Gabrielle Christian, <EM>South of Nowhere</EM> Gabrielle Christian, South of Nowhere

If you are a fan of The N's South of Nowhere, you might be sad that you still have to wait a while for new episodes especially since the high-school series left on a bit of a cliff-hanger, with gal pals Spencer and Ashley locking lips. Since Nowhere started filming again this week, TVGuide.com spoke with star Gabrielle Christian, who plays Spencer, for a sneak peek at what to expect next season.

TVGuide.com: You're just getting ready to start production. Have you seen any scripts?
Gabrielle Christian:
We started shooting on Monday. We've had one table read and we're actually starting by filming Episodes 3 and 4 first. We've heard the overall story.

TVGuide.com: Is the second season going to pick up where the first one left off?
Christian:
The first episode of this season takes place the day after the end of last season.

TVGuide.com: So we'll get to see the fallout of you kissing Ashley?
Christian:
Yes.

TVGuide.com: Were you surprised by that story line, or did you know that going in?
Christian:
I figured that was eventually going to happen. I wasn't sure if it was going to be more toward the end of the first season or beginning of the second season, but I definitely think it was a great cliff-hanger to leave our audience with.

TVGuide.com: How did your friends and family react to watching you in this role?
Christian:
At first, before seeing it and after hearing what the concept was [they were worried]. My family is more conservative  Catholic and pretty strict, with five daughters  so our father has always looked after for us a little more. When they saw it, it's pretty innocent and they didn't think it was as bad as they thought it would be. Even my dad says sometimes it's hard to see us get really physical.

TVGuide.com: But your dad probably has problems seeing you kiss boys, too.
Christian:
Yeah. Anything that I do!

TVGuide.com: So is doing the table read like going back to school after a break?
Christian:
Yeah, it is. The cast has seen each other here and there, but we hadn't seen a lot of the writers and producers. Coming back is like going to school again. It's exciting.

TVGuide.com: How did you spend the hiatus?
Christian:
I enjoyed my time hiking and traveling and having fun being a kid. I also did a few other projects on my hiatus. I did an independent film called South of Pico, and I actually think that's going to go to the Berlin Film Festival. Most of the production team was from Germany and overseas, so I think that's where it's going to go. I don't know if it will make it to the States or not. That was the first thing, then I did a recurring guest-starring role on this new NBC show coming out this summer called Windfall.

TVGuide.com: I watched the first episode of Windfall, but didn't see you.
Christian:
I'm in the last two episodes of the season.

TVGuide.com: Are you related to one of the lotto winners somehow?
Christian:
Yes. The 16-year-old girl whose mom wins, I meet up with her later in the series and am one of her friends.

TVGuide.com: Were you surprised to learn that South of Nowhere got a second season?
Christian:
Everybody's always surprised, but I thought it was going to get picked up. The story had to keep going.

TVGuide.com: Have you met any of the show's teen fans?
Christian:
Yeah. You kind of bump into them at random places, like at the post office or on the street or at restaurants. I guess I've lost my name as Gabrielle people just call me Spencer, which is funny. My sisters' friends back home are big fans of the show and my friends from college all watch the show. They're really supportive and love it and are excited for the second season. Even now, they're calling to ask what the scripts say and what's going to happen.

TVGuide.com: Is Spencer anything like Gabrielle?
Christian:
We're similar in many ways, actually. The way she thinks and her personality is the same, because my experience is similar to hers, moving from the suburbs to the big city. I didn't come from Ohio, but I moved from a small suburb in Maryland to Los Angeles. It's still kind of a culture shock for me, and I've been here three years now. It's just a big change. When you go from that experience, I can relate to Spencer.

TVGuide.com: Do you ever read the script and make suggestions to make it more relatable to younger fans?
Christian:
Actually, yeah. When we were filming last season, sometimes someone would say that something didn't feel right. Usually there's a producer or writer around and we'd collaborate on what would sound right. Before this season started, we sat down with Tom Lynch [the creator and producer] and he's asked where we saw ourselves going, just to get an idea. We're closer to the age of the characters and they ask for our advice on what's going on with people our age these days, and if this would work. Even last season, after we shot the pilot, we all went to a high school and talked to the students about what they thought about the pilot, and if they thought it was similar to their experiences and "real" enough for them, which I thought was really cool. Mandy Musgrave (who plays Ashley) and I got to go and participate in that.

TVGuide.com: That explains why the show really seems to get it.
Christian:
I know! [Chuckles] I remember Dawson's Creek, where the characters were talking with big vocabularies, which is good in some ways because I learned a lot. But at the same time it wasn't as real. With our show, a lot of people can relate  younger and older people  which is great.

TVGuide.com: The show doesn't shy away from anything, and brings a lot of things to light.
Christian:
That's great, because I know a lot of the fans of the show say how much it's helped them with their problems and helped them become more comfortable in being different.

TVGuide.com: Degrassi has a similar story line going on with two girls. Were you surprised to see that?
Christian:
I hadn't heard about that. I knew about the boy who's gay. I overheard something about that, but haven't seen it.

TVGuide.com: Obviously it must be a big teen issue.
Christian:
It is, actually. Even in my high school  I was in the performing-arts program  I had friends who were dealing with that issue and didn't come out until after graduation or until they were in college, where it was a little more acceptable to be different. I remember how much they would struggle.

TVGuide.com: Are you looking forward to the new season? Why should people tune in?
Christian:
Hmm, what's the best way to put it? I would say people could be very excited about Spencer and Ashley's relationship and it's definitely going places. There's lots of drama that's involved. A little more than the first season. I'd say about the cliff-hanger from the last episode, people will be pretty shocked to see what happens.

TVGuide.com: I actually think Spencer and Ashley are adorable together.
Christian:
Aww, thank you. I love Mandy [Musgrave] she's one of my dearest friends out here!