[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.]
The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been read in on the ruse to keep the Knights of St. Columbus’ memories suppressed, going so far as to build a fauxmance with Jack Morton.
Once the ruse is no longer necessary, she’s a bit adrift, still trying to her acolytes while also looking for where she fits in the larger scheme of things. This week, I jumped on the phone to chat with Louriza Tronco about letting Gabrielle out to play this season.
Tronco credits the creative team with expanding Gabrielle this season. “It’s definitely props to the writers and our creator, Dennis [Heaton], of course. And our showrunner, Shelley [Eriksen], as well, that I got to, you know, dive deep into a multidimensional character,” she explains.
“Humans are obviously very complex and the fact that we were able to sort of mirror that within a TV show that seems to be hitting home with a lot of people who are watching it is really, really special and great.”
“I really love that Gabrielle is limitless. I feel like I can never go too big as Gabrielle, like I’m safe, acting-wise. It feels free to me as an actor…it’s a dream come true.”
While last year, it would be a fair assessment that Gabrielle would happily take out a werewolf, this season she’s drawn to them, striking up an FWB situation with Randall and then being selected by Midnight to wear his pelt. Tronco says the Knights fill a void in the way that The Order doesn’t.
“I think the Knights of St. Christopher offer her something that she wishes The Order actually offered her, which is a family. I think on the surface it seems like they’re a family, but at the end of the day, The Order does have an agenda. And I think the Knights offer some sort of home and friendship and family,” she shares.
“You get to learn especially in this season that she didn’t, she doesn’t, have much of a family. So I think her and Randall are like a perfect pair because Randall sees her for her, and is more patient with her than she has ever been for herself in her life.”
Late in the season, Gabrielle has a dream walk sequence where she faces the literal demons that have plagued her, including a seemingly disapproving father and a competitive sister. Tronco says that upbringing informed the rougher edges of who she became. “I think it kind of showed a bit in season one where she became drunk with power, with the glove and stuff. I think it comes from a place of her dad telling her that she’s never enough,” she points out.
“And so, the more and more she was exposed to this sort of power within The Order, the more and more she felt like she was becoming enough. But obviously it’s steered her in a certain direction that she’s struggling with. Like maybe it’s not be so great to torture people. I think she’s an onion and she has many, many, many layers that need to be peeled.”
Getting to wolf out this season allowed Tronco to tap into even more of Gabrielle’s layers. “Midnight is known to be the most noble of the Knights. That’s part of his history and he’s very upright and fights for justice. So to mix that with Gabrielle’s personality, I thought was really, really interesting because she’s so headstrong and determined,” she says.
“[Once they’re merged], she was having an internal battle and you saw that in the dream sequence of her trying to fight off Midnight taking over her body. It was just really, really fun because Midnight’s language was completely different [and] more Shakespearean. The physicality was completely different, you know, you never see Midnight holding a purse.”
One of the most hypnotic scenes this season, and source for me of a multi-day earworm, finds Gabrielle and Alyssa singing a bang-on karaoke version of Tove Lo’s “Habits (Stay High)” in the middle of the Knights Order induction rager. According to Tronco, selecting that song was a group effort, and the scene itself took some time to put together.
“I think what had happened was Dennis was trying to figure out a cool breakup song because he knew that it needed to correspond with Alyssa feeling guilty. She’s removing Jack from her life and then the feelings are so strong, so she goes and kisses him,” she recalls.
“He asked [us] if we had any song suggestions and [we said] that song sounds pretty good [and we teased him], ‘How do you know the song, Dennis?’ and he laughed and said. ‘I can be cool, too.’ So it ended up being Dennis’s choice actually.”
“I think it was the first or maybe the second scene in the morning for us and we were warming up behind the set with all the chairs and stuff. Everyone’s just trying to keep cool in between takes [and Sarah and I are vocalizing] sounding like monkeys for our warmup.”
“It was fun because we sang it live and that helped. They really wanted it to be genuine and [I] improvise[d] in between [with] ‘My turn’ and ‘Sing, bitch.’ I [switched it up] on one of the takes and Shelley told me to do it again with ‘Sing, bitch’ [as the keeper].”
Tronco has punched three spots on the OG 90210 bingo card, working with Jason Priestley and Ian Ziering on The Order this season, and co-starring with Shannen Doherty in 2018’s extremely well done No One Would Tell. She enjoyed working with all of them, and appreciated their generosity, especially as veterans in the business.
“They’re all really professional and on their game and they’ve been in this for a really, really long time,” she says. “I worked with Shannen a little bit longer and she gave so much, even when she was off camera, when we’re doing all our testimonies, she was giving it [and in tears] and there was so much emotion.”
“She’s amazing. It’s just so cool to see these icons. You’d think they would be a little bit looser in the game as you keep going because they’ve been there, done that, but it’s so great to see these amazing actors really still think their teeth into every script and every role they get.”
During her The Order hiatus between the first and second seasons, Tronco also filmed a couple of the Murder 101 movies for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, going back and forth between playing a continuous character and doing one-offs. “With a TV series, it’s definitely a go, go, go situation. Time is really limited and you’re just trying to run a marathon,” she explains.
“Whereas with a film, you know where you’re going to end up, so to have that kind of luxury to maybe choose, as myself, as an actor, if I want to implement any little things here and there to maybe foreshadow the ending or if I want to go the completely opposite way to not have that, that’s cool, too. With The Order, the element of surprise per episode, as I’m reading [each script] is a treat for me.”
Should we get a Season 3, which I really hope and expect, Tronco would like to see Gabrielle continue to work on herself. “Gabrielle was able to open herself up to Randall this season and to the Knights of St. Christopher. I would like to see her open up to some of the women in The Order, because I think there’s some sort of wall in front of Gabrielle,” she shares.
“For some reason, she’s having a really hard time making friendships with the women within The Order, or even with Lilith when she comes back. It would be really interesting to see what [their] chemistry might be like, especially because Gabrielle really wants to be a part of the Knights. I think that would be an interesting story.”
“In the dream sequence, her dad mentions that he should have given the money to her sister. So maybe she has some sort of bad blood toward women because of that. I don’t know. We’ve got to figure that out.”
Photos Courtesy of Netflix.
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