The make believe world of acting can be very mesmerizing and intriguing to a child. Actress Andrea Gabriel found her love for the arts by watching her Soap Star parents and their actor friends create magic on the set. With her new found love, Andrea went on to star in some ground breaking television shows and now she enters the world of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. SayWhatNews sat down with the new vampire on the block and got to know her and her love for the arts:
SayWhatNews: Good morning Andrea. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule and speaking with SayWhatNews. First tell us who is Andrea Gabriel?
Andrea: Good morning to you too. That’s a loaded question! Of course I am an actress, but I am also a good friend, a daughter, a sister, a lover of animals and nature, a transplanted New Yorker (and proud newish Angelino), a writer, an a singer who loves to create her own music and teach herself new instruments, make paintings and art, an intuitive cook, and a seeker of mystical truths. Sounds so hokey, but it’s true.
SayWhatNews: Where were you born and raised?
Andrea: I was born in Los Angeles but when I was two my parents moved me to New York so my father could continue on his soap opera, Ryan’s Hope. So I was raised mid-town but spent most of my time on the upper west side.
SayWhatNews: Speaking of Soaps....... Andrea, what was it like having both your parents John and Sandy Gabriel as Soap Opera stars?
Andrea: It was all I knew so I assumed that everyone’s parents were actors… And all my parents’ friends were actors so I thought that everyone, even policeman and dentists, were actors and that this was just their “survival job” like waiting tables or bartending. Funny thing is I came to LA and that is actually pretty much the case. I thought the only people who don’t act as well are politicians, and well, I will let you make your own joke there.
SayWhatNews: I have to agree there are some Politicians who need to take an acting class because you can see right through the bull. But anyway getting off that. Have you ever been on a Soap? If so which one?
Andrea: I did little bits and pieces on All My Children, Guiding Light, and Another World when I was a teenager, but nothing really substantial.
SayWhatNews: At a young age you began theatrical training. What inspired you to want to act?
Andrea: Like I said, I thought everyone was an actor and I certainly didn’t want to go into politics. Actually, I think I saw the world that way because I didn’t understand how anyone could want to do anything else for a living. I mean to get to dress up and play pretend all day? And get so good at it that it gets to the point that people pay you to do it for them! How can you beat that?
SayWhatNews: You mentioned earlier your interest in music. I hear you are a self taught guitarist and pianist who also enjoys singing and song writing. Who were your musical influences growing up?
Andrea: I loved showtunes (I was kind of a musical theater geek) and standards because of my dad, but later I loved classic rock like The Doors, The Stones and Janis Joplin. Then when the female singer songwriters emerged like Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco and Alanis Morrissette I was all about them.
SayWhatNews: Do you have any plans making an album and entering the music arena?
Andrea: I actually have been playing with that idea for some time. I have about ten songs I wrote when I was in my early twenties that I think should be shared… I would either get someone else to sing them or think up a way that they can be presented retrospectively. I think I’m an instrument for a different message now—so I’d love for someone in her late teens to record some of my old songs and start fresh with my new perspective for myself. I already have a new one that I am hoping to make a video of pretty soon.
SayWhatNews: We look forward to those projects. Make sure you keep us posted. Now Andrea, you starred on stage with Oscar and Tony Award winner F. Murray Abraham in an off Broadway play. How amazing was that experience for you and how do you think it prepared you for TV and Films?
Andrea: That was such an amazing moment for me. I had been such a fan of his since Amadeus. I loved that movie. My young girl crushes were always a little exotic— loved Kiefer Sutherland and Brian Bedford (the voice of the animated movie Robin Hood) and Jim Henson. I know!
So when I got to play Murray’s daughter it was everything I could do to be a total professional and make him proud of me. That can also be a tricky place to be because when you are so preoccupied with pleasing someone and hoping that they like you, it has the potential to stifle you creatively because you’re too afraid to make mistakes. But he was incredibly generous and taught me a lot—not just about being in the moment onstage and having fun but letting yourself take up some space and take risks, how to connect with your true identity as an artist.
SayWhatNews: For 6 seasons on the hit TV series ‘Lost’ you played Nadia. What was your most memorable moment on set?
Andrea: So many. I adored that entire experience. I guess the biggest one would be in the first season when I was working with Naveen Andrews and our amazing director, Greg Yaitanes. The script was by David Fury, and it honestly doesn’t get much better than that. And here I was, flown to Hawaii, and carrying my weight with these amazing creators and artists. It was really surreal but effortless because they just allowed me the space to offer what I had to give. I was so honored by the whole thing.
SayWhatNews: Andrea, your most recent role is in the very much anticipated Breaking Dawn as Kebi, a vampire of the Egyptian coven. Before landing the role had you read the books and/or seen the movies?
Andrea: I had seen the movies with my sister. It began with the first movie. I usually go to New York for Thanksgiving and my sister (who I might mention is a grown woman with two children!) loves to go to movies in the middle of the day and I had heard about this one. So we went and we loved it and then the next year we saw the second one. So it kind of became a ritual. After I got the role I read the books and was completely taken in by them. Stephanie Meyers is such a talent and an inspiration.
SayWhatNews. I understand completely. My daughters and I are Twi-hards (I'm the ring leader lol) and have seen them all and we even have Twilight movie marathons at home. So how did you hear about the part and what was the audition like?
Andrea: Well, I got the audition from my agent at the time and basically just went in with my own idea of the role. Debra Zane was casting and they were so generous and helpful because a lot of the information was very top secret. So I just did my best with the information I was given and thankfully, they liked it.
SayWhatNews: When and where were you, when you learned you had landed the part and how excited were you?
Andrea: I heard that I was on hold about three weeks before I got the part. Finally, it must have been around late August that I found out I got it. I was so excited! This was my first feature and to hear that your life is going to change for the next four or five months is really an exercise in embracing adventure! I loved it.
SayWhatNews: Which Twilight cast member were you looking forward to meeting and why?
Andrea: Before the movie, it was probably Rob because I had actually briefly met him in LA years before at a small party where we had mutual friends. This was probably six months before the first Twilight came out. He was just this sweet kid from England and we talked a little bit and he told me about this small movie he had just finished.
I didn’t know anything about it, but I just suddenly saw what was ahead of him and I said “Oh man you are going to be so famous. Your life is about to change! How does that feel?” And he just kind of laughed and said “Really? I guess so. I’m trying not to think about it.” I was looking forward to seeing him again and checking in and reminding him of that moment in time. Turns out he remembered. Also I got to say “I told you so!” Not really, he didn’t need me for that.
SayWhatNews: What was it like on the set being one of the new kids on the block?
Andrea: It was so much fun, because even though we were new, we were already a posse. It happened very quickly because we were all transplanted into Baton Rouge at the same time, away from our lives, all looking for places to eat and do our laundry, all being put up at the same hotel-- so it kind of became a vampire village. I don’t think it took very long for the veterans to warm up to us rookies because we were having so much fun. We all immediately started having fun and on set together.
SayWhatNews: The Twilight cast is known for goofing around on set during down time. Did you experience any of the fun?
Andrea: Definitely. But my lips shall remain sealed. Vampire oath, you know.
SayWhatNews: OK, I'll let you slide on that one (lol). When can we expect your character Kebi to enter on the screen in Breaking Dawn?
Andrea: I wish I could tell you! I don’t know how they’re editing it or how the script will translate on film, but I’m guessing about midway through. Maybe sooner.
SayWhatNews: Have you been to any of the Twilight Conventions or promotional tours to experience the fandemonium that follows Twilight?
Andrea: Not yet! But I am looking forward to it. I love people who are so influenced by a piece of work. I experienced some of that on LOST, but these fans seem even more intense.
SayWhatNews: We are (smiling). I took my kids to the New Moon DVD release party to meet Tinsel Korey and Kiowa Gordon. The fans were like a big family everyone talking sharing their love of Twilight and the energy was amazing. I have to ask, are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Andrea: Oh that one! I know. It has to be Edward. I mean, Bella seems like more of a cat person, wouldn’t you say? Just can’t see her chilling with a pack of wolves every day.
SayWhatNews: I'm torn, love the chemistry between Edward and Bella but than Jacob is so cute. Now Andrea, you have starred in several hit TV series like ‘Criminal Minds’, ‘House, M.D.’ and ‘JAG’. Now that you have finished taping Breaking Dawn. Do you have any other new projects in the works you can tell us about?
Andrea: Right now I have a few projects on deck, but I am old school and don’t like to talk about things until they’re “in the can” so to speak. But I will definitely keep everyone posted. On my website’s homepage you can look up what’s happening in “Latest News” www.andreagabriel.info. You can also follow me on facebook or twitter, and those links are also on my website.
SayWhatNews: I understand, I'm the same way too. Andrea you have a passion for working with children and have been seen supporting different charity events benefiting kids. Tell us why it so important to you to make a difference?
Andrea: I just try to make sure I am exerting whatever positive energy I can. My life has been very blessed and I am very grateful, but if there’s any way I can use my life and the hard times as well to share what I have learned or to spread love and awareness it means the world to me.
SayWhatNews: Can you tell us something about yourself that your fans don’t know?
Andrea: Hmmmm… Well, it might or might not be obvious, but I love being silly. I have done a lot of drama out here in LA but I think it comes across in interviews. Truth is I am a complete goofball. My humor is really off-beat and goofy and not everyone gets it, but acting like a weirdo and dancing around like a muppet comes frighteningly natural to me... and making people (especially my sister) laugh one of my favorite things on earth.
SaWhatNews: What’s next in the future for Andrea Gabriel?
Andrea: I just want to continue to create good work with good people for people who love it. I know that’s pretty general, but more specifically, since it’s Halloween today, I dress up and play pretend with some… Except today I won’t expect to get paid for it. This year I went as Molly Shannon’s character, Mary Catherine Gallagher from SNL, which is much more my style than something scary or sexy… In case you couldn’t tell. I’ll be the one dancing around like a muppet and being silly, striking a pose, and saying “Superstar!”
Andrea Gabriel Website