Lily Santiago and Michelle Vergara Moore talk about La Brea
Lily Santiago and Michelle Vergara Moore, who play Veronica and Ella in La Breaspoke with Solzy at the cinema of the series.
In particular, the duo were on hand to discuss a touching moment set in the second season’s fourth episode, “The Fog.”
The second season of La Brea is currently airing on NBC. All episodes are available to stream the next day on Peacock.
I enjoyed these two seasons of La Brea so far. How did you react when you discovered the series for the first time?
Lily Santiago: You mean at the beginning, before we start filming the first season?
Or at your first audition.
Lily Santiago: It was interesting because during the audition for me, they really didn’t give me a lot of information. I just had to throw away my version of those very simple lines because they didn’t want to give anything away. And then, right before my call back, they told me the thing is, I had kidnapped my sister. I just had to change a dime in my audition and be like, this is a different level of brotherhood. We are like Sister Wives in a way. And from there, knowing that it was filming in Australia, knowing that it was a network television show and all that that entails in terms of visibility. Also, just the scale of it, the scale of the sets. We’re here on an actual playground, basically, in nature, dealing with the elements actually, dealing with animals actually, which aren’t as extreme as they were in 10,000 BCE. But yeah, everything was super exciting because the show itself is really crazy in everything we do.
Michelle Vergara Moore: I think for me, because the show was already filming when I got that audition. And again, not a lot of information. A very enigmatic character. And so later it was revealed that I was actually Lilly, young Lilly, and I didn’t see that coming. I was kind of like, maybe, but no one had told me anything. I had no idea how important the role was going to be. I didn’t know if it was just me invited for one episode or three. I think David Applebaum just wanted to keep things very close to his chest and certainly didn’t want any spoilers to come out of this big reveal of Ella being adult Lilly.
La Brea has become one of those series where I can’t wait to see the next episode. Is it the same on your side when it comes to receiving the latest script?
Lily Santiago: Yes. People don’t know all the time. Last week, I showed up to define, I think, three of the days when I had new things to say. So even when you have a script, that’s not necessarily what you’re going to film. And even when you read it, if you’re not in the scene, you actually have no idea what they did. Because I don’t usually watch playback – maybe once I watched it because of an action thing and you want to make sure you’re in the right place or something or you’re trying in different ways and you’re like, is this okay. But I don’t usually watch the playback, so at the end of the day, I really have no idea what we’re doing beyond how I feel and my interactions with the people on set. I’m also very excited to read the next script, but eventually see it when everyone sees it because it’s going to be completely different from how I read it.
Michelle Vergara Moore: I agree. I have no idea what will happen next. I’m so glad you as a viewer are like what’s going to happen next week? It’s just this classic storytelling where they leave it on a semi-cliffhanger. This season, they actually split the season. What is the fall…
Lily Santiago: The fall finale. We have a first half and a second half this year.
Michelle Vergara Moore: We’ll have to wait until next year (laughs) to find out what will happen at the end of season 2. It’s going to be painful for us too, I think.
I remember last year, as soon as I got the email from NBC, new screener available, press play!
Michelle Vergara Moore: Yeah.
Lily Santiago: We are grateful to you.
Your two characters, Veronica and Ella, had quite a journey and reached a very emotional moment in episode four. How has it been with the approach to their relationship this season?
Michelle Vergara Moore: I think it’s been really hard for Ella trying to connect with her sister because Veronica just doesn’t want to have a bar of it. She’s just like, Get away from me. I think Ella is just having a hard time connecting and understanding why Veronica doesn’t want to communicate with her, doesn’t want to engage. I think in episode four, Wolves, which was incredibly fun to shoot, we had to pretend there were wolves, obviously. I think when these circumstances are so dire, they both think they’re potentially going to die, and Veronica just has to reveal this huge, horrible secret she’s been harboring and Ella very graciously forgives her at this point- the.
Lily Santiago: Yeah, I think from the first moment of the reunion, which for Ella was 30 years, and for Veronica, it was a day or two but with a 30 year difference in who she kisses. There’s this moment of fear, joy, love, relief, anger and integrating all of those things into each of our scenes before we worked things out was tough and really fun because each scene was just superimposed. Even though we say three lines, there are so many layers of background, story and emotion. Eventually we reach that point where we could die. I think Veronica – in her mind, she’s like, I can’t die harboring this secret, knowing this information, wanting you to be my friend, when I know what I’ve done. It’s kind of a time when she doesn’t even necessarily seek forgiveness, she always gets forgiven. But it’s just a moment of release from, I’m not going to die with this on my chest. This gives them the opportunity to restore their relationship in a beautiful way and to start trusting and relying on each other again.
It was so nice to meet you. Thanks a lot.
Lily Santiago: Thank you, Danielle.
Michelle Vergara Moore: Goodbye.
La Brea airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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