Check our exclusive interview with Gabriela Lopez, who can next be seen in Columbia Pictures’ upcoming film, THE 5TH WAVE. Gabriela plays the character ‘Lizbeth’ alongside Chloë Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber. The film is set for release on January 15, 2016.
Hi Gabriela, please tell us about you?
Why and how did you get started in acting?
I have had an itch to entertain for as long as I can remember. When I was 9, I had a reading contest at school for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but instead of reading the book, I performed all of the characters terrifying my 4th grade class. When I learned that was acting, I knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I am not really sure why I did that, but I guess I thought it would be super fun to really get into it. And it was.
Do you have or had acting classes?
I had not taken any classes before my first film on ABC Family, Teen Spirit, but soon after that I moved to LA and I began coaching with Doug Warhit.
How do you prepare for a role?
I completely immerse myself in what I am doing. My subconscious tends to take over and continue working for me throughout the days I am preparing, gathering tidbits of life to bring to the character. I also use music to prepare. I find it very useful and it shifts the energy in my body to be in a space where the character may be.
What are your strong points as an actor?
Interesting, I do not really look at my acting as if there are weak points or strong points. One of my teachers considers me to be “powerhouse” and that my ability to engage in someone else while showing up and having a certain control in a scene, to be powerful to watch. But I try not to judge myself, just to be present in whatever I am doing.
What kind of roles do you prefer?
I prefer playing characters who have been through a lot, seen a lot, experienced quite a bit of pain. On the flip side of that coin, I really enjoy playing silly comedy characters.
Tell us about your experience in castings?
Well, I actually enjoy auditioning contrary to what most actors would say. I have been getting really close to several roles over the past several years. So to summarize, I would say it is frustrating. Although I am extremely grateful to have been cast in all my work over the years. Just want more, always want more. I am a human…I think.
Who is your favorite actor/actress?
My list is long. One of my favorite actors is Dustin Hoffman. He is so creative and fun to watch, and I think that is because he is having so much fun. That is what I love. Also Johnny Depp. I want to be the girl version of him so definitely would say he is one of my favorites. Meryl Streep of course is my favorite actress. I look at her “performances” as magic, like how?? Sarah Paulson and Denis O’Hare have to be on this list too. Clearly I am into American Horror Story, but again I love watching them because even though they may be evil… there is so much freedom and fun in what they are doing.
What is some advice that you would give to someone aspiring to become an actress?
I would tell them to live a full life. Follow their heart and their Light. Take care of themselves. Say yes to life, and anything that may inspire them. The best acting lesson is to love yourself, continue working on yourself as a spiritual being and the rest really falls into place.
Where do you see yourself in a few years?
I see myself starring in big films. Playing fun characters. Creating music, as well.
Tell us about “THE 5TH WAVE”?
The 5th Wave is based on the best selling young adult novel by Rick Yancey. It is about a sister trying to save her younger brother (and the planet) during an alien invasion on Earth.
How did you got involved in this project?
Just the normal auditioning process. I got the callback, came in from a red-eye, and soon after booked the part. Then came to find it was a best selling novel, became even more stoked and could not put the book down once I started reading it.
Best advice ever given?
Hmm…. my mom and dad telling me that there is no limits to what I want to do. Not even the sky. Also my mom telling me that it is okay to be weird, to stand out, to be different. She said “Madonna was told she was weird when she was in school too, so it just means you will be a star like Madonna.” I never forgot that because it made me feel comfortable to just be myself regardless of what other people thought about me.
Do you support any charities?
Yes! The Friends of El Faro and they help improve the lives of the kids at Casa Hogar Sion, an orphanage in Tijuana, where we take trips to several times a year. Another is the Romito Foundation. My friends run this foundation because their children have muscular dystrophia, which there is no cure for yet. I am also involved with Best Friends Animal Society because I love supporting animals and their rights. I have my baby Buster, a chihuahua, whom I love dearly. I am very passionate about animals. And that is just to name a few charities. There are so many things I want to be involved in.
What’s your favorite music?
I listen to music all day, everyday. I guess it is kind of electronic R&B and I listen to hype machine. Chloe Moretz told me about it on set and now I am addicted.
What’s a normal day in your life?
There are no normal days in my life because I am a strange lady, but a semi-normal day consist of playing with Buster, working out (yoga, spin or barre), hanging with my friends, and working on acting/auditions.
Do you have a role model?
A couple role models. Jesus, I would obviously like to be like Him. Connie Chapman is someone I really admire. She is a blogger so it is a bit random but if you check out her site, I think you would get it conniechapman.com. I do not even know her in real life but I am very drawn to her writings.
Any future plans you want to share with us?
I am writing a pilot right now that I am very excited about as well as writing music. Keep an eye out!
Where we can follow you?
Favorite Movie: Too many but I’ll go with Edward Scissorhands.
Favorite Food: Anticuchos. A Peruvian dish.
Favorite Holiday: Halloween
Favorite TV Show: American Horror Story
Favorite Sports Team: Alabama Crimson Tide
Celebrity Crush: Johnny Depp
Photo Credit: Lesley Bryce