Hailing from the East Coast, Samantha Gabrielsen now resides in sunny California where she most recently can be found on the web series, It's Complicated playing Alex, the adorable lesbian who's afraid of cats! Check out our interview with her below to learn more about the Rhode Island native and her time playing Alex!
netTVnow: What attracted you to It's Complicated?
Samantha Gabrielsen: A few things really drew me in. I really fell in love with the idea of a web series being centered around homosexuality and one character's need for identification. The opposition of Skye (Devin Drain) wanting to put a label on her sexuality and Lance (Jordan Mitchell Love) wanting her to just be has meaning that speaks volumes for homosexuality, but also for basic concepts in life. Normalizing the concepts of same sex love is something I've always been interested and passionate about.
Many of my closest friends have been through the struggles of coming out in families and communities that are not accustomed to it. I believe by making art that actualizes it as a completely normal and loving thing, audiences will be more comfortable and accepting about it in real life. My ultimate goal is by the time I have kids, the idea of homosexuality will not be considered "different" or in the most basic fundamental thought of "the other". It would just be people in love.
netTVnow: How are you most similar/different to your character, Alex?
SG: Alex and I have quite a few similarities. We both are suckers for love. We both act casually when honestly we are obsessing over an incident or feeling. We both value feeling connected, being honest, and trying to extinguish dicey situations by lowering the energy and focusing on whats important. We are different because she rides a motorcycle and I haven't had the chance to learn yet (I'll be honest, I've already scoped out a few bikes). Also, Alex hooked up with someone from work and that's one of my three rules not to break. The other two being: 1. Don't date your friends' exes and 2. Don't date close friends of your family. I'd imagine she would share those two with me. Oh! And Alex is petrified of cats and I have three of the most beautiful kitties on the planet, so that's a major difference.
netTVnow: What's your background in the acting industry?
SG: I started [acting] when I was about three and would perform shows for my grandparents, pretending to know Judo and reenacting scenes from movies. My cousin Ali and I would write sketches about things like Crocodile Dundee and Michael Jackson and perform them for our stuffed animals.
After that, it was riding my bike to sneak into the neighborhood theater to watch rehearsals of Shakespeare. I eventually was caught and was asked to play a page in the production. Then it was off to theater in high school and film in college. I got involved in every production that was available to me in Rhode Island. I even would stop people using cameras and ask them what they were filming and if they needed any help. I'm happy I did it as it has led to many of my connections and work here in Los Angeles. I started doing commercial work here, starred in my first pilot, music videos, features, shorts, and am in class at both Second City and UCB [Upright Citizens Brigade].
netTVnow: Is this the first web series you've done?
SG: No, I've been in a comedy series with a group of girls here with premises like wanting a hairy body or having a lady part that has its own voice. I am in Drunken Teddy, a web sketch group, and also was in a comedy web series group that was called Whatboy back home in Rhode Island. I unfortunately played a ghost in this one series that was victim of a supernatural, predestined, unstoppable series of deaths and reincarnations... Yeah, that one my friends never let me live down.
netTVnow: You have great chemistry with Devin's character, what was the preparation process like for the two of you?
SG: Aw, thank you! To be honest, we just kind of got thrown into the mix together without being too familiar with one another. I feel like she possesses this youthful energy that is enjoyable to play off of. She's pretty no nonsense, and I respect that trait while performing. We run lines until we have a general vibe of how the characters are feeling and then hope it translates onto film.
netTVnow: Why do you think Alex is so open to getting involved with Skye, knowing that she's still somewhat unaware of what her sexuality is?
SG: I think it's because love is love. It's complicated, right? Sometimes you know that the situation is messy and improbable, but the end result would be more fulfilling than the failing of the opportunity. Alex values love over rejection, and that's what to me, is the essence of romance. I love that Cheska [Bacaltos] wrote her like that. If Skye decided she wasn't into girls, I'm so positive Alex would be respectful and completely drop the idea, but she hasn't. So, Alex will try out her luck.
netTVnow: Where do you hope Alex ends up at the end of the series?
SG: I want her to find love with Skye. I love that she is so into her even though Skye is neurotic, confusing, closed and a gamble. I love taking risks, and I love love. So, I want her to find it.
netTVnow: Favorite moments filming on set?
SG: My favorite moments are always hovering above craft services, stuffing my face, learning about all the interesting podcasts and productions everyone is creating outside of this one, and feeling like I'm surrounded by the most interesting people on the planet, just creating.
netTVnow: Any advice for those looking to become an actor?
SG: Definitely. First things first, know that you are already an actor. Millions of dollars and a house in the hills doesn't make you - you make you. Building on that, be true to yourself. I don't feel comfortable playing 'girl giggling in a bikini' because I feel like that's not being true to me or my message. Know what this art form means to you and what you want to build and project that into the world using your talents. Only do the things that you feel like are allowing you to do just that.
netTVnow: Any upcoming projects to share or anything you'd like to add?
SG: I'm forming an after-school program for kids to create videos to share their voice and create. Follow me on social media to be a part of it, either by insight or physical involvement.