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Transcript:ACED interview with Seychelle Gabriel, September 12, 2010

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Subject of interview is Seychelle Gabriel. Alex A. Kecske wrote and published this interview in ACED Magazine on September 12, 2010
Introduction As the young Eva Mendes in Frank Miller's The Spirit, the talented ingénue Seychelle Gabriel recently landed two coveted roles. This summer, she starred opposite Dev Patel as Princess Yue in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender. She was subsequently cast as Lourdes in Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated TNT alien invasion series Falling Skies, which is slated for an early 2011 launch.

The multi-talented Gabriel has also guest starred on a number of high-profile series, including Showtime's Weeds as Mary Louise-Parker's seductive stepdaughter Adelita. And coming up in 2011, fans will delight to see her act and dance in Honey 2, a dance crew film. In my exclusive interview, Gabriel talks candidly about auditions, career goals and balancing her busy work and school schedules.

ACED Magazine So can you go into your roller coaster audition process for Princess Yue?
Seychelle Gabriel It was pretty crazy. I originally auditioned for the role of Katara in 2008 and I didn't hear from them for half a year. Then I got a callback for Princess Yue and tried out for her and I didn't hear back from them for another four months. Finally, I got a random call from my agent who said I was being considered for the role of Princess Yue and that M. Night Shyamalan would be calling me the next day sometime during school, and that I should keep my cell phone on. So the next day, I had my cell phone on my desk at ten in the morning in my Spanish class. And when the phone rang, I run out of class and M. Night Shyamalan told me that I had landed the part.
ACED What was it like working with M. Night Shyamalan?
Seychelle It's really an awesome environment for an actor. He's a very welcoming person on the set. There's no intimidation. It's like you've known him forever. As an actor, I felt he gave me everything I needed—encouragement and relieving the pressure between scenes. I felt relaxed and was able to make the role come to life. His passion trickles down to the crew and actors.
ACED Describe the most challenging part of working on Last Airbender.
Seychelle Having to live up to fan expectations of what Princess Yue should be like. Also, this was just my second feature film, and it was with such a great director. I was a bit intimidated at first, but that all went away when I started working on the set.
ACED What was the best part?
Seychelle Just the people. Night was always making people laugh. And Noah Ringer, who played Aang, has this ability to walk into walls without hurting himself, and he did it like five times on my first day and it kept freaking me out.
ACED What was it like going from Zoey to a major motion picture like The Spirit?
Seychelle I can't even explain it to you. I never really imagined I would be in a movie. When I was eight years old, I'd stand in front of my mirror in the bathroom, make up characters and do monologues—really strange, I know. I told myself that if I could be in just one movie, I'd be happy forever. When I booked The Spirit, it was weird because I never thought I'd ever be in a movie.
ACED Did you have to audition for the role of Tina in Honey?
Seychelle It was two artistic endeavors in one film. Although, I actually did more acting than dancing. Fortunately, I had done some dancing in high school, which helped a little bit. There was a lot of training and concentration. And once you nailed the concentration and the dances that go into it, then they'd tell you, okay, you can let go now. And you're like, "what?" So you let go. It was very difficult, but it was the most fun I ever had on a set– all the routines and all the dancers telling me about their experiences.
ACED How do you balance school and acting, and now dancing in Honey?
Seychelle In high school, I lucked out because my teachers were cool during Airbender. They'd send work back and forth. I did a lot of schoolwork on set and I talked to my principal and I was able to fly back and walk across the stage for my graduation. Right now, I'm going to community college, which gives me lots of flexibility. When I'm not working, I take a semester of classes.
ACED What are you majoring in?
Seychelle I haven't really declared a major. I'm looking into animal behavior studies. Learning about animals in the wild. I'm also considering a minor in theater or music. I want to keep my studies basically apart from acting and widen my horizons.
ACED You play Lourdes in Falling Skies, (early 2011 launch) what did you find challenging about that role?
Seychelle Lourdes is a very complex character who has a lot going on in her life. She was a pre-med student before the aliens arrived. She's very religious. She's musical. The most challenging part of playing her was her spirituality. While I am a spiritual person, I generally keep my faith to myself. Lourdes is very eager to openly talk about her faith with others and spread her faith, which I really respect. Even though aliens are stealing children and killing, she's so very optimistic.
ACED Are you a sci-fi fan—do you believe in aliens?
Seychelle Yes, I'm a sci-fi fan. And, yes, I believe in aliens. I went to the science center with Maxim Knight who plays Matt, and Connor who plays Ben. We watched a film about the Hubble telescope and after seeing that, I'm convinced that we're not alone.
ACED In Weeds, you play this wild girl. Is there a bit of Adelita in you?
Seychelle I sort of hope not. I believe I have a little bit of her confidence. It's cool how she'd been exposed to so many different cultures—lived in France, her father's in Mexico.
ACED Did you always want to be an actress? With that great voice, did you ever aspire to a singing career?
Seychelle Yeah, it's always been there. I love music and acting. When I was little, I wanted to be a dolphin trainer at Seaworld. That lasted till about junior high school, then I switched to pursuing more artistic endeavors.
ACED Would you ever considering being in a musical?
Seychelle I don't think I have the right kind of voice for that. But if I were ever given the chance to work in a musical like Mamma Mia, I'd take it.
ACED Who do most admire as an actress?
Seychelle I just saw The Kids Are All Right and I think Annette Benning was fantastic. And I love Julianne Moore. I also really like Jessica Lange.
ACED What types roles are you looking for?
Seychelle I'd really like to be in a movie that takes place in the '60s. Something more like a timepiece would be fun. I just did a 50's themed photo shoot and it was so cool.
ACED What were you like in Burbank High School?
Seychelle I wasn't a cheerleader. And I don't think I was a nerd. I was in show choir. I was sort of a low key cool person, obsessed with show choir. My friends and I would compete all over the country. I had a really diverse group of friends.


Persons Interviewed

Persons Interviewing

  • Alex A. Kecske


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