchess if she had considered who would play her in a fictionalized version of her life.
“I haven’t given that much thought, to be honest. It’s all weird. You have to compartmentalize,” she told Variety in regard to actors playing her.
“Anyone talking about me or casting an actor to play me, that will be a caricature of me that has been created for a business that makes people a lot of money. Once you can separate that out, it’s much easier to go: ‘OK. That actually has nothing to do with me.’ It genuinely doesn’t. It’s a hard lesson to come to grips with.”
“I hope that in preparing for that role, she finds the softness and the playfulness and the laughter. The silliness. I just hope she finds the dimensions.” Playfully, she added, “Also, she can call me!”
Will Meghan Markle Be Okay With Their Children Working Hollywood?
Although she is unlikely to return, Meghan Markle would be okay with her two young children following in her footsteps.
“I would say, ‘Great!’ When you become a parent, you genuinely want your kids to find the things that bring them complete joy,” the former actor said when asked about her kids, Archie and Lilibet, entering the industry.
“They’re our kids, obviously, and they’re part of a legacy and a tradition and a family that will have other expectations,” she added. “But I want them to be able to carve out their own path. If it’s the entertainment industry, great. And also, good luck.”
Meghan explained, “There are so many people that will talk about what opened the door for my children. But it still takes talent and a lot of grit. We’re creating multidimensional, interesting, kind, creative people. That’s who our kids are.”
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