Rachel Frances Shaw (born 1981) is an American actress, writer, director and producer. She is best known for playing Mary Jo Cacciatore on the 2010–2011 Spike TV series Blue Mountain State, and for the Showtime series SMILF, based on the 2015 short film of the same name, which she wrote, directed and starred in. Shaw is also known for her recurring role as Shayla Nico in the first season of the USA Network television series Mr. Robot.
Shaw in November 2015
|Born||Rachel Frances Shaw
1981 (age 36–37)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Spouse(s)||Zach Strauss (m. 2016)|
Early life and educationEdit
Shaw grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. Shaw's maternal side of the family is from South Boston. Shaw's parents divorced when she was four years old. She grew up in a single-mother home with an older half-brother, who owns a bar in Boston.
Shaw attended Michael Driscoll School in Brookline, during which time she played full court streetball at a nearby neighborhood park. Shaw said that basketball was a constant of her childhood, and she incorporated it into the pilot and third episode of SMILF. After receiving a scholarship in her junior year, Shaw transferred to the private school Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts, where she graduated in 2000. In 2007, she graduated from Barnard College with a degree in literature.
After college, Shaw decided to move to Los Angeles, but discovered she was pregnant. Much of her struggles to work as an actor while being a single mother are the loose inspiration for SMILF. A role in the 2014 ABC's ensemble series Mixology was a breakout role, providing Shaw with her first sense of financial stability since giving birth to her son.
In 2009, Shaw first received recognition in the completely improvised Katie Aselton-directed film The Freebie and then as the oddball drunken cheerleader Mary Jo Cacciatore in the 2010 sitcom Blue Mountain State.
In 2013, Shaw appeared in the HBO's TV series starring Stephen Merchant called Hello Ladies. She had roles in the 2013 independent film The Pretty One, which starred Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson, and the 2014 romantic comedy film Someone Marry Barry. Also in 2014, Shaw appeared in another independent feature, the drama Lullaby, which starred Garrett Hedlund and Amy Adams.
In 2015, Shaw had a recurring role on the first season of the television series Mr. Robot, where, for seven episodes, she played Shayla Nico, the drug dealing love interest of Rami Malek's character, Elliot Alderson.
In 2015, she appeared in the ABC Family pilot Tough Cookie as well as on the 2015 Fox TV series Mulaney. In 2016, Shaw reprised her role of Mary Jo Cacciatore from the 2010 series, in the movie Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland. Also in 2016, Shaw appeared in the Netflix series Flaked. She was a series regular on the 2016 TV series Good Girls Revolt.
Shaw's 2014 short film SMILF, which she wrote, directed and starred in opposite Thomas Middleditch, won the 2015 Short Film Jury Award for U.S. Fiction at Sundance. In 2015, SMILF was picked up by Showtime as a half-hour comedy television show with Shaw as showrunner, writing, directing, starring in, and producing the series.
SMILF, which was shot on location in Los Angeles and South Boston, received generally positive reviews, with her portrayal of single mother Bridgette Bird notable for its realism, insight, and biting humor. SMILF co-stars Connie Britton and Rosie O'Donnell, and tackles subjects like eating disorders and sexual abuse. Shaw said that the show was a way to discuss and portray the role of women on screen.
In 2016, Shaw returned to the Sundance Film Festival with another short film she wrote and directed, a dark comedy titled Too Legit, which stars Zoë Kravitz, Teresa Palmer, Nate Corddry and Clark Gregg. Too Legit is inspired by a satire of Congressman Todd Akin's controversial 2012 remarks about rape and pregnancy: "It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, [rape resulting in pregnancy is] really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."
In 2017, Shaw had a supporting role as Gail Hurley in the feature film Stronger, which was directed by David Gordon Green, and starred Jake Gyllenhaal as 2013 Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman. In November 2017, Showtime renewed SMILF for a second season.
In August 2016, Shaw married writer–producer Zach Strauss.
Shaw has a son, Isaac Love, from a prior relationship with director and actor Mark Webber. Shaw and Webber share joint custody of Isaac. Webber started dating his now-wife, actress Teresa Palmer, in 2012—Shaw brought Palmer, step-mother to Isaac, onto the cast of her 2016 short film Too Legit.
|2006||Just Like the Son||Brenda|
|2008||Altamont Now||Karen Kennedy|
|2009||The Northern Kingdom||Shauna|
|2009||The Freebie||Coffee Girl|
|2011||The End of Love||Evelyn|
|2013||The Pretty One||Claudia|
|2014||Someone Marry Barry||Camille|
|2014||SMILF||Bridgette Bird||Short film; writer and director|
|2016||Too Legit||Jess||Short film; writer and director|
|2016||Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland||Mary Jo Cacciatore|
|2016||Tough Cookie||Heidi||Short film|
|2005||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Marrissa||"Unchained" (Season 5, Episode 4)|
|2006||The Bedford Diaries||Simone||"I'm Gonna Love College" (Season 1, Episode 1)|
|2011||Glory Daze||Gina||"Hit Me with Your Test Shot" (Season 1, Episode 9)|
|2010–2011||Blue Mountain State||Mary Jo Cacciatore||Main cast (Seasons 2–3, 15 episodes)|
|2011||CSI: NY||Kelly Rose||"Brooklyn Til I Die" (Season 8, Episode 12)|
|2011||2 Broke Girls||Keefer||"And the High Holidays" (Season 2, Episode 12)|
|2013||Hello Ladies||Nikki||"The Limo" (Season 1, Episode 2)|
|2015||Mulaney||Julia||"Ruby" (Season 1, Episode 12)|
|2015||Tough Cookie||Heidi||"Pilot" (Season 1, Episode 1)|
|2015||Mr. Robot||Shayla Nico||Season 1 (7 Episodes)|
|2016||Good Girls Revolt||Naomi||8 Episodes|
|2017–present||SMILF||Bridgette Bird||Lead role; also creator, director, producer, and writer|
Awards and nominationsEdit
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|2015||Sundance Film Festival||Short Film Grand Jury Prize||SMILF (short film)||Nominated|
|Short Film Jury Award for U.S. Fiction||Won|
|2016||Short Film Grand Jury Prize||Too Legit (short film)||Nominated|
|South by Southwest Film Festival||SXSW Grand Jury Award for Narrative Short||—|
|American Film Institute||Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women ||—||—|
|2017||Writers Guild of America||Showrunner Training Program||—||—|
|Golden Globe Awards||Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy||SMILF||Nominated|
- Villarreal, Yvonne (November 4, 2017). "Frankie Shaw Aims to Shine a Light on a Seldom-seen Female Perspective with 'SMILF'". Television. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 30, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- Feldman, Dana. "Showtime Is Betting On New Frankie Shaw-Helmed Comedy Series 'SMILF'". Forbes. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- Sarner, Lauren (7 December 2017). "Actress Frankie Shaw takes a page from her own life on 'SMILF'". New York Post. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- Press, Joy (November 3, 2017). "The Single Mom's Guide to Sex, Love and Basketball". The New York Times.
- Pirnia, Garin (November 3, 2017). "There's More to This SMILF Than an Attention-Grabbing Name". Vanity Fair.
- Poniewozik, James (November 3, 2017). "Review: 'SMILF' Tallies the Costs of Motherhood". The New York Times.
- Adamson, Stephen (January 25, 2016). "We Interviewed Mr. Robot's Frankie Shaw and Spoke About Her Sundance Short Film 'Too Legit'". Moviepilot.
- Rao, Sonia (November 2, 2017). "Boston's Frankie Shaw Does It All on 'SMILF'". The Boston Globe.
- Turchiano, Danielle (November 19, 2017). "'SMILF' Creator Frankie Shaw on Bridgette's Hoop Dreams, Dealing With Trauma and Running Her First Series". Variety.
- "Alumna Frankie Shaw '00: Empowering Women in Film". Centre Connection: Parents' Newsletter, Milton Academy. 2016.
- "3000 Miles From Broadway: Barnard in the Entertainment Industry". Barnard Alumnae. Barnard College. December 2, 2015.
- Wagoner, Mackenzie (October 27, 2017). "Frankie Shaw on What a 'SMILF' Is, and How She Became One on Showtime". NYLON.
- Bacle, Ariana (November 3, 2017). "How Frankie Shaw's 'SMILF' explores the messiness of motherhood". Entertainment Weekly.
- Kenigsberg, Ben (June 6, 2014). "Film Review: 'Lullaby'". Variety.
- The Deadline Team (November 3, 2014). "Frankie Shaw Joins 'Mr. Robot'; Nick Westrate in 'Turn'". Deadline Hollywood.
- Goldberg, Lesley (May 11, 2017). "Showtime Picks Up 'SMILF' Comedy to Series From Frankie Shaw". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "2015 Sundance Film Festival Announces short Film Awards". Sundance.org. January 28, 2015. Archived from the original on May 3, 2015. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- Ali, Lorraine (November 4, 2017). "Showtime's 'SMILF' Goes Where Most Shows Don't—Working-class, Single Motherhood". Los Angeles Times.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 17, 2015). "Frankie Shaw's Sundance Short "SMILF" to Be Developed as Showtime Comedy". Archived from the original on December 31, 2015.
- "SMILF: 63 Metascore". Metacritic. November 5, 2017.
- Gilbert, Matthew (November 2, 2017). "In 'SMILF,' Shaw's Southie Mom Has Room to Grow". The Boston Globe.
- Goodman, Tim (November 3, 2017). "'SMILF': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Patterson, Troy (November 5, 2017). "'SMILF,' a Rude, Nimble Comedy of Sex and the Single Mother". The New Yorker.
- Marine, Brooke (November 6, 2017). "Connie Britton, Rosie O'Donnell, and Frankie Shaw on 'SMILF', Their Stealthily Subversive New TV Comedy". W Magazine.
- Travers, Ben (October 30, 2017). "SMILF Review: Frankie Shaw's New TV Series Brings Meaning to Season 1". IndieWire.
- Saraiya, Sonia (November 20, 2017). "'SMILF' Creator Frankie Shaw on Her Own Story of Harassment and Bridgette's Craigslist Misadventure". Variety.
- Dowd (February 28, 2015). "Dirty Words from Pretty Mouths". Sunday Review. The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 27, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
- Melton, Siân (January 21, 2016). "Sundance 2016 Women Directors: Meet Frankie Shaw – 'Too Legit'". IndieWire.
- Jaco, Charles (August 19, 2012). "Jaco Report: Full Interview with Todd Akin". FOX2now.com.
- Lincoln, Ross A. (April 30, 2016). "Frankie Shaw Joins Boston Marathon Bombing Drama 'Stronger'". Deadline Hollywood.
- Schwartz, Ryan (November 29, 2017). "SMILF Renewed for Season 2". TVLine. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Palmer, Teresa (August 28, 2016). "A magical weekend to celebrate the incredible love between Isaacs Mama @frankieshawisag & Isaacs now step-dad Zach Strauss! Thank you for including us in all the beautiful ways you did; asking us to do a speech (!!), including us in the wedding party and having Bodhi as a "flower boy" (he was very proud), we love you guys! #family #coparenting #tgifandz #love". Teresa Palmer. Instagram.
- Cohn, Beverly (March 21, 2013). "Mark Webber Discusses "The End Of Love"". Santa Monica Mirror. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
- "2016 Participants". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
- "Showrunner Training Program Alumni". Writer's Guild of America.
- "Golden Globes: Full list of nominees". BBC. Retrieved January 9, 2018.