Seychelle Gabriel talks FALLING SKIES Season 2

PC: Andrew McLeod

FALLING SKIES returns on Sunday, June 17 (at 9/8c) with 2 all new action packed hours that raise more questions than answers!  To celebrate the return of the show, I chatted with Seychelle Gabriel (Lourdes) about what’s to come (shh…romance) and why fans will love this season!

I’ve gotten to see the first four episodes of the season – they’re fantastic! For fans who haven’t seen it, though, what can you say about where we ended Season 1 and where we’ll start back up at Season 2’s intro?
Where it ended was with Tom Mason stepping onto one of the overlord’s spaceship because they told him they could fix his son, and we all had just escaped an ambush by them.  We pick up about three months after that, and the 2nd Mass, the numbers are dwindling a lot, because of battles with the aliens, and tough times.  Tom makes a mysterious return to the 2nd Mass which kind of throws things amiss because we’ve kind of adjusted without him.  There’s suspicion if we can trust him, and stuff like that.

I love that the show incorporates so much – family dynamics, relationship dynamics, there’s war.  What was it initially that drew you to the show, and keeps you interested in the character?
That’s a good question!  I just auditioned for it because it was an audition, but what really drew me in at first, at least for my character, was her spirituality that was really prevalent in the first season, and I thought it was really interesting in a situation like this, in war, how much of a  role hope is and how that manifests itself in so many different ways.  For certain people, it’s just kind of camaraderie.  Other people, it’s looking to something bigger than that.  This show showcases a lot of that.  You really have nothing left, so it’s about finding whatever you can that works for you, to carry on.

What are some teases you can give without giving too much away about what we can expect from this season?
There’s new aliens that are really exciting.  Two different kinds, so that’s definitely something to look forward to.  A lot of romance, which is cool.  Unexpected pairs and expected pairs.  A lot of turmoil within the 2nd Mass.  I think last season, we were finding our footing as a group, to kind of figure out what this new and foreign situation was, but now, we’ve got that footing, and it’s become about more politics.  Even though, as a group, in dire situations, we’re always banding together, but there’s a different little facets in the 2nd Mass.  There are a new group of characters called the Berserkers, that are hands on fighters, kind of like the biker gang, if there was one.  They kind of clash with the more straight-laced kind of soldier types.

You mention the romance.  That was one of the things that stood out for me as I was watching – at times, the show is almost darker this season, but it’s also almost lighter.  We’re starting to see the characters moving forward as families, as relationships grow.  Has that been fun to play for you, without spoiling what’s to come?
It’s been very fun.  I like that you bring up that even though it gets darker, it does get lighter.  The darker it gets, the more belief you need from that.  It was really fun.  It’s kind of a hard thing, as it is, to try to get into this whole world of war and everything is terrible, but it’s really fun to have that part to play as well.  To be a little goofy, and silly, you know, flirty and all that [laughs].

Lourdes is also dealing with being the second in command for the 2nd Mass’ medical unit. Has it been interesting to explore the procedures, medical aspect of the show, as well?
It’s cool.  It’s definitely a challenge, for both Moon and I.  She’s got the doctor overall thing, and I’m like kind of the nurse that is the one who puts a little cuff on, does all of the random stuff around.  It’s like choreography.  You have to get used to the space, and used to working with the things you do.  We have a medical supervisor on set who helps us out a lot!

Does your character get off the bus, so to speak, this season, and get in on the action?
That’s something that I’m very excited about for this season.  Lourdes does get a chance to get out of the Med Bus, finally, and so does Anne.  We actually have some cool stuff together, that’s kind of hands on combat.

What’s it like shooting where you can’t see an opponent, or working with these aliens that are computer generated?
I did have a couple more this season.  I do know, there’s usually, if it’s a Skitter scene, there’s a guy in a suit.  A really, really realistic looking suit, too.  It’s kind of creepy.  They sit on a little rolling stool, and they move around like a crab, and they give the sense that they’re moving like a Skitter.  They’ve got the whole mask on and everything.  And they move like it.  There’s only a maximum of two guys, and if there’s more than that, they use the special effects and you have to use your imagination for stuff like that.  For other aliens, they use different kind of effect things, and they’ll usually show us an image of what it’s supposed to look like, so we’ve got kind of something to base it off of.  When you see some of those pictures that they base off of computers, it’s gnarly, realistic artwork.

What has been the fan reaction when people come up to you about FALLING SKIES?
From the people that have really dug it, that I’ve talked to, they just find it, it pumps them up, I think.  With the ending, the people that I’ve talked to that really liked the show, are like, oh my god, I can’t believe they ended it there!  So many episodes, that one episode, in Season 1 where Rick, one of the harness kids opens his eyes, I always love.  My family and friends, being like Oh my god, can’t wait for next week.

I love how every episode has that ending that compels you to have to tune in next to see just how they’re going to get out of a certain situation or handle a certain situation.
Yeah, definitely.  I think that’s what really keeps people onto it.  There are so many different doors that can open in this storyline, and we do open them!

Do you have input on your character, have you been able to work with the writers?
I have this season, more. Last season, it was getting a whole foundational thing for myself, but this season, definitely.  We came in knowing who she was, and just knowing where she comes from in Season 1.  The writers are really cool with input and sharing ideas and going back and forth and that kind of thing.  I got some cool stuff in scenes added because we were able to collaborate on things like that.

Where else can we see you besides FALLING SKIES?
You can hear my voice right now in THE LEGEND OF KORRA on Nick Saturday mornings.  Honey 2 came out on DVD in February; so that’s a fun summer movie!

I’m a huge fan of Airbender and LEGEND OF KORRA – what’s it like to be a voice actor versus actually being on camera?
It’s a lot different! [laughs] For one, you don’t have to go and get ready.  You get there, and you do it.  It’s almost just like extended rehearsing. What’s great about, the actor always says, I hope my performance is how I walk around my living room performing it, and that’s kind of like, having that, in a weird way.

Do you watch any TV in your downtime?
I’m not a huge TV person.  I’ve been really into FROZEN PLANET.  Yes, I just remembered!  I don’t watch a lot of TV, but TREME on HBO is like my favorite show, and I’ve been keeping up with that.  I just love New Orleans and the whole culture and that is my favorite thing ever!