Tati Gabrielle, who some may recognize from The 100 in which she plays Gaia, is about to break out in a HUGE way in the long-anticipated series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (developed by Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for Netflix). Gabrielle plays Prudence, and while she and the Weird Sisters (deliciously played by Abigail F. Cowen and Adeline Rudolph) may be antagonists of the titular Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka), we guarantee that you’ll be yearning to see more of Tati Gabrielle’s badass, take-charge witch.
We were fortunate to speak with the enchanting actress from the set of the series a few months ago, and her intensity and spirit speaking from Vancouver (where the cast actually filmed two seasons back to back) was quite memorable.
The following is a condensed and edited version of our chat with the spellbinding Tati Gabrielle.
Brief Take: You are from the Bay Area, correct?
Tati Gabrielle: Yes I am, I’m originally from Hayward, California, but I kind of claim Oakland because I went to school there, so I kind of say “Oakland raised me”.
BT: Do you cheer for the Golden State Warriors?
TG: Of course! I am a die-hard Golden State fan [laughs].
BT: Which player’s jersey would you wear?
TG: You can’t go wrong with Steph (Curry). I would probably go Steph or Draymond Green.
BT: We’re so excited for The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!
TG: We’re dropping in October! So excited! To know that it’s dropping a week before Halloween has all of us super pumped. I can tell everyone, my family and all my friends – we were having to evade questions for a long time. I think that with the style and the genre of the show, that it’s the best to go right before Halloween.
BT: Can you talk about the ‘In My Feelings’ challenge that you did with the cast?
TG: It’s so funny because we were having a game night as a cast, and [laughs] we had the ‘In My Feelings’ challenge done, I was told about it, and I had gone to Kiernan (Shipka) and I said, “let’s do this, let’s get this done!”, and she’s like “Yeah! Let’s do it!”. And then it grew and grew and grew, and we’re like “no, we’re going to do this with everybody”, and they were all at game night, and we’re like “now’s the time, let’s do this now”. It was very much on a whim and it just happened to be synchronous.
BT: The Sabrina ensemble looks like they get along really well!
TG: We get along so well. I am really happy with the way that from the beginning, we really formed into a family. I remember that from our first table read, the entire cast were moving around the office and the studio, like nobody knows where we are going, or who we are following! [laughs] All of us were moving in this like, amoeba group everywhere, until finally somebody goes “what are we doing?” and there was this “we don’t know”, and then we dispersed. But it’s been amazing. It’s an amazing cast and everyone is so welcoming and so wonderful to work with, and we bounce off each other very well. I have definitely made lifetime friends already, which is beautiful. Watching the older actors on our show, Michelle Gomez and Richard Coyle, I’ve looked up to them a lot in this process.
BT: Did you read the comic books?
TG: I watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a kid and I was kind of obsessed. But since getting on the show, I did read the first five chapters of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which was also written by Roberto (Aguirre-Sacasa). It’s definitely very far from the nineties version of Sabrina, towards this dark occult horror drama-driven vibe, started by Roberto.
BT: Must be interesting to play a completely new character.
TG: You do see the Weird Sisters in the comic book but they are a completely different incarnation than you see us in the TV show. We got a lot of freedom in that way, of creating our characters and creating this new dynamic between us and Sabrina. And I really do love working with my sisters. The bond that we’ve created among the three of us, we get a lot of laughs in and we get to play around quite a bit. With Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, there’s a lot of different character types and it’s about our cast, and hopefully people will have somebody that they can relate to and with whom to go on its journey. The effect that a show can have is pretty amazing. That’s something that I think pushes and inspires me, which is that I’m influencing people, and hopefully in nothing but good ways. So as I carry myself through my life, that’s something that I will always keep in mind, to always better myself so that I am able to present a good influence.
BT: What is something you take from working on The 100?
TG: Well, working with Adina Porter has been one of the best experiences of my life. I count her as one of my role models, not only from watching her, but working with her. The way that she carries herself and her being is something that I’ve carried with me quite a bit. And also the warrior aspect in her and the war of the hunter is something that I’ve carried with me a lot.
BT: Tell us about your hair, which keeps changing and seems to be an important part of crafting your unique, individual characters.
TG: I originally had the short blonde for The 100, and for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I came with these finger waves to my audition and they saw it in the audition and were like “Yo, let’s keep it, we love it!”. And I was like “awesome!”. So my hair styles have sort of flowed on their own, the way that they’ve changed, but since the show is kind of a sixties timeline, that’s why we chose the finger waves.
BT: What stays with you about Prudence?
TG: I think more than anything, her strength, and her kind of “do or die” nature. That’s been the biggest thing. I definitely don’t like to keep the evilness. [laughs] It’s her strength and leadership in that way, moving with purpose. Everything having a purpose and being strong in her beliefs and just how she carries herself. With villainous characters, you see many different layers. Every character that you get chooses you. I project in a very spiritual sense in that way, this is another soul, or what have you, that has chosen me to tell its story. And so I think that every character that I’ve played has some little piece of me that’s already there and is able to make this connecting line that I am able to step in and out of this character. While we share the same spirit, the way she is physically and articulates herself is quite different than I.
BT: What would you think about a Riverdale crossover?
TG: I think that would be super cool. I always think about “how would that work?” because Betty and Veronica are in the comic books. And so yeah! I think that would be really exciting to see that happen.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina launches globally on Netflix this Friday, October 26!