Interview: STL's Ariane Rinehart Talks NBC's 'The Sound of Music' And Carrie Underwood

By Katlyn Moncada
In Culture
ariane rinehart

Ariane Rinehart. Courtesy of IMDB

At 19 years old, Ariane Rinehart is already making a name for herself in her acting career. Originally from St. Louis, Rinehart is a junior at Barnard College, the women’s college of Columbia University in New York City, studying sociology and German.

You may have seen her earlier this year in Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors,” but she was most recently announced to play the role of Liesl in NBC’s live production of “The Sound of Music,” with country music superstar Carrie Underwood as Maria and “True Blood’s” Stephen Moyer as Captain Von Trapp. Though she has a busy schedule singing and rehearsing five days a week, ALIVE got to catch up with the actress.

ALIVE: What was your first role?
AR: I started doing ballet and performing shows when I was very small, so my first role in a musical was as the littlest Snow Child in, appropriately, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” at Stages St. Louis. I’ve been doing theatre ever since, and since coming to New York, have been entering film work as well.

ALIVE: How did you join the cast of “The Sound of Music?”
AR: I joined “The Sound of Music” via an audition, like I would for any other TV/film/theatre role. The process was pretty extensive. With the initial audition, callbacks and work sessions, it was about six days of auditioning spread across a month and a half. Lots and lots of dancing, singing, mixing and matching with Rolfs and the other children.

ALIVE: How is new life with the Von Trapp family?
AR: The family is really wonderful. We spend A LOT of time together, especially the children—between blocking, music rehearsal, recording the CD and down time—and we’ll be spending even more time together once we get to the sound stage where the live performance will be shot. We definitely feel like a real family; we bicker, make up, joke and play together, sing. They’re excellent and very talented.

ALIVE: How is working with Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer?
AR: Carrie is absolutely wonderful. She’s like a ray of sunshine personified, and is insanely talented and hard working. Some days, especially when we were recording the CD, she’ll work seven days a week, all day long, and she is always lovely, always kind and always ready to work. It’s amazing. Maria is a huge undertaking, both in how much she is in the show and how iconic the character is, and Carrie is going to do a wonderful job.

Stephen is also lovely. Like Carrie, he hangs out with the “family” during breaks. He’s great to work with, an excellent actor, and is wonderful to learn from.

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Ella Watts-Gorman as Luisa, Sophia Caruso as Brigitta, Grace Rundhaug as Marta, Michael Nigro as Friedrich, Carrie Underwood as Maria, Ariane Rinehart as Liesl, Peyton Ella as Gretl, Joe West as Kurt. Photo courtesy of BroadwayWorld.com

ALIVE: What was your best day on set so far?
AR: The best day on set was our complete read and sing through. To have the entire cast in one room was amazing. There is so much talent involved in this production, both in the cast and the creative/production team. The nuns, oh my goodness, the nuns. Astounding sound. Really incredible. It was great to finally see the show as a whole instead of scene by scene, and it made me even more excited for Dec. 5.

ALIVE: You are going to be in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” next Spring. What is your role and how was that experience?
AR: I will be Eve (as in Adam and Eve) in Aronofsky’s “Noah” in a brief Genesis flashback sequence. That was an incredible experience. Besides filming it in Iceland, working with Darren was so incredible. He really is brilliant, and I feel so lucky to have my first film experience be in one of his projects.

ALIVE: Where will we see you next?
AR: You’ll be seeing me next live on Dec. 5 on NBC! Well, technically you’ll see me the week before when NBC releases the “making of” documentary that follows the process of putting “The Sound of Music” together. “The Sound of Music” has really taken over my life for the time being. I’ve taken the semester off, as rehearsals are Monday through Friday, at least, from 10am to 6pm every week up until the actual performance.

It’s been so thrilling to be working with so many brilliant, successful and wonderful people on a project as ambitious and magical as “The Sound of Music.” I’m really excited for everyone to see it.

Check out the trailer now and be sure to catch the live production of “The Sound of Music” Dec. 5 on NBC at 7pm CST.

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