Gabriela Lopez is a star on the rise in Hollywood. I had the chance to talk to her about everything from her new movie The 5th Wave staring Chloe Grace Moretz, to what inspires her writing, to her favorite charity, and her obsession with Harry Potter.
You are in the new movie The 5TH Wave based on the Rick Yancy series, directed by J Blakeson and staring Chloe Grace Moretz. Would you please tell our readers what it’s about?
That is based on a bestselling novel by Rick Yancy. It’s about Cassie Sullivan, played by Chloe Grace Moretz. She’s basically an average teenager until the spaceship shows up and then her life is completely changed. The aliens that we call the others release 5 waves of an invasion. Her whole life is changed. She’s having to rescue her younger brother and to basically save the planet.
I play her best friend Lizbeth.
I saw the trailer for it and it looks really good.
The trailer for it is pretty intense. Everyone is like “WOW It’s scary! It’s pretty awesome!”
How did you find out about this project?
Just from the normal auditioning process. It’s a funny story because I didn’t know that it was a bestselling novel until I got the callback. I got the callback so quickly and I had to fly in by a redeye flight. I walked in with my shirt all wrinkled. I’m like “Hey”
After I booked it I was like OMG this is a bestselling novel. This is amazing. I got the book immediately on my Kindle. I read the whole thing and I was like “Oh my gosh Rick’s a genius”.
What was your favorite part of filming the movie?
I think the whole part was my favorite. (Laughs). In particular Chloe and I we did the same thing at like the same time a couple of times throughout filming. Not on purpose at all. One time, it’s hilarious, we were in the car dancing to the song and we did the same dance moves at the same time. We looked at each other and we would be like “What are we doing?”
Another scene later it’s this party scene and we were just improvising and then all of a sudden we said the same thing at the same time and in the same way. We looked at each other and everybody, all the crew came out and everybody was like “What is wrong with you guys? Why do you guys keep doing that? It seems like you guys have been best friends forever.” We just already had that chemistry.
I read that you live by the words “Let Life Happen”. Can you explain what that means to you?
I have a tattoo on my wrist that says “Commit.” It’s a similar meaning like Let Life Happen and commit are almost similar things. Basically let each moment come and be present in each moment and relish in that. Not living for the future, not living in the past but living right now. Letting life and the universe bring what, each moment brings and being open to it.
That’s huge. It’s so important to me because if I’m in my head thinking about tasks or thinking about what might happen I’m not enjoying what’s happening right now in this moment.
You wrote, stared, and directed in the short film Unrelated. What was that experience like?
It was my first time producing and writing anything that was my own. So it was quite an experience. I got to do it with my best friend Taylor Kalupa. That made it a little bit easier. That took the stress off of it.
I LOVE writing. That was the really cool part about it. It’s about this desperate young woman who I play, Jane who’s wanting to marry this guy and then she’s sabotaged by her psychotic sister, who Taylor Kalupa plays. It’s a dark comedy.
Both of my parents are in the mental health field. So let’s just say that I’m on the borderline crazy side. No. I’m just kidding. (Laughs).
That was kind of the inspiration for the character because I know so much about these kind of roles and I want to play those kinds of characters. It was fun. It was a blast. I’m not really into producing much more. I love writing. I love to direct but producing is a headache.
When you write do you take personal experiences from your own life to inspire your writing?
(Laughs) Yeah. I didn’t realize it because Taylor and I wrote the story together but I sat down and wrote the screenplay on my own. I wrote about a psychiatrist. My dad’s a psychiatrist and I was inspired by my mom and my dad’s relationship in a sense. (Laughs). When my mom watched the film she was like, “OMG I’m not that crazy Gabriela.” I was inspired by that and my perception of it. I didn’t even realize it until we sat down to do the table read. I was like, “Oh yeah. You’re right. That does make sense. It is based on my life.” Now I understand. So it was very personal for me. Which kind of made it difficult to play it sometimes.
So an exaggerated version of your mother?
Exactly! A very exaggerated version and I told her this. So she won’t hate me for saying it.
I also read that music is one of your passions. What genre of music do you personally find is the most fun to sing?
Ooh fun to sing? Well let’s see. I listen to electronic R&B I would say. The band Aquilo is my favorite band. I love singing their stuff but I can’t do Tom’s voice. It’s just awesome. He’s great.
I’m gonna go with Adele. I love singing Adele. My mom loves for me to sing Adele. She says that I sound like her and I think she’s crazy. My mom can’t actually hear very well. She has hearing aids so there you go. I actually don’t sound like her but I’m just like, “Yes, thank you. That’s the best compliment ever mom.” (Laughs).
You have quite a few charities that you support. Is there one that’s especially close to your heart?
The one I’ve been working with the longest as of right now is Friends of El Faro. It’s an orphanage in Mexico. I try to go down once a month when they do trips. They don’t go every month. So when they do I tend to go.
I’ve made relationships with the children there. One little boy in particular. He’s like 11 years old. It’s like he’s family. It’s a big family there. He feels like my family. They all look like me too so I mean we’re all family. The guy that helps run the orphanage he’s like, “We always get confused. We always think you’re one of them. We were trying to count the kids and we count you too.” I’m like, “it’s ok I’m family. It’s good.”
That one has been the one closest to me so far, but I’m really excited to start working with the other ones I’ve started working with.
We at TNWU all have something nerdy/geeky about us. What is something nerdy/geeky about you?
(Laughs) There’s so much nerdy about me. I used to roll play online. That was awesome. That was so much fun but I no longer do that because now I roll play in real life. I still play video games. I love it. Grand Theft Auto is my favorite.
I’m obsessed with Harry Potter. Is that nerdy?
Yeah I consider Harry Potter nerdy. What house are you in? Everyone knows what house they’re in.
I’m Gryffindor for sure. I’ve been through the sorting hat several times and I own Ginny Weasley’s wand. I got it at the wand shop at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and now they’re opening one next year in Hollywood. I am dying for it to open.
I am so excited. I got to see part of it because went to Universal for my birthday a couple of weeks ago.
The 5th Wave comes out on January 15, 2016. Check out the trailer below.
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