Starring as Prudence Blackwood in the Netflix show ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’, Tati Gabrielle gets to explore the classic mean girl character - but one with depth that continues to unravel further in the new season of the show.
We caught up with Tati ahead of the new season of the show’s release, to discuss what to expect from the new set of episodes…
...I think that it’s really an honour for me to be able to be a part of this narrative and especially during the time that we’re in, and to push - especially for young girls - the mindset of being strong and standing your ground and not letting anybody tell you that you’re wrong just because of some preconceived notion or whatever.
COUP DE MAIN: How do you feel about the new season of the ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina' coming out?
TATI GABRIELLE: I’m really excited for people to see it! As the press has already said, it’s darker, it’s a little scarier, it’s a little sexier. I think it opens up a lot of the characters - you get to know a lot of the characters a lot more, you get to fall in love with them in a deeper way. And to see Sabrina’s story go over the course of this next part is pretty outrageous - that’s what I think I’m most excited about, for people to be wowed, and to get caught up in the way that she moves into this new world.
COUP DE MAIN: I really enjoyed how in the first episode of the new season of the ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina', Sabrina challenges the traditional gender norms of The Academy of Unseen Arts by trying to become ‘Top Boy’. Was it cool to see the show take on an issue of gender discrimination so strongly?
TATI: Definitely! I think that it’s really an honour for me to be able to be a part of this narrative and especially during the time that we’re in, and to push - especially for young girls - the mindset of being strong and standing your ground and not letting anybody tell you that you’re wrong just because of some preconceived notion or whatever. Yeah, it’s been really beautiful to read these scripts - every time I get a new one I’m like, “Yes! Kick-ass! Let’s do it!” I think it’s really beautiful.
CDM: What were your first impressions of each of your Weird Sisters the very first time that you met Abigail and Adeline?
TATI: So the first time with the two of them was after I was cast, they called me in to do a chemistry read, which was to figure out who my other two sisters were gonna be, and it was out of five girls, I believe? And when I first met Abbey-- I don’t know if you guys have seen the way that Abbey dresses and her style, but the girl is fly. So when I first met Abbey, I can’t lie, I was a bit intimidated! I was like, ‘Oh this girl thinks that she’s hardcore.’ Later I realised Abbey was actually quite shy, but she wasn’t as social as the other girls were, so I was like, ‘Oh my god, I don’t know how to feel right now!’ But then when we got into the room and we tried out a few times, I clearly started to see her personality come out, and the goofball that she is. <laughs> Then with Adeline, she was talking with the other girls in the room about how she was from Hong Kong, and we started talking about how she’s Korean, and I’m Korean. She’s just like all around a very sweet girl. In the last round, they kept having me switch out with different girls, it was actually me, Abbey and Adeline, and I think we killed it obviously, because now we’re The Weird Sisters!
CDM: It clearly worked!
TATI: Yeah! I remember thinking after that run-through with the two of them, ‘Oh I really hope they pick these two girls,’ because they were who I felt the most chemistry with. The three of us left the audition together and we were chatting on the way out and were like, “Oh I hope it’s you guys! Like seriously!” I didn’t find out until our first table read in Vancouver and they walked in and I was like, “Yes!” So since then the three of us have gotten to be quite close; we’re very much sisters both on and off-screen, and supported each other through a lot.
CDM: That must make it easier to work on-screen when you get along so well off-screen.
TATI: Exactly! We have a lot of fun.
CDM: I talked to Chance Perdomo about his character Ambrose and how he kind of got to reinvent and have a lot of freedom with the character because in the comics Ambrose was a middle-aged man - and it’s similar for you with the Weird Sisters, who are very different to their portrayal in the comics. Did you enjoy having that level of making a brand new character, and set of characters with your fellow weird sisters?
TATI: Definitely! As an artist in general, it’s very liberating when you don’t feel confined and you don’t feel like you have to match something else. So it brought me a lot of joy to be able to have so much freedom, and the fact that Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa, show developer] was always so open to ideas. Of course he’s an artist and he’s sensitive about his work, but he’s never held it so tight that we didn’t feel like we could express ourselves, which has been really heartwarming and I’m very grateful for that. It allowed me to, especially as Prudence’s character grew - because she started out as this high school mean girl and as the season goes on you’re able to see herself come down and see her layers - and so I was happy that I had the option to create layers for her, that she didn’t have to be just this outright high school mean girl. I don’t believe that people are that two-dimensional.
CDM: Do you think the world would be a better or worse place if magic was real?
TATI: It’s a hard question! It depends on whose hand that magic is in. Because if we had magic in the world and it was put in good hands, responsible hands, or good-hearted hands, I think that it could make the world a better place, and certain issues that we have could be much more easily corrected. But if that magic is in bad hands or with evil or menacing people, then you’d have the opposite end of the spectrum and you’d have those people using that magic for their own advantage and to the dismay of others. So it’s a fine line, I think.
CDM: What's been your favourite memory or anecdote from filming the ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina' so far?
TATI: That’s hard! We have a lot! The one that’s popping into my head that I often think about is that that we did ‘The Burial’ episode (episode 8 of Part 1) the night that we did the ritual of killing Agatha. First of all, I was terrified. While because Prudence is a badass and is not afraid of anything, Tati doesn’t like scary things. So I was super terrified being out there at night, repeating these spells that are very real spells and feeling like we’re calling on these weird dark forces, and me and Abbey were like, ‘Does anybody want to join us?' And we prayed before we started the scene <laughs> and as it got late into the night, it was me, Abbey, Adeline, and Gavin [Leatherwood] sitting on set waiting for the next set-up or whatever. It was really late, like 3am, we were all cold and huddled and tired, and we had this really beautiful chat about the fact that, ‘Look at how blessed we are!’ We were tired and cold but as we looked around we were like, ‘This is our life, this is pretty incredible that we even have the opportunity to do something like this,’ and it was a very enlightening and beautiful conversation on gratitude, which is something that we do a lot on-set. Oh, another memory is our massage line that we often used to do!
CDM: If you could give your character Prudence one piece of advice, what would it be?
TATI: Lighten up a little bit! And open your mind a little bit, which I think she’s growing into. I would tell Prudence, “I know you have the guidelines and fundamentals that you were raised with and the world was a very certain way and that’s comfortable to you, but try to think outside of the box sometimes. Try to keep your eyes open a little bit more because there may be a lot more in-store for you or available to you than just what’s right in front of you.”
CDM: If the ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’ were to have a crossover episode with ‘Riverdale’, what would you want to happen in the storyline?
TATI: It would be really cool to see the Riverdale kids somehow wander into Greendale, and run into the weird sisters, or witness this alternate reality that’s literally right next door to their town. I’d love to see Betty and Veronica make friends with The Weird Sisters, and somehow become witchy!
CDM: They could be the cousins!
TATI: Right! That would be super cool. Or if Jughead is solving some type of mystery, if there’s a murder or something that’s happened in Greendale and somehow it’s linked to Riverdale, and they wander into Greendale trying to solve a mystery and realise it’s so much greater than they thought because it involves magic and the devil, and all kinds other things that they’ve never seen.
CDM: It would probably blow their minds!
TATI: Exactly! I’d love to see their minds get blown. That would be sick.
CDM: You’re going back to film in May, are you looking forward to reuniting with your fellow cast-mates in Vancouver? It must be like a family reunion when you get to see everyone again.
TATI: Yeah! I’m really excited, I miss all of them and it’s weird - like, all of us not being together, because we were always all of us together for so long, so I’m really excited for all of us to be reunited and to get back with the family! We have a lot of good times and I’m really blessed to see the camaraderie of our cast - I’ve heard a lot of horror stories from people of them not getting along with their cast-mates. We have a very special thing going. We’re all very close! So I’m really excited.
The ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina' Part 2 is airing now on Netflix - watch the trailer below…