PETAKIDS.com - Gabrielle Christian Interview

You may know Gabrielle Christian as the lovely Spencer on The N’s series South of Nowhere. Something you may not know about Gabrielle, however, is that she’s a big-time animal lover! Recently, she was sweet enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to talk to PETA Kids about a recent addition to her family—her rescued dog, Buddy Jr.—and about the many projects she has in the works. Sit back and enjoy our little interview with Ms. Christian herself.

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Tilzy.TV - Girltrash! Review

Background
For an alternative to straight- or male-oriented genres, check out Girltrash! Launched in June 2007, this series appears on OurChart, a website created by Ilene Chaiken and other people behind Showtime’s The L Word. This social networking and entertainment site provides “a central meeting place just for us -- lesbians, dykes, queer girls, gay women, high femmes, butches, drag kings, bois, transwomen and transmen -- however we define ourselves.” The three-minute episodes are written, directed, edited, and produced by Angela Robinson, who also directed D.E.B.S. and Herbie Fully Loaded. Alexandra Kondracke is the director of photography and executive producer. Angela and Alex, along with most of the cast, have worked on The L Word and other lesbian-friendly projects.

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My Very Favorite Beauty Products!

Hey there guys & dolls!

So I just wanted to let y'all know that my big sis is now an official Independent Beuaty Consultant at Mary Kay! Yay!

Mary Kay is an AWESOME line of beauty products- from skin care, to anti-aging products, to any and every kind of amazing make up out there. In fact, I use Mary Kay both personally and as my character Spencer on South of Nowhere. It works great for every day life, as well as on-camera and redcarpet style events.

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Ask Gabrielle - 06/23/2006

What song/lyrics can describe your life at this moment and why?

REASON, Melanie C. (Thank you Nina!) Mainly because I have been just so busy with work over the last few months that a part of me just wants an emotional escape. Also, this song really applies to my boyfriend Justin because he makes me feel this way. And especially now that he's back from Iraq, he is able to physically be there for me as well.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what is one thing you would have to do today?

Savor every second with the people I love.

What's the current status on "South of Pico?"

Tentatively scheduled to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival sometime in 2007. However, from the last of what I've been informed, the film is still in post-production/editing (films take a great deal longer than TV).

What is the biggest compliment you've ever received?

That I am beautiful on the inside.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being in love. The love you find in your family, friends, work, co-workers, and anybody and everyone that comes into your life.

What's the most challenging thing you've done in you're life so far?

Sacrificing the known for the unknown.

What type of character would you love to play and why?

I'd love to play a more "edgy" darker kind of role. Preferably something a little more versatile than always playing the girl-next-door.

What is your favorite thing to do in LA?

Independent Movie Theaters.

If you had to choose between: Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and Wicked-Which would you go see?

Hmmm, well, I'm dying to see Phantom because I think it's possibly one of the greatest love stories with such an important universal message on love. However, Wicked would also be awesome because the Wizard of Oz is one of my childhood favorites. Fyi, I also had the opportunity to play Dorothy on stage when I was a sophomore in high school! SO MUCH FUN!

What do you look for in the roles you choose to play?

Challenges. Education. It's fascinating how much you can learn about a person by stepping in their shoes for a few hours of the day.

What's the best gift you've received from a fan?

Someone sent me Christmas tree ornaments that they personally had made and designed for our soldiers overseas. This was very special to me considering that my boyfriend was in Iraq during that time, and it was just a very emotional time period for me. Also, mix cd's of my favorite jams has also been one of the greatest gifts ever. :0)

Ever had a creepy fan experience? Do you want one? (Lol)

LOL, not yet, fortunately. And no, I would definitely prefer to never have one!

Are you afraid of becoming stereotyped?

No. And you know, I think it's really up to me and the choices I make in my career path for people to see my capabilities as an actress.

Does being publically recognized faze your own perception of yourself? Does it matter more or less to you what others think?

Luckily, thus far I've had awesome experiences with fans. I hope it stays this way for sure! Lol. And of course it matters to me what other people think....I mean, who honestly doesn't care? And especially if you are in a profession where your public appearance can make or break your entire career.

How do you feel about sex scenes and nudity in movies and/or TV? Would you ever, if it was necessary for a role, consider doing anything like that?

I'd prefer to always keep as much clothes on as I possibly can, LOL. However, if it came down to Nicole Kidman type movie where there is a beautiful love scene (ie: Cold Mountain), or perhaps there is an essential scene to the movie that just can't go on without it (ie: Hilary Swank, "Boys Don't Cry"), I would for sure consider whatever possibilities both myself and the production company can collaborate on.


"I recently read 'Fortune's Rocks' by Anita Shreve as a recommendation from you and really enjoyed it. I would love to read another. Is there another one you would recommend?''

Og Mondino's "The World's Greatest Salesman." This book has incredible life lessons and important values to learn from.

Any movies/television shows/books that have made you cry?

Most Recents....
Movies:
White Oleander, Down in the Valley, The Notebook, Fried Green Tomatoes, 21 Grams, The Sound of Music.
Television: LOST, Season 1 (the background stories of the survivors are extremely emotionally moving), Big Love.
Books: Sidharta, Worlds Greatest Salesman, A Walk to Remember.


Did you watch the current American Idol? If so, who was your favorite?

I could only watch a few episodes....but I loved McPhee's voice, and I thought that guy with the long hair in the last 8 or something was pretty hot. LOL.


SON:

Do you think you've grown as an actress since you started working on SON?

On-screen, yes. More than ever before.

I know a lot of actors say sometimes they bring their 'character' home with them. Do you ever bring 'Spencer' home with you, or do you leave that once you leave the set?

Oh gosh, there's so much about Spencer that has already been a part of me for my whole life: our upbringing, values, sincerity, following our heart no matter what, etc, etc, etc. Spence is extremely dear to me, and of course a little bit of her goes everywhere with me. She's taught me so much about people and social acceptance.

Were there any lines from season one that you tripped up on or couldn't get out right?

Well not any specifics really.....but some of our work hours can get pretty tough and I'll have a big week where I am just tired by the end of it and I may stumble a little on a word or two.

Do you have a least favorite scene from season one? If so, why?

Nope! Love 'em all.

Do you personally want a "First Time" to happen between Spencer & Ashley in the show?

Oh heck yea. I think Spence and Ash are definite soul mates.

What do you think Spencer admires most about Ashley?

Her attitude, her positivness, her negativeness, her sarcasm, her ability to say whatever the heck she feels. All these qualities are something that Spence has not really been able to come to terms to with herself yet, so of course she looks up to Ash for all of her stregths.

Ignoring age/gender, if you could have played any character on SON other than Spencer, who would you have chosen to portray and why?

Ashley for sure. I mean, c'mon, Ashley is so freakin’ hot. And her wardrobe is definitely a plus. :0)

How do you feel about working with such talented directors such as Donna Dietch and Robert Townsend? What directors are working on season 2?

Oh my goodness, all of our directors have been such a great blessing for our show. Townsend is phenomenal because he is also an actor and has that compassion that we actors need on set. And luckily, all of our directors have been extremely personable and easy to collaborate our ideas with.
Season 2 has been great so far. Robert Townsend is back, Charles Randolph-Wright is back, Bethany Rooney (who did a bunch of episodes on 90210, and also ironically just did the new NBC show "WINDFALL" with me), and NancyLee Myatt one of our writers/executive producers will also be coming on board to direct this season.

Is it weird being back on set with everyone and filming after being on break for so long? Or is it like school, and after the first day everything feels like you never left?

Yup, it's just like coming back from Summer Vacation, except in our case, it's completely the other way around. Instead, we work three months and have 9 months off! Lol, how fabulous, right?

Are you aware of the growing fan base in other countries around the world? How does it feel to be recognized in other countries?

Yes, I am very aware of this, and I think it's just incredible. Such an honor.

Do you have any special acting techniques? Like emotional memory for example-do you think that's a useful technique when approaching dramatic scenes?

Well, I don't really tend to do any specific acting techniques, I just try and live in the moment as much as I can and feel what the character would feel in that precise moment.

How do you prepare yourself when you have to face a scene loaded with tension, like a kiss or a glance between Mandy and you? Do you think the chemistry between you and your co-star is important?

I'll admit, the scenes with alot of tension can get pretty intense sometimes, especially considering me and Ash's storyline. But what makes it worth it at the end of the day is the fact that me and Mandy are fortunate to have amazing chemistry both on-screen and off. We just click, physically and emotionally, and this is very important to me indeed.

Who's the person most likely to forget their lines on the set?

Not really anyone in particular, some days cast members just have better or worse days than others.

If you could pick anyone to have a guest spot on SON, who would it be and who would they play?

My best friend in LA, Alice Greczyn. She is so genuine, wonderful and beautiful! Also an actress and a model out here in LA, and she's also a series regular on the new NBC summer series WINDFALL with Luke Perry. It's pretty funny, but I just actually filmed a guest star spot for two episodes on her series, and I'd love love love if she could come do mine now!

What do you think about the large number of fans that are crazily obsessed with the show?

I LOVE YOU!


JUST FOR LAUGHS:

"Hey Gaby, so are the 'boom mikes' going to get their own introduction in the opening credits for season 2?''

Hahaha.....awww, that's not very nice! Jon and Dave work their asses off!

How does it feel to have more girls crushing on you than boys at the moment?

Heck, it feels pretty damn good to have anyone crushing on you, guy or girl, doesn't it?!

Can you connect yourself to Kevin Bacon in six degrees yet?

LOL, ummm....

If you could be any inanimate object, what would it be and why?

Ask me again in a few months....

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

I'd be a puppy! Puppies are so cute and vivacious! I just love their energy. And I love anything and everything that has to do with little babies. :0)


SINGLE ANSWERS:

What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?

Down in the Valley, Indie Release, Edward Norton & Evan Rachel Wood.

Who would be your ultimate co-star?

Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Christian Bale, Johnny Depp.

What was the last CD you bought?

Lol, thanks to MIX CD's, I hardly ever buy. Last one I bought at the store was probably Kelly Clarkson Breakaway. I know, I know...

Who was your favorite Couple on Dawson's Creek?

Pacey and his teacher. :0)

What's your favorite soccer team? (or sports team in general)

DC United baby! Oh, and the Lakers were ranking up last year, too....

Ask Gabrielle - 03/31/2006

Do you feel pressure in "Hollywood" to look a certain way/be a certain size?

Oh heck yea! All the time. And anyone who says they aren't pressured are not telling the truth, because out here, I think everyone is to a certain extent. Hollywood is just such an image based environment, and it's not JUST about being fashionable and thin. I mean, especially being in the public eye, this means that you must maintain your so-called "image" 24-7. This can be difficult to live up to even if you're having a rough day, ya know? Although I try my very best not to let it get to me so much. I think it's important to stay level-headed and have friends and family that are in no way involved in the industry. It keeps ya on your feet for sure.

If you could guest role on any show, what show would it be and why?

LOST. I absolutely LOVE everything about that show. The writing is fabulously written. And I just think it'd be really cool to film on location with such a unique group of talented people.

What other places would you like to travel to?

I'm actually planning a road trip in my new car throughout the Northern US after I wrap South this summer! And my boyfriend is also planning a trip for us to fly to Puerto Rico sometime in the next few months (he's very romantic!) I'm also dying to backpack through Europe at some point in my life. And I'd love to live in London or Budapest for a period of time. Oh gosh, I just want to experience everything and see the entire world!

(If you could travel back in time) Is there any piece of advice you would give to a younger version of yourself?

Focus more in school! Don't write notes to your boyfriend while you should be paying better attention in class. Lol. Because now that I'm older I can definitely say that education is the most precious thing the world can offer us.

Is there anything you particularly dislike about your life at the moment?

Oh man, I just hate it when I'm not working. Having to wait till May to begin filming South again has really been tough on me because I just love it all so much! I love every single thing about the whole filming process.

Have you ever read the part of a role and found that the character really hit close to home/struck a cord?

Spencer was actually the first role that really hit close to home for me. I mean, first off, for both of us to come from the suburban life in Ohio/Maryland to a place like LA, we definitely share quite a similarity. It's just such a huge adjustment in lifestyle, and it was pretty ironic that it was all still kind of happening for me when I booked South.

What would you consider to be the best day of your life so far?

Every single day is incredible for the most part! However, I'd say that some of the best periods of my life were being onstage in high school. The theater is in fact my deepest passion.

What was the hardest scene you've ever had to film?

The crying scene after my mom hits me in the season finale. We were in a crunch and had to film the whole thing in about 10 minutes! And I was so nervous because we filmed it an entirely different day from when my mom had actually slapped me. So I really had to emotionally put myself in a difficult place in a limited amount of time. It was actually kind of hilarious when I think back on it now! Lol.

What does your family think about your success as an actress, as well as the success of SON?

My family has always been very supportive of my dreams in life. And acting has pretty much been the biggest thus far. So they are all very happy for me!
I'm very fortunate for this.

What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?

Hmm...honestly? I guess I can admit that I am an extremely reflective and spiritual person. I internalize a lot and am very sensitive and emotional. I guess a lot of people don't know this because I like to step away and not show that side of me in public. However, this has seemed to benefit me in my acting I think! Haha.

What do you feel you have accomplished so far with SON?

In many ways, I honestly believe that South has enabled me to accomplish a certain sense of respect as an actress. I say this because South has not only been recognized for the real life issues we deal with that are finally being expressed in today's society of entertainment, but also because my character is a specific symbol of this. It's really an honor for me to have the opportunity to take on this challenge.

Do you prefer acting in tv shows or movies?

I wouldn't give up my part on SON for anything in the entire world! But besides South, I'd love love love to do movies. And I am completely obsessed with the independent film industry.

Do your friends watch SON? If so, how do you feel about that?

Heck yea! All my friends back home in Maryland and at my old college in Pittsburgh all get together on Friday nights and have screenings of the show. They’re all very supportive!

If you were not acting, what field of work would you see yourself pursuing?

Hmmm.....most likely writing, counseling or psychology. I am so very fond of human behavior it's ridiculous.

How was it doing "Drake and Josh?"

So much fun! I got to work on set for a whole week, including the table-read of the script, rehearsals and the actual filming process. And it was so much fun for me to learn all the wrestling stunts! I mean, I had a stunt-double for about 25% of the fight with Drake, but I'm proud to say that I did the other 75% all on my own.

So far, what is the moment that has defined you as an actor?

Onstage an original musical called "Paper Moon" at Ford's Theater in Washington DC (this was my first professional production when I was just 12 years old). In film, definitely South.

Depending on the storyline, would you portray another gay character?

Definitely.

Was the decision to leave college to pursue acting a hard one? Do you see yourself going back to school one day?

Yes, it was quite a difficult decision for me to leave college, but at the same time I knew in my heart that it wasn't for me at that point in my life. The University of Pittsburgh is a great school, but also pretty expensive. And I was studying theater of all things. I just figured I didn't necessarily need a degree to become an actress. So I figured what the heck, I'll just go to Hollywood and see what happens. But yes, I will be going back to school one day for sure. I am actually considering taking a few fall classes next semester when I finish filming season 2.

If you could pick any character from a book to portray in a movie, who would it be and why?

Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve. This is one of my all-time favorite books about a young girl who falls into a passionate love affair with an older man. It takes place during the turn of the century and it's a love story about two people who really love each other, but it's difficult for them to express it because of the social expectations during the time period. It's quite similar to Spencer and Ashley's relationship in fact! But the young girl in this story's name is Olympia, and she's extraordinary. She's passionate, intelligent and beautiful. And she knows what she wants and does not let anything get in the way of her getting it. I am very intrigued with playing such head-strong ingénue type characters.

What do you think about SON possibly airing internationally?

Oh my goodness! That would be so incredibly rewarding for us.

Do you think that it's an interesting statement about human behavior, that at the end of the season, all the heterosexual characters were miserable in one way or another, whereas the two lesbians/bisexuals (Spencer and Ashley) were finally happy?

Hmm, ya know? I don't know if I can fully agree to say that human behavior in general defines this, but I will say that no matter what the consequences I believe that love always conquers all.

Did you guys prank each other on set?

Hahahaha, you bet. Mandy is the best at that. She is hilarious and she loves to make people laugh. I just love working with her more than anything because we have so much fun together.

Do you think Spencer was really that clueless during her "date" with Kelly, or do you think she really knew what she was doing/what was going on, and was just "laying low" until the time was right?

Oh yea, for sure. Spence knew what was up! I believe she was just too afraid at that point in her life to come to terms with her true feelings about girls.

Is there a moment or episode you could pin-point when you felt Spencer truly felt or realized she had fallen in love with Ashley?

I believe that Spencer had a crush on Ashley from the very first moment they meet in the season premier. However, I think it took her till about the middle of the season to realize that she was truly in love. For me, I believe this happened in "First Time" Episode 5. This is when Spence is talking about her first time with a guy and talks about wanting to have a new first time with someone else. She totally knows she is talking about Ashley. And Ashley knows it too. And from that moment on they are so in love!

You said in an interview with After-Ellen.com that before filming in July 2005, some characters in the pilot were being re-cast. Which characters were they?

Every single one except for me and Mandy! Haha, we just happened to be the lucky ones I guess!

Were there any doubts in your mind that you might not land the role of "Spencer?"

Oh for sure. I mean, they were auditioning girls all over the US and Canada even! It was pretty intimidating to be aware of this right off the bat, but then there was also that special little feeling in my heart that just kept me hanging in there.

Are you aware of the "Spencer Head Tilt?"

Oh my goodness, so embarrassing. Lol.

Does the word-merge "Spashley" mean anything to you?

Oh yes. Oh yes. Mandy text messages me that as a joke like all the time. Haha! We like to think of ourselves as the next Matt and Ben. Lol.

Do you have any pet peeves?

I hate hate hate the sound of people file their nails, it absolutely terrifies me!

What's your most prized possession?

My boyfriend of course! Seriously! But speaking materially? I'd have to say that it is currently a beautiful Tiffany's necklace that I just got for FREE in a gift bag at a red carpet event. It's so fabulous!

Ask Gabrielle - 03/23/2006

Describe a day in the life of Gabrielle Christian.

WOW. You wouldn't believe it, but my life seems to literally change by each and every day! However, a typical day when I'm not working most likely consists of an audition or two, a morning or sunset hike for workout and meditation, taking care of bills/agents/manager/business stuff, and trying my best to answer all of my wonderful fanmail! Haha, I love you guys.

 

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