La Brea's Zyra Gorecki Previews On-Screen Family Drama and Real-Life Disability Representation

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Izzy Harris and her dad Gavin are left behind in Los Angeles when a massive sinkhole separates them from the rest of the family when NBC’s new sci-fi and family drama, La Brea, premieres at 9/8 c on NBC on Tuesday, September 28th.

Izzy, played by Zyra Gorecki, struggles with guilt and helping her dad find the rest of the family.

TV Fanatic hopped on the phone with Zyra to discuss working with Eoin Macken, the importance of disability representation, and how La Brea compares to Lost.

Zyra Gorecki Press Photo - La Brea

Hi, I saw the pilot today. I really enjoyed it. Obviously, from the five-minute sneak peek that everybody’s seen, we see you tried to save your mom Eve (Natalie Zia.) What is Izzy’s relationship with her mom like?

I think Izzy’s relationship with her dad is a lot stronger. She and her mom still have the mother-daughter connection that most people have. I think there’s some resentment about being taken away from her dad.

She may hold some resentment just because teenagers often do with their parents when something happens. Even though there is that resentment, they are still family, and they are so close.

Absolutely, and yes, I noticed you seem to be closer to your dad. What has it been like working with Eoin Macken? I’ve always loved him, and I like the father-daughter relationship you two seem to have just from the pilot.

Eoin is lovely to work with. He is an amazing human being, an amazing actor. He’s a very generous scene partner. It is very easy to do your best work when you are in a scene with him because he gives you everything you need to work with.

Father & Daugther Reunited - La Brea Season 1 Episode 1

I think having a relationship with him in between takes definitely helps it be more realistic when we make that father-daughter connection on screen.

Absolutely, I mean, I love that already in the first episode, and I can’t wait to see it develop even more.

Oh, yeah, you definitely can. Like you said, it develops over the season. I think you’ll be very excited.

I can’t wait since I really love it in the first 60 minutes. So besides your dad, what other characters do you interact with a lot on screen?

So in the first episode, you see Izzy interact a lot with her dad and with Aunt Jessica, so they’re definitely her two most important people in the pilot and her support system for dealing with the aftermath of the sinkhole.

Okay, and how are you able to bring your real-life experience as an amputee into the character of Izzy?

The Sinkhole - La Brea Season 1 Episode 1

As an amputee, you have different experiences than a fully limbed person. Whether it’s walking down the street, people stare at you, and it gets emotional.

I’ve discovered having those rough days and having those amazing days that you have unique experiences than a fully limbed person. Bringing that to the show made it more realistic and more relatable than a fully limbed actor trying to play her.

I was honestly very surprised that they wrote that in and very pleased.

Absolutely. It doesn’t happen very often, but I’m so pleased there is a representation for amputees, especially on an NBC show like this. It is very exciting.

What do you think the acting climate can do to be more accommodating to those with disabilities?

Izzy is Scared - La Brea Season 1 Episode 1

I think if you have a character that has a disability, then you get an actor that has that disability. I think that’s one of the biggest things and also just representation in general.

There are a lot of different disabilities in society, and to kind of hide, those away takes away that very interesting part of society. So, just bringing to life those stories of people makes an enormous difference.

Absolutely. So, I’ve heard that many people have compared La Brea to Lost. Do you think that is true, and how so?

I think it’s true. I think it’s a mix of Lost and Jurassic Park is what people are comparing it to. I think it is with all the crazy stuff that happens in it, like Jurassic Park, with the prehistoric creatures and the primeval world.

But like the other shows, you have this emotional aspect as well. You still have your family, which I think is a really nice perspective. Even though all this crazy stuff is happening, you still bring it back to the core.

Yes, I think at its core, it is still a family drama. That’s what I think too. It has a lot of sci-fi, but I still see a lot of heart to it.

Excellent. That’s what we were going for.

The Birds - La Brea Season 1 Episode 1

Why do you think TV fans should watch the series? How is it different from other sci-fi and family dramas?

I think people will really enjoy watching it because you do not know what is happening next. I did not know what was happening next, from script to script. There are all these epic adventures that people down under go through, but also the people up top go through.

They have crazy missions that they go on to try to reunite their families and save these people. I think people really enjoy that, both the family condition but also the curiosity of what next.

Yes, it definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. I will admit to that. And how would you describe La Brea to us in three words?

Family. Primeval. Adventure.

La Brea premieres at 9/8c on Tuesday, September 28th, on NBC.

Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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La Brea Quotes

Izzy: I should’ve held on, and now they’re gone. It’s my fault.
Gavin: It’s not your fault. I got you. I got you.

Izzy: Hang on, okay?
Eve: Izzy, you’ve got to go.
Izzy: No, I’ve got you.