Vancouver-native actress Angie Lopez got her start in theater but soon transitioned to film and TV, making appearances on Emily Owens MD, Untold Stories of the ER, and My Evil Sister. Familiar with web-series, Lopez has most recently taken on the role of genius hacker Ariana Henries on KindaTV’s All For One.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Angie Lopez about her role, the impact All For One has, and more.
How does All For One compare to the other web-series that you have starred in?
From the beginning, All for One has been sort of a different beast for me. I had done one other modern adaptation vlog style web series but it wasn’t at all on this scale of a production. We had so many episodes to film in such a short time that I was quite nervous going into it. Once we got filming, though, it was such a smooth shoot. Everyone that was involved was excited to be there that it made the whole thing easy. I’ve moved a lot between cities so it isn’t often that I get to see familiar faces on a shoot but on All for One I knew quite a few people involved so right away there is a level of trust, you know? Not to mention that the community of fans continues to surprise me with how supportive they are of the show.
All For One deals with a lot of different issues, such as sexuality and feminism. Do you think this has helped the show garner such a large and loyal fanbase?
Sarah and Bob have found a way to seamlessly include all of these issues without really drawing attention to them. I think people are responding to seeing themselves in these characters. Growing up there wasn’t a lot of representation for people like me and if they did cast someone of colour or a character was queer it felt like they were doing it to check off boxes. With All for One, the characters are just themselves. No one needs to come out or come to terms with anything, they are who they are and are loved and celebrated for that. That’s why I think people keep tuning in.
The show is set up really uniquely: it’s all taking place through a vlog and the viewers are actually the viewers watching. Do you think this allows the audience to feel more involved in the show and the characters?
When I first read the scripts and saw that they were doing it as a live vlog, I was so impressed because format has always been an issue with these modern adaptations. How do you create suspense and involvement when you know that the protagonist had to edit the footage together, upload it for an hour or so and then post it. The live vlog meant that anything could happen. You are watching the action take place in real time and reacting to it alongside the characters. All of us are so connected online these days that it is sort of an extension of who we are so to have your online presence acknowledged and included is something special. Having the Inseperables commenting and interacting with the characters in the same way a Greek Chorus would add a voice for the viewers. We also had the privilege to do an episode live! I haven’t experienced anything like that before. 3000 people tuned in, commented, and held their breaths right along with us. It doesn’t get more involved than that.
What drew you to the role of Ariana?
Actually, I read for Alex and Dorothy first but once I got the sides for Ariana I felt like I knew her. Growing up the middle child you get used to sitting on the sidelines and dropping some wonderfully sassy one-liners from time to time. The more I got to know Ariana the more I drew parallels between the both of us. Between having such a sharp wit and being a badass hacker, Ariana gets to have so much fun. It’s always a joy to play someone who says it like it is and knows when to stir the pot. Ariana also has a deeper side. She is tough because she feels she has to be, she’s afraid of being vulnerable and being rejected for that. When I was in theatre school I was always picked on for having a chip on my shoulder. Being open and trusting is hard, I feel for Ariana and everything she’s going through right now.
Ariana was all for the plan to take down Rick, and she was a very active participant. Do you think that she’ll come to regret her involvement?
I think what Ariana regrets more out of that whole thing is Portia’s involvement. The hack went well and it was good that the group found out just what Rick was using to hold Ann hostage, but she totally fudged it with Portia. She put her enthusiasm before Portia’s feelings and feels terrible that it forced Portia to leave.
Portia and Ariana are almost complete opposites. Do you think that this difference in personalities balanced the relationship and drew them closer together?
Absolutely. They opened up each other’s worlds.
Do you think that Ariana is partially to blame for the Portiana break up? Do you think that Ariana may have pushed Portia too far, or do you think that their relationship had been building up to that moment?
Oh, my goodness that breakup. Yeah, Ariana totally gets some of the blame for that one. I think it was building for the two of them, though. Before Portia, all that Ariana had was hacking. The thing about hacking is that it is an intellectual skill. It’s not based on physical merit or how society views and limits you and Ariana found strength and purpose in that. Of course, once she found Portia she was happy to put it on the back burner because she knew that Portia had her own compromises when it came to Ariana. When the whole Rick thing came up it was probably the first time Ariana had something really meaty to sink her teeth into and that caused a conflict. Could she be happy holding back to protect Portia? Ariana spends a lot of her energy sanding down the edges for Portia and this was one she couldn’t. I don’t think she thought Portia would pull the plug so when she was confronted by Portia, she rebelled. Portia was fed up and well, we know what happened.
How do you think that the Portiana breakup will affect Ariana going forward?
It has totally shaken Ariana. Portia was her “person” you know and to lose that and lose the one thing you truly loved, it changes you. I think we are going to be seeing a lot of Ariana processing and learning how to continue to be a good person without having her best friend, love, inspiration, all of the things Portia was, to help her.
What has been the most rewarding part of working on All For One?
Oh man, the most rewarding? It has really been such a positive project for me that it’s hard to pick just one thing. Everyone involved in All for One was so talented and wonderful that I feel really blessed to have had a chance to work with them and get to know them. We’re all friends now and are constantly at each other’s houses for games nights or grabbing coffee and what not. I also have to say that the fans have been incredible in letting us know how happy or excited they are about the show. Claire and I even had someone send us these handcrafted figures. I can’t tell you how reaffirming the response have been for the cast and crew. This industry can really be a labor of love, and it is easy to stop believing in yourself. Having a community of fans telling you that they enjoy the show and want to see more keeps us motivated.
Would you consider yourself to be a nerd? If so, what are you nerdy about?
I’m always so nervous about calling myself a nerd on a topic because I don’t feel like an expert on any one particular thing. However, did I shed a tear while watching Clara turn into a Dalek? Yes. Did I spend countless hours looking for original Cyber Six comic pages online? Absolutely. Did my brothers and I hold each other’s GI JOEs hostage when we fought as kids? Yeah, we were heartless! So I guess I’d have to say I’ve dabbled in a lot of things but never stuck to one thing. I recently bought the cast recording for Hamilton and Beyonce’s Lemonade so I’m making my way through that.
Catch up with All For One