From Acting To Mensa: How This Actress Balances Hollywood Life

Actress Britt Rentschler Bjoern Kommerell

From Acting To Mensa: How This Actress Balances Hollywood Life

By Cheryl Robinson, FORBES
Feb 19, 2019

Britt Rentschler, Hollywood actress, is now a part of the elite Mensa community which is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. She’s known for reoccurring roles in the Detour and the Resident, and most recently her role as Linda in the hit movie Instant Family starring Mark Wahlberg.

Instant Family

Actress Britt Rentschler

Image source: Bjoern Kommerell


Instant Family is a story based on two parents who adopt three young children. “Working on Instant Family was so wonderful,” Rentschler smiles. “It started at the top with our director, Sean Anders, and his writing partner, John Morris. They did such a beautiful job with the story. It’s actually Sean’s story. His idea of having the story be fun but also heartfelt trickled down. It felt like all of these stars that came on board, came because they loved what Sean and John were doing…the story could bring a lot of exposure to what can be a forgotten world.”

Rentschler’s goal wasn’t always to appear on the big screen. Her career as an actress started in theater where she participated in theater competitions. It wasn’t until she attended graduate school that her desire to be in Hollywood developed. “When I finished undergrad,” she explains, “I found myself unsure of where to go next. ‘Should I go to New York? Or should I try to do regional theater?’” She decided to obtain her master’s degree which would enable her to stay in her field, be able to conduct research within the theater realm and be able to stay involved. While juggling writing her thesis and still acting, Rentschler also taught at the university level. However, she knew she wanted to step out of her comfort zone.

“I had this idea that I have been in my world for so long,” she states, “that I hadn’t seen outside of it. I was very comfortable in it, and I really loved it. I thought if I wanted to try something different this was the time to do it. As soon as I finished my master’s degree I traveled for a couple of months in Europe. When I came back I decided to go to California. I didn’t know what the industry was going to be like but I felt like it was a different type of storytelling that I’ve never tried before; it was a totally different industry that I wanted to experience before I stayed the course that I had been on for so long.”

Backpacking across Europe helped her fully develop her confidence to try something new and different. “Something about developing that sense of trust with yourself and with your outside environments was really key for me,” Rentschler comments, “to stay on the course for me going to California.”

Instant Family

Image source: Alex J. Berliner


Once in Hollywood, she faced a new world: a world compiled of rejections. In order to stay on course, she had to have a strong sense of self-worth. “I developed a lot of trust for which was my academic brain. I researched schools and I made sure I was at a studio. I interviewed a lot of people and found a common denominator. I was satisfying a part of myself that I was very familiar with, very comfortable with academics, while I partnered that with taking risks that I had never taken before. I tried to find a balance between those two things…There were moments when I thought I was doing it all wrong. I had to learn a whole new set of skills to adjust to the medium. People would be talking about agents and managers and heads of studios. I thought to myself ‘what am I doing?’ I could talk about Chekhov, the Russian playwright, all day long but I didn’t know who ran CBS. Allowing myself to be scared and understanding I was learning a new set of skills while being able to find a balance between the two kept me excited and focused.”

Rentschler aims to remain multi-faceted. With her recent induction into Mensa, she’s proving to the industry that she has more to offer than portraying characters on screen. “Academics have always been a cornerstone in my life; it was about the books and the arts. My heroes are women like Geena Davis and Hedy Lamar who haven’t been defined by one thing. Being a part of Mensa thrills me, because if it can empower or inspire another little girl to feel both smart and beautiful in her own skin, then I would say it is one of the highest honors.”

Instant Family

Actress Britt Rentschler

Image source: Benjo Arwas


With each new role and transition Rentschler focuses on these three steps:

  • Research as much as possible. Information is such a powerful weapon that you can lean back on when you feel fear creeping up.
  • Trust yourself and the people you’re surrounding yourself with; take stock of your environment. Are these people feeding your fears or are encouraging you and lifting you up?
  • Have a good practice of either meditation, yoga or energy work. The more tools you have to keep you balanced, the more joyful evolving is.

“My vision, as my visibility grows in my acting career,” Rentschler concludes, “is to be an Oprah. Making sure wellness is as important as entertainment. When my clients come to me for coaching, I don’t believe it’s just about the acting. I believe it’s being in your body, being in your voice and being in your wellness and what you have to contribute to the world.”

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