It must be interesting to be Seychelle Gabriel.
From The Last Airbender to The Legend of Korra, she is making a name for herself in the acting community. To add a cherry on top of that, she is also a regular cast member on one of the best sci-fi shows on TV, Falling Skies in which she plays the role of Lourdes, a pre-med college student who assists the chief medic Anne played by Moon Bloodgood.
TV Equals had the immense pleasure to chat with this rising star about what is coming up for in the upcoming second season of the hit series, her new love interest and her future career plans.
Check out what she had to say below and don’t miss the season 2 premiere of Falling Skies which airs June 17, 2012 at 9/8c on TNT.
You must be really happy about ‘Falling Skies’ getting a second season.
Seychelle Gabriel: I’m so stoked.
What’s coming up for Lourdes this season?
Seychelle Gabriel: A lot of really cool stuff. She’s got definitely a bigger role in the medic territory with Anne. She’s second in command pretty much, and they just really condensed this unit. We’ve got this med bus, this old Greyhound kind of bus that we made into a makeshift hospital. It’s a lot more intense in that respect.
Lourdes also has a new love interest this season, a character named Jamil played by Brandon Jay McLaren and that’s really kind of cute. She’s someone who didn’t really have anyone. She’s just had Anne this whole time, and now she has someone to call a best friend, kind of thing, and then there’s also a lot of friendships and challenges that come. She actually gets into a little bit of her culture, as well, her Mexican culture.
How do you feel that this season is different from the first one?
Seychelle Gabriel: It’s just a lot more intense. The episodes are more action packed. Last season we kind of settled down in a few places. You have to say settled down with a grain of salt, but when we found that school in the first season and when we were in that cabin before the time that we got ambushed by skitters and stuff, but this time we’re on the road, kind of stopping here and there, wherever we can.
We’re always being uprooted before we can ever settle or dig or feet in. You feel that on set when you’re working because you’re literally working in different places every week. It’s intense. A lot of nights. I got to work in scenes with aliens this year which was really exciting because Lourdes didn’t really have any closeness with aliens unless they were on a dissecting table. So, that was fun.
When all the wounded are being brought in and it’s full of action, do you have to remember a lot of medical terminology and techniques?
Seychelle Gabriel: Yeah. We actually have a woman on set who used to be an R. N. and she has counseled on several shows. She really helps Moon [Bloodgood] and I out with pronunciations and just being able to do these things as quickly as if they were second nature, like blood pressure and checking the right places.
It almost becomes so fast and crazy that you wish you could improvise it, but to have knowledge to improvise it, that would take years of learning, I think. So, we have her to give us tons of suggestions of what we can do, that we can look at and what the priority in the scene is.
Do you ever ask Noah Wyle to give you tips because he has experience doing that?
Seychelle Gabriel: Oh, yeah, for sure, and he has so many suggestions. There are little tricks that they used to have for taking gloves off and stuff like that on ‘ER’ because that’s such a bitch in a scene, when you need to put on gloves really quickly, rubber gloves. If you’re trying to put them on quickly it becomes the slowest process in the world. I think that his mom was a nurse, too, and so he has so much information in his brain, medically, which is cool.
You mentionned Lourdes is getting a love interest. How has it been working with Brandon who we also talked to?
Seychelle Gabriel: I love Brandon. He was such a great person to work with for that because he just pushed me a lot and kind of inspired me to take risks and stuff. It was fun. He’s so laid back, and I can get kind of shy when it comes to love interest type of stuff which is just how I am.
Working with someone who’s super laid back and cool like Brandon just breaks down all this random crap that you don’t want around when you’re doing a scene. So, that was cool. We’re always joking around. He’s a great actor and so that’s really cool, too.
Your career has been slightly atypical in that you’ve started on great projects like ‘The Last Airbender,’ ‘Honey 2,’ ‘Weeds.’ That’s a really great start. What inspired you to get into acting?
Seychelle Gabriel: I kind of grew up on sets. I did a lot of extra work as a kid. My family does a lot of that, and I grew to really love being on set. Although, initially I didn’t want to be an actor as a kid, but going to set was always really cool because I always knew the people I was working with and we’d be next to dogs and it became like a second home, a place where I could goof around and do whatever.
But then in high school I started to really seriously perform and I joined show choir. I think the rush that I got from being on stage and performing in front of an audience solidified things for me in that arena.
What’s your immediate plan in terms of how you want your career to evolve?
Seychelle Gabriel: I don’t know. Everything thus far has been really spontaneous and I haven’t planned it to be that way, and I just think that continuing that way is cool with me, whatever springs up and just always looking for what’s interesting.
I really like music, too, and that’s cool because a lot of roles that I’m going out for now are musical. There’s just a lot of cool elements and so many different directions that you can go in with acting. I’m just playing it day by day and I don’t really have a plan.
What’s one word that defines what ‘Falling Skies’ means to you?
Seychelle Gabriel: Oh, gosh. One word. Family, I guess.
What’s a word that defines your character, Lourdes?
Seychelle Gabriel: I think maybe just “resilient”.
Can you describe Jamil’s character in one word?
Seychelle Gabriel: I’m just going to go ahead and say “Sexy”. That’s what I’m going to do. It’s because his character is like this mechanic and there’s nothing hotter than a guy working on a car. That’s just the ultimate dude thing.
I asked the same question to Brandon about your character. I’m going to give you three words and you have to guess which one he used. 1. Spectacular 2. Luminescent 3. Magnificent
Seychelle Gabriel: I’m going to go with spectacular.
No. It’s luminescent.
Seychelle Gabriel: Ooh, that’s a really cool word.
He thought about it, too, for a long time.
Seychelle Gabriel: Now I feel bad about mine. It’s not as cool as that one.[laughs]
Do you have any other upcoming projects on the horizon?
Seychelle Gabriel: No. Right now, not officially. I’m going to be working on an indie film that my friend wrote this summer and that’s tentatively planned. I guess besides that I think ‘The Legend of Korra.’ We just finished season two, the cartoon that I do for Nickelodeon and it’s airing right now, season one. It’s doing awesome. I think that we might head into season three in the future which would be cool.
How is that experience, doing voice acting?
Seychelle Gabriel: It’s really cool. It’s weird. You get all this freedom because there’s nobody watching you and I kind of felt compelled to become cartoonish which is not what you’re supposed to do. You’re just acting in one place, and it was a really cool learning experience. You’re just in your own little bubble being what you are. It’s weird, but it’s fun. The coolest thing has been working with other voice actors because it’s just a whole other beast and delightful work. Some people sit down. Some people stand down. Some are brilliant and can put on these weird voices. Some people have to throw their arms in the air and other people can be still and have all this energy come out of them which is super cool to witness.
If you could guest star on any other TV show, which one would it be?
Seychelle Gabriel: Treme,’ the show on HBO about New Orleans. That’s my favorite show. I would be on that one. I’d be in the second line, the parade, with my umbrella, dancing.
Do you play an instrument?
Seychelle Gabriel: Yeah. I play guitar and harmonica.
Will we get to see any of that in ‘Falling Skies’?
Seychelle Gabriel: Yeah, hopefully. You saw it in the first season, Lourdes do that on the piano which is kind of awesome.
(Top/Bottom Photo Credit: Andrew McLeod)