Published: Monday, 24 August 2020 03:01 | Written by SciFi Vision
***Contains slight spoilers***
Friday, the first eight episodes of season five of the hit series, Lucifer, dropped on Netflix. The series, based on the character created by Neil Gaiman for the Sandman series, follows Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the devil, who abandoned Hell for LA. Lucifer works as a consultant alongside partner Chloe Decker (Lauren German) at the LAPD solving crimes often involving the supernatural. When dealing with evidence, they get help from forensic scientist Ella Lopez, played by Aimee Garcia.
Garcia recently talked to Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about working on the show, romantic interests for her character, costumes, and more.
SCIFI VISION: The one thing I wanted to talk about, is in the one episode, you get to accompany Lucifer on a case. Can you just kind of talk about what that was like? And also, do you think Ella would ever want to do that again, or do you think she's happy in the lab?
AIMEE GARCIA:Ella is definitely very happy in the lab, but I think she likes her piece of action; she has a little bit of like a ‘put me in coach’ attitude. She's got an adventurous spirit to her. She came from a life of poverty with four brothers, so she's not a stranger to adventure.
I think, you know, Ella loves Lucifer. I mean, he's like a big brother, and she probably thinks he could use a hug. She just wants him to get together with Chloe already. And she thinks he's just a terrible actor.
I feel like, you know, she loves his car. I personally loved it. I might be projecting [laughs], but I personally got really excited that I got to ride in that Corvette, and we just did a couple takes, which is great. I mean, for not being a stunt guy, [Ellis] nailed the mark, which isn’t easy. It's like a little piece of chalk on the side of the road, and he comes squealing in and nailed it. And we did it in two takes, and that was it. We’re like, Oh, this is so fun.
So, I had a really good time in that episode. You know, I think Kevin [Alejandro] directed that episode. And for me, personally, it was out of my wheelhouse for Ella, because, obviously, she goes to a really dark place, and we see her in a very serious situation. As an actor, that was really fun, because it's always fun to do. It was a little terrifying but also fun to do something different. Obviously, everybody's drawn to Lucifer, but they definitely have a really special relationship. So, other than the supernatural element, what do you think it is that really just made her want to be his friend so quickly?
I think she just sees his heart. Like she says in an episode, “He's an angel. Once you're an angel, you can't be all bad.” So, I think she sees his angelic side. I think she sees his goofy, playful side, and I think she hopefully brings it out of him. Like when they do their banter and their jokes and their quips and puns, and Chloe, the consummate professional, wants to stay on track, I think [Ella] thinks he's just hilarious. I think she thinks, you know, Lucifer’s got jokes. And I think she trusts him; I think that's the biggest thing. I think she trusts that he is a good friend, and her instincts are right. You know, when her brother comes into a previous episode and tries to dupe her and take advantage of her love goggles for him, Lucifer sets him straight and says, “Hey,” like an older brother would, “Don't ever do that again; otherwise you'll have to deal with me.” So, I think instinctually she trusts him and feels like he's like an older brother. They kind of riff off each other. She feels really comfortable with him. She may or may not slap him in the first episode of the season, because she feels abandoned, but yeah, I think she just sees his angelic side in the same way she saw Goddess’s. When everyone was like, “Oh, she's got shark eyes,” she tells ‘Mom,’ “I see a light” when she comes back from Heaven. So, I feel like she sees, but she doesn’t really see, because she’s the only clueless character on the show. I'm like, oh, jeez, smartest dumbest character on Lucifer.
So, can you talk about her romantic journey this season?
I think she's really guarded when it comes to love. I think she's very comfortable in her skin and unapologetic when it comes to science and stealing cars and picking locks and all that stuff, and obviously she's got a bit of a gambling problem, so that's not great. She's no angel, but she's very capable. She speaks multiple languages: Klingon, Spanish, French, has tons of hobbies, as we know. She's kind of this little Energizer Bunny, but the place that she doesn't feel safe and comfortable is with love and romance, which I think is very relatable, because giving yourself to someone is really scary and terrifying.
So, I think she's very cautious about who she lets her guard down to, and she finally does. For the first time, she really lets someone in, finds a partner in crime, a fellow Star Trek geek, and it ends up not being what she thought. So, I mean, it's heartbreaking for her. It's one thing to have a crisis of faith like she had last year, but to have a crisis of self, of ‘who am I if I'm picking the wrong people to be romantic with? What does that say about me if we're just a reflection of our partner?’ I think it really sends her into a bit of a self-doubting spiral, which is very relatable but also really heartbreaking, because if anyone deserves love, I think it's Ella.
So obviously that experience is very traumatic. Do you think maybe the second half of the season, will we ever see her talk to Linda about her problems? I'd love to see that.
I cannot confirm nor deny, but I will say that the writers are so excellent, and they make sure that any seed they plant grows. So, there definitely will be an aftermath, an emotional aftermath, of this really traumatic situation for her, especially because she didn't have time to digest it right away. I mean, there were pressing matters. There was a friend’s life at stake.
What I love about her, is that she puts her friend’s safety ahead of her own heartbreak. They’re like, “Yo, take the day off.” She's like, “No.”
So, I think that we’ll definitely be seeing her reel with the emotional aftermath of getting completely just sideswiped and having an emotional bomb just fall on her. I don't know, I think there're certain events in life that change you, and this might be one of them, where, you know, she is a bright light, but some things are just hard to recover from. So, hopefully Ella will trust herself again, but I don't think that's going to be an easy journey.
I don't remember for sure which episode this is, but Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt) kind of emulates Ella in the one episode. Did you work with her to help her become Maze’s version of Ella or anything like that?
[laughs] Well, Lesley-Ann is such a good actor. She's just [instinctual], and I think just being around each other for so long, she knows my energy. I think she's such a detail-oriented actor, from her hairstyle, to the shoes she’s wearing, to her nail polish, you know, what type of braids she's going to wear, how long her hair is going to be. I mean, she's such a technician with detail, and so she brings that same sort of technical eye to creating the Ella character, which was great. She knew exactly how she wanted to do her hair, knew which shirts. She was like, “Hey, can I get those same shoes?” So, it's really going to be fun to see these curveballs. The least likely character to dress in a T-shirt you're going to see dressed in a T-shirt. So, that's where I think the fun part of the show comes in.
And you get some crazy costumes, even in that episode, but also in the rest of the season. Speaking of which, can you talk a bit about the film noir episode even the costume, just kind of creating that character who is very much unlike Ella, and what inspired the way you portrayed the character?
Well, our costume designers, Agata [Maszkiewicz] and Sabrina [Burns], they're phenomenal. I mean, this show is completely team oriented. For people who aren't in the industry, it's really important for them to know that, yes, we're the actors, and yes, they see us, but we have an entire team backing us up and just operating at such a high level. So, we have our wardrobe, and they're so great.
And the best part about it is we shoot at Warner Brothers, and Warner Brother has this plethora of costumes and period costumes and hats. So, it was great. They did such a good job; they nailed it. Their info pictures were fantastic. They had collages for each character, down to the mustache. We had a mustache test. How big should Ella's mustache be? How thin should it be? How long should it be? Everyone looks fantastic.
I mean, female characters turn into male characters; male characters turn into female characters. And for me, personally, I really like to dig in, so I walked around the house with a sock in my pants to see what it would feel like to be a man. I watched way too many Marlon Brando movies. I watched The Godfather like four times. I obviously did research on him. I'm like, whoa cotton balls in the mouth, okay. So, I put some cotton balls in my mouth to get that mumbling feel, and mind you, this is for like not even that long of a thing, but I thought, I really want to get into what it feels like to be a mob boss.
And then as soon as you put on the shoes and the hat and they put the cigar in your hand - and I practiced how to cut the cigar, so it would look seamless - it was just so fun. It's so hard not to get into the character, and mind you, we didn't really have that much time to prep. I mean, these episodes move so fast. We shoot an entire episode in less than two weeks.
So, it's really a testament to the actors and the writers, and everyone just has such a good time in the shadows, and it really is reminiscent of the 1940s from the soundtrack - it was like doing a movie in the middle of the season, and it's already hard enough to shoot a season, so I was just so proud of the team. Everyone stepped up. It's like creating, you know, seven new different characters. So, it was fun.
And then of course in my Ella fashion, I tried to drop a little humor even though we don't see her for that much, but I thought, this character has got to have a sense of humor with her goons. So, I definitely dropped that in for a little wink to the fans.
And my next question, and for all I know, this could happen in season six, I have no idea, but regardless of that, in your own opinion, how do you think Ella will react if and when she finally finds out about Lucifer? And do you think that somebody will tell her, or will she figure it out on her own?
That is a great question. I have no idea. They completely keep me in the dark, rightfully so. I think it's a toss-up. I don't know. I mean, Ella is a woman of faith, so she believes in God. She believes in what she cannot see already, but she’s also very tactile. She’s a scientist; she's a woman in STEM. She likes to prove things; that's what she does for a living. She finds the weapon; she finds the murderer. So, it's one of those things where it could go either way.
I would love for her to find out at some point. I actually love that she doesn't know, because it leads to so much fun banter of her just being completely clueless, but I don't know.
I think she'd probably give Lucifer a hug and ask a ton of questions and be like, “Yo, can we go out and get a beer or margarita and figure this out?” because Ella likes her tequila. So, maybe it would be like, “Can we just [talk]? I got so many questions.” But, you know, like Ella told Chloe in earlier seasons, Lucifer is an angel. So, once you're an angel, you can't be all bad. So, I don't know. I would love to find out, and I hope for her that she does find out, but that's above my paygrade. So, I don't know. I’m on a need to know. [laughs]
Well, hopefully if she does, it'll be at the end, because it is fun that she's the one person who doesn't know.