FAULT Magazine Digital Covershoot with the spellbinding – Tati Gabrielle
Tati Grabrielle X FAULT Magazine
The release of Netflix’s ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’ brought with it a whole host of character upgrades and surprises for both the cast of the show and for those watching along at home. A non-quipping Salem, the erasure of key 90’s protagonist Libby Chessler and the removal of the linin closet to the other realm are just some of the upgrades made for this new and chilling take on the 90’s classic. However, as a viewer, one truly surprising aspect of the show, is that I would become a cheerleader for protagonist Prudence Blackwood played by Tati Gabrielle. There are a plethora of comebacks, shade-throws and one-liners to cite for the reasons Prudence is so revered but for me, two stand out above the rest.
Firstly the way Prudence unapologetically educates the mortals on the true history of Harvey Kinkle’s ancestors who colonised the land of the native Greendale Witches was truly a scene sent from the Gods. And secondly, the way she defends her witch traditions from Sabrina’s endless questionings with “why is your faith more valid than mine” in season 1’s Feast of Feasts episode hit me in a way no other drama of this kind has.
While both are small statements easy to be overlooked for their importance to the character – if you know, you know. Prudence has far proved herself to be more than a two-dimensional power-hungry villain and we’re excited to see how the character continues to grow in seasons to come. With the release of Season 3 fast approaching – I caught up with Tati Gabrielle to discuss her favourite scenes so far, what we can expect from season 3 and find out more about the actress behind the spellbinding Prudence Blackwood.
Throughout the show we’ve seen Prudence’s wants and desires change and been welcomed to new dimensions of her character – will this continue in Season 3 or will she return to more of a straight villainess?
I think you’ll see her progress more. Of course, a lot happened to Prudence in the first two seasons but coming into this new one you’ll see her internalise that a bit more and struggle with the discourse between her previous self and who she is trying to become.
What’s been your favourite part of watching Prudence grow as a character?
I’ve enjoyed finding her redeeming qualities as she grew from just being season 1’s villain. Even in the real world, there are people we consider to be bad or evil and we don’t ever believe that they can change but I think that everyone is redeemable and I love finding those qualities in Prudence. Seeing where she can be forgiven by her peers and the audience and how she finds her moral compass through it all is so interesting.
There’s only so much time for each character on any show, whats a side to Prudence that hasn’t been written into the show that you’d love to explore?
I want to see who Prudence’s mother is. I’d love to discover where that half of her comes from and ways Prudence can truly find herself from knowing that information. She spent so much time trying to be a Blackwood and thinking it would make her whole but I think everyone deserves a mother figure and someone to teach her how to become a woman.
I would love to find out what kind of witch her mum is or was too; I have a crazy theory that her mother is a river witch and I have a lot of fun ideas of where her mother might come from. Blackwood always said she threw herself into the river but didn’t say she died so I like to speculate on what that might mean…
What has been your favourite scene to film so far?
That’s hard! I have to say the masquerade was very fun to shoot. We did that scene in two days; we had very early mornings and late nights and we all got very goofy. That was probably one of the most fun and we all had to learn the song so quickly that the morning before we were just singing a bunch of gibberish and laughing through it all.
Another fun time was the burial scene with Agatha in the first season. For the whole ritual, we were in the woods at the dead of night and Abigail and I were terrified of accidentally conjuring up some spirits! We did a whole prayer circle before and at the end of the night at 3 am we just all cuddled together on some stunt pads! That’s what I love most about our set – we’re very family-oriented. We have a lot of fun all the time.
This is the first time we’ve seen you play more of a villain on screen, what are you enjoying most about this type of role?
Yes, I have enjoyed playing the villain – it’s fun being bad sometimes I’m usually a happy giddy person so it’s fun to be able to go into a dark zone for a while. I’m very thankful for the way it’s helped me grow my range and helped me think from a different perspective.
If you could play any other famous villain, who would you choose?
I’ve always loved Catwoman and I know she’s more of an anti-hero than the straight villain but that’s always been something I’ve always wanted to do. Ertha Kitt is also one of my biggest idols. I saw her original Catwoman when I was a kid and I’ve always been like “I want to be that”.
Looking back on the last decade, what is one of the hardest hurdles you had to overcome?
For me it was discovering myself, growing my self-confidence and realising my own power. Especially when the show came out because things got crazy and I guess getting famous was quite a big change. I’m just trying to maintain my sense of self and stand strong in who I am and not let the industry or my environment take me off the path I know I’m supposed to go. That’s been by far the biggest hurdle in the past two years. Finding solace in myself.
If you could go back to 2010 and leave yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself that – nothing is impossible and that my dreams are not too farfetched. Growing up is going to be a very hard thing to do but it’s going to be a beautiful experience. You’re turning from a caterpillar to a butterfly and that’s going to be very uncomfortable but know that it’s all going to be worth it. And to always to keep your head high no matter what gets thrown at you because I’ve been through a lot this last ten years. If I knew back then, that the outcome was going to be as beautiful as it was, I probably would have been a lot stronger through it.
Let’s talk about a subject of your choice…
I guess I’ve never been asked about my idea of the word “celebrity” because I hate the idea of the word. And I hate the idea of glorifying someone and putting someone above the people that are living their everyday lives. People put themselves down in the shadow of these people who simply have a different job and it’s one that happens to place them in the public eye.
On the reverse of that, I think the way that celebrities are treated as a commodity and the loss of your anonymity and sense of humanity is also damaging. You become an object and people feel like they own you which can be hurtful at times and people don’t understand it.
As someone who has been on both sides, how is the transition?
It’s strange because it brings me so much joy to know that I’ve brought people happiness when they watch whatever it is that I’m on but I think there’s a disconnect between the person on tv and the person watching it. And on both spectrums neither is being looked at as a person. The viewer isn’t a person instead people call them “fans” while the other person is looked up as “something that’s on tv” and is someone that we can just touch without their personal feelings being brought into thought. There’s such a big disconnect and we need to remember that both at the core, are humans.
Do you see that in other areas too?
We have this problem with mankind and it’s the lack of understanding of one another and that’s where so much division comes from. Not only in the industry, but that also goes for us on the racial scale, on a gender scale and so on. There’s a lack of openness and realisation that we are all human beings.
The person sitting across from you might look different or be from a different place but that doesn’t mean that they’re different from you. Yes everyone is special and believe that wholeheartedly that everyone is here for a reason but that being said, you being special doesn’t make anyone else more or less special. We need to stop comparing and making a hierarchy that on a biological level is pointless. As little as that sounds to some people, it needs to be thought about and needs to be considered when approaching someone you believe is different from you.
What is your FAULT?
My FAULT is that I can be too trusting at times and I often give people the benefit of the doubt. I’ve often told that I’m too kind which sounds like a backwards compliment to myself but it’s because it’s gotten me into trouble! I think that everyone is my friend and it turns out that that’s not true. I come at the world with love and some people say it makes me soft but I don’t think so. I think that love is the strongest thing you can have and it can combat everything so.