Actor Gabrielle Christian is best known for her lead role, Spencer Carlin,
on the N Network’s South of Nowhere.
For the past three years, Christian has portrayed a rarity in episodic
television – a thoughtful, out and proud teen lesbian with a hot girlfriend who
is nobody’s side-kick (or a witch).
The 24-year-old Washington DC native landed her first series in 2000 on the
short-lived WB show, Young Americans (featuring a
young Katherine Moennig as a
character named "Jake" because some things never change), and has
worked steadily ever since, most recently making guest appearances on CSI: Miami, Numb3ers (both CBS), Girltrash!
and an original episode of LadyCop,
the show-within-a-show on the web series, 3Way.
Since South of Nowhere’s abrupt cancellation,
Christian has been devoting her time and celebrity to non-profits such as FAIR Fund, an organization that works globally
with young women in its fight against human trafficking, domestic violence and
Christian, whose last name pays tribute to her infant brother who died in
1991 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is also the spokesperson for SIDS Educational Services, where her
mother is an executive director.
Who says Hollywood actresses are all
vacuous, publicity-mongering, party girls? (Not that there’s anything wrong
with that.) Gabrielle Christian simply has better things to do, such as talking
to AfterEllen about the end of her show, her new documentary, and whether or
not she’s sick of her friend and fellow cast member, Mandy Musgrave.
AfterEllen: Let’s get right to it.
How do you feel about South of Nowhere
Gabrielle Christian: Well, I would have liked to have seen it go a lot
further, especially since we covered the high school world so well. And now, right
before Spencer goes to college, the show ends! It’s really sad because I wanted
to continue on that journey; see where she would end up and what she would
become in the end. I was a little bit disappointed as an actor.
AE: Let’s pretend Spencer goes off to
college. Would she and Ashley have stayed together?
GC: I think they would definitely break up, at least once or twice, especially
the Ashley character. I think she needs a lot of attention. She’s into being a
star and having people love her. For her girlfriend to be on the other side of
the country, or even a few hours away, I just don’t think it would be enough
for her. Even if she grew up a little bit, the character is really needy.
Whereas Spencer is independent and takes her school very seriously. I think
in the end, they would obviously have to get back together. They are true loves
and would probably figure something out after college. Spencer would probably move
back and they’d live together.
AE: Where they can comb each other’s
hair forever. Why was SoN so devoid
of decent love scenes for Spencer and Ashley?
GC: The network, obviously, has high standards for kids. So many of our
viewers, and a lot of the fan letters we get, are from elementary and middle
school kids. We air right after Degrassi and
About a Girl, and some of those
teenybopper shows, so I think they just wanted to be cautious with our
But it was kind of hypocritical in the sense where every other character on
the show is extremely physical, having sex and making out. I don’t know if it’s
that society’s not ready to see young people who are gay being physical, or
what it is. But I think on our show, they were just really scared to show too
much of it.