Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Behind the Hit & Run: An Interview with Andrea Gabriel (Nadia)

I had the great pleasure of meeting Andrea Gabriel at the LOST Weekend charity auction in April, and I can tell you without hesitation that she is both hysterically funny and very sweet. Andrea is quite personable and refreshingly real; the kind of person you'd want to meet for martinis on a Friday night to talk and laugh about your job and your week.

At that point in time, the last time fans had 'seen' Nadia, Sayid was burying her in Iraq. But given that not everyone who dies stays that way on Lost, I outlined to Andrea reasons why I thought we would probably see Nadia alive again. Unbeknownst to me, she had just returned from filming her pivotal finale scene in "The Incident." But Andrea was the consummate professional; she did not give any inkling whatsoever that she would ever return, let alone in S5.

I managed to remain relatively spoiler-free for the entire season, so I was thrilled when Nadia appeared in the finale! Of course I contacted Andrea right away, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions about her scene and experience on set. Shortly thereafter, we wound up chatting online for a while about theories. To be fair, I did most of the speculating. No surprise.

1. How far in advance were you asked to appear in the Season 5 finale?
I was given notice probably a little over a month before shooting. They kind of give you the heads up that you might be needed and to let them know if you're going to be leaving the country or heading to prison or giving birth or something. Nothing is set in stone until you're actually booked though, so you're kind of on pins and needles as your dates are approaching, and hoping that they didn't change their minds. The actual booking can come a week or even the weekend before, so it's always best to find someone to watch your cat for that window just in case.
2. What was your initial reaction upon reading the script, that Nadia was going to be the victim of a hit and run in front of Sayid?
I was sooo psyched! I was a little bummed that they went straight to the funeral in Season 4. Although in retrospect, starting with that and going backwards with the reunion and the end of Season 4, and now the death, does add drama and time jumping trippy layering to the story that wouldn't have been there had they gone in sequence. But I was very flattered that they would spend any amount of time on my demise in such an important episode. I knew the filming would be intense and I was very excited for that type of scene.
3. When did you go to Hawaii to film that scene?
I was in Hawaii for two days. Flew in on a Friday at the end of March, and flew back on Monday.
4. How long did it take to film?
The actual shooting of that scene only took one day, maybe eight hours of work.
5. Tell us what that scene involved.
They had me, a dummy and a stunt chick. Isn't it cool they found such a little stunt person? Her name is Dana Reed and she rocks. She's such a badass. For my part, they had me in a harness that fit under my dress around my rear like a rock climbing harness. I hit my mark, turned, said my line, and was whipped (quite fiercely actually) out of frame to land on some crash mats. So the part where Nadia is getting hit is actually me. Then they took another shot of a car hitting the dummy (it flew apart both times) so they could sequence that in with me getting hit. Finally, they had my lovely stunt double on the hood of the car as it put on the brakes and sent her rolling off. Altogether it looked pretty harsh, huh?
6. What was it like to reunite with Naveen?
It was so awesome. Working with Naveen is always a treat, and it's so wonderful to reprise the relationship, even if we're filming some brutal stuff. He's such a pro, and of course it helps that we've been working together for some time. So at this point we have a shorthand and just fall back into our characters when they call 'action!'
7. Do you think that Nadia's story is officially over, or do you hold out hope that if the detonation of Jughead propelled Sayid & co. back to the future on Flight 815...that perhaps they will reunite in Los Angeles?
Oh, if only I knew. I have learned not to surmise even a little what the powers-that-be have planned, because regardless, I will be wrong. I have wondered, though, if the plan worked...does that mean that Charlie, Shannon and Boone, the Tailies, etc. will still be on the plane? If they're dead, then wouldn't Nadia be dead as well? And also, if they land in LA, will they rally to return back to the island a third time? Because they have to go back, right? There are too many questions left unanswered. Ohh, my brain. It burns.
8. What did you think about the Season 5 finale?
I thought Season 5 was so good! And the finale was intense. It was so funny when you and I chatted after; I had missed more than half of what you referred to. These things happen when you open a bottle of wine within the first ten minutes of a two hour episode. Thanks to my friend Jo (who illuminated the fact that I had NFIWTF had happened), I rewatched it. Thanks, Jo! And yes, it was amazing. And brain burning. ;)
9. Many are theorizing that in your scene, Jacob was saving Sayid. My take on it was that Jacob was responsible for Nadia's death because he needed Sayid to return to the island. What is your interpretation?
Good question. I think Jacob just needed Sayid. And by saving him and seeing that Nadia is taken out, he made sure that Sayid would be in the right place (and alive) to come back to the island. Two birds with one stone. so to speak.
10. What are you currently working on, and where will fans see you next?
Right now I am just auditioning and keeping busy. I'm in the running for a few cool projects, but I'm old-school and keep them quiet until they have a release date. But when something is coming out, I will be sure to give you a heads up! In the meantime, you can find me cleaning up cat hair.
(Nadia the cat, from Enter 77)

I would like to thank Andrea for taking the time to answer these questions for us, and encourage all of you to become a fan of Andrea's new Page on Facebook!

Please leave any comments or questions you might have for Andrea below, and thank you for reading along!

1 comment:

Tigerlily said...

Fabulous interview!! I have always been a fan of Nadia and Sayid, and was so heartbroken to actually see her death. Wonderful acting, Andrea!

Is that really your cat in 'Enter 77,' then?