Witches of East End: Rachel Boston on Ingrid's "otherworldly" experiences ahead
Magic would make our lives so much easier. That's the assumption Lifetime's Witches of East End began with, but as the first season wore on, sisters Freya and Ingrid Beauchamp discovered that a lot more complications arose in their lives than had ever been present before.
One of the best things about Witches of East End is how relatable the Beauchamp women are. We can identify with Freya's wild heart, Wendy's unflinching pragmatism, Joanna's caretaking instincts and, of course, Ingrid's shy bookishness. Her reaction to finding out she comes from a long line of witches rang true — instead of the enthusiasm bounding from Freya (Jenna Dewan-Tatum), Ingrid initially approached her new powers with more caution. She didn't need a magic fix to her life; she liked it the way it was.
Rachel Boston, the actress behind librarian-turned-witch, Ingrid Beauchamp, agrees. "Before Ingrid discovered she was a witch, she was happy living inside of her comfort zone, in the library and with her family," she says. "There's a line from the first episode of Season 2 that I loved for her journey: 'I'm the key. I'm a bada** witch, so why is everything still so hard?' That's where Ingrid is now. She's fully accepted who she is and is figuring out the best way to navigate this new path. And to whom much is given, much is expected."
Ingrid, often referred to as the most gifted of the four Beauchamp witches, has certainly come a long way from her beginnings. "I often think back to the first time I read the pilot, and then to the first scene I ever filmed on the show, which was Ingrid opening up the breakfront and the door to magic, and I am absolutely blown away by the journey we have taken since the very beginning. Seeing Ingrid find strength through all of the challenges is really inspiring. She's resilient and finding her true voice. Once she steps into her power completely, there's no telling what she will be able to do."
When the second season began, audiences got to see a whole new side to Ingrid. She's evolved from the shy, but pragmatic, person she was at the beginning of the series and her evolution has been something Boston's particularly enjoyed exploring. "The evolution was so fun to play and you will see a lot of strength in Season 2!" she teases. "Ingrid starts out the season standing up for herself and putting herself out there in ways she did not have the courage to do before she discovered she was a witch. She's moving towards fearless and bold and even starts wandering into the forest and gets involved with something incredibly otherworldly. Her universe is expanding."
A big part of that expansion is learning to embrace the other facets of the character. It was revealed that in 1906, Ingrid's intellectual curiosity led her down a darker path, and the idea that the darkness may still be inside her is a question that present-day Ingrid has struggled with. "Life and love are very complicated when you are a witch. And exploring different sides of a person is always a beautiful challenge. Joanna says to Ingrid after the past life memory, "We all have darkness inside of us, Ingrid. Even the best of us." I think making peace with the past and accepting the sides of ourselves that we may not want to see is part of stepping into the light," Boston says.
It's a recurring theme in Witches of East End, stepping into that light and learning to forgive the people who have wronged you, and Ingrid, in particular, has always had a hard time with that. "Letting go is something I am really working on in my own life," Boston says candidly. "Honoring the past and letting it go to fully embrace the here and now. I think Ingrid is quick to see the shadow of a person. She can see the dark side, and in order to protect herself, she sometimes closes off, like she did with Victor [her father]. But in doing that, she also closes off to parts of herself. As she is learning to embrace and accept her own shadow and dark side, she is learning to forgive others and forgive herself."
One of the biggest things Ingrid's had to forgive herself for is the death of her boyfriend, Adam (Jason George). When she unthinkingly cast a resurrection spell to bring back her aunt, the price was the life of someone else Ingrid loved and Adam was the one who ended up paying it. "She learned so much about love and has a deeper understanding of what true love is since she's experienced loss and found the courage to say goodbye," Boston tells us. When she later started sparking with Mike (Enver Gjokaj) and debating the possibility of trying again, his obsession with Asgard not only drove him mad and ruined their chance, it cost him his life. Boston, however, sees it as ultimately an important milestone for Ingrid. "Mike, as painful as that was, he led her to Asgard and proved she was the key in the end, so he showed her a new level of strength. It just sometimes takes extreme measures to learn these lessons." And even after two sad endings? "I believe she is ready for love."
Still, it's not all heaviness on the Witches of East End set. Everyone needs a break from the angst and Boston is quick to share one of her favorite stories from shooting. "When we were filming in the backyard of the Beauchamp house during the first season, it was about 4 a.m. and we were chanting Latin in the scene. It was late — even for a family of witches -— and we somehow started making up our own language because the Latin just wouldn't stick in our brains. At some point 'Servico' became 'Al Pacino' and we just couldn't stop laughing."
There's also a lot of fun to be had in exploring Ingrid and Freya's past lives and Boston has some great thoughts on where else the girls have gone. "The 1500s would be amazing. I bet Ingrid was friends with Shakespeare. He might have helped her start a library. And Jenna and I both love Hawaii so maybe we lived there in the 1960s," she says.
And as for stealing some of that Beauchamp magic for her own life? Well, she can't choose just one. "A healing spell is powerful. To use energy to help heal people spiritually, emotionally and physically. I would also love to time travel. A time traveling healer witch. Yes, that sounds nice, but a time traveling healer witch who can fly. I would copy down the 'time traveling flying healer witch spell' and be off on an amazing adventure."