‘The Rehearsal’: Angela Explains Why She Left, Religious Arguments

Nathan Fielder brought “The Rehearsal” to new heights with this week’s episode, tackling the issue of raising a (fake) child in an interfaith household on his HBO social experiment series. Angela, the subject of the show’s primary rehearsal, addressed the episode’s heated religious discussions, as well as why she chose to exit her rehearsal, in a video posted to the “Nathan for You Businessposting” Facebook group, named after Fielder’s previous Comedy Central show.

Angela, who has now appeared in four episodes of “The Rehearsal,” is a devout Christian who approached her childrearing simulation with an interest in faith-based education. But after Nathan (we’ll use his first name when referring to his on-screen persona) joins Angela’s rehearsal as a father figure, he grows intent on incorporating Judaism, his own faith, into the (again, fake) child’s life.

One of the most tense scenes in Episode 5 — which aired Friday — involves Angela and Nathan arguing about the possibility of leading an interfaith household over dinner. Nathan wishes to “raise Adam with Judaism, too,” while Angela will not budget.

“I unfortunately cannot participate in Judaism because Judaism denies that Christ came and died for us,” she says in the episode. “So I can’t deny that, and I wouldn’t raise a child to deny that, because it’s the truth.”

Changing the subject, Nathan asks Angela what her favorite movie is, which brings awkward comic relief when she answers: “I love the movie ‘Apocalypto’… I think Mel Gibson makes really good movies. He’s one of my favorite directors.”

Sheepishly, Nathan responds: “He’s a little… I think he’s just said bad stuff about Jews.”

Angela addressed this scene in the video she shared after the episode aired, explaining that “the reason why I love the movie ‘Apocalypto’ is purely because of its cinematography, its message and just the sheer art and the masterpiece that it is, as a movie. It has nothing to do with who directed it. That’s not why I fell in love with the movie.”

Throughout the episode, Nathan takes their rehearsal child, Adam, to synagogue and gets him a private Jewish tutor, all while lying to Angela by telling her that he’s taking him to swimming lessons.

“As much as we all love Mel Gibson as a director, he’s not the director of this show,” Nathan says in the episode, in voiceover. “And in this show, I get to decide which religion gets featured.”

Later on, Nathan invites the tutor, Miriam, to have a discussion with Angela about raising an interfaith child. The conversation quickly escalates, as Angela maintains her refusal to incorporate Judaism into the rehearsal. Miriam calls her an “anti-Semite.”

In her video, Angela addresses their discussion and the way it played out onscreen.

“Miriam had a lot of fire in her belly and I liked that about her. And we talked about a lot of things actually,” Angela said. “And all in all, I’m satisfied with how the cut came out. Obviously, I prayed on it, and just left it up to God. you know. I knew that I took a risk going into this. I didn’t have control over the final edit. They did a good job.”

Angela also praised Anna LaMadrid, the actor who portrays her in Nathan’s own mini-rehearsal.

“I was floored by her performance with Nathan,” she said. “Wow. So kudos to her. It was a pleasure meeting her. We connected right away. She also likes to dance, so yes, I really felt like she was my kindred in some ways.”

Finally, Angela addressed why she ended up leaving the experiment at the end of the episode.

“It had become more so Nathan’s rehearsal instead of mine,” she said. “And since we didn’t agree about how to proceed, I’m not the boss, so it was time for me to go and let Nathan do his thing. I’m really looking forward to Episode 6 and seeing what he does with it and I will see you guys next time.”

Watch part of the video, cut due to Twitter’s time constraints, down below.