Before she joined TNT's new alien invasion drama, Falling Skies (premiering Sunday at 9/8c), Mexican actress Seychelle Gabriel didn't know a whole lot about the sci-fi genre. "My understanding of sci-fi was so minimal," Seychelle tells Latina.com. But playing the role of Lourdes Delgado, a pre-med student who works in a makeshift hospital helping wounded people and conducting scientific experiments in the Steven Spielberg-produced drama, has given Seychelle a new appreciation for the genre.
"It's full of possibility," Seychelle says. "I'm definitely more suspicious about things like space and stuff," she admits. "It isn't so out there that it couldn't happen, I don't think. The aliens coming and wiping our electricity and having technical power over us...we don't know what's out there. It something that seems so ficitonal, but it's something that's possible. That's just crazy to me."
In anticipation of this weekend's premiere of Falling Skies, we asked Seychelle to tell us five things she's learned about sci-fi from working on the show.
1. It may look easy, but it isn't: "The first thing is how long the process is as far as adding CGI to things. We started this project two years ago and the fact that it's just ready to be shown on TV now shows how long it takes to put the aliens in their spaceships and create the big structure. I remember someone showed me on a laptop once — they had one of our alien skinners walking a couple of feet and they told us how long that had taken to do just that. It's eye-opening two years later to say, 'Wow, we're finally here.' A lot of that is because of CGI."
2. Steven Spielberg likes to play dress-up:"For our skinner aliens, we had a costume that a professional would get inside of and move around. They did the same thing in ET, which is cool because it seems like it's a Spielberg thing to have an actual human being inside a costume to create the idea of a living, responding creature. There are times that our characters get close up with these aliens — and during these times when we get to see them up close — it makes it even more real for us and for the audience when they can react so suddenly to what we do, because of the fact that there's somebody in there."
3. It takes an army: "It takes so many men and women to be involved to operate a single prop. You've probably seen the posters with the harness on the kid's back where the aliens are on it and control them. To make that prop work and light up and act the way it does, it took so many people helping each other. It's just so complex. The aliens are complex, as well. They have separate parts for their bodies. It takes a lot of people and a lot of preparation."
4. Don't underestimate sci-fi fans: "I was talking to my co-star, Moon Bloodgood and she told me that when she went to Comicon to answers questions, it was like the first time they had shown clips of the show. She was expecting regular questions about what the show was about and where we were going to go with the show. But she told me she was floored that people had come there knowing everything about the plot. They had these really out there questions. They were digging in even before there was any footage of the show. I was like, 'Wow, people are really into it.'
5. Sci-fi is unique: "It's the only genre that can ever come up with something that puts our human species as the vulnerable one, because there's no life form that we've come to know that has overruled us or has ever been able to throw us off our track. It's the only genre that can take things to that level. It creates these creatures that are bigger than us and the it teaches us about ourselves by comparing ourselves to these things that have come."