Zabryna Guevara is an American actress. She is known for playing the role of Melania Ortiz in 3 lbs and Sarah Essen in Gotham. Guevara is also a theatrical actress and in 2013 held the role of Yazmin in the award-winning Quiara Alegría Hudes play Water by the Spoonful at Second Stage Theater.
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Hi everyone. I'm Zabryna Guevara, a New York actor. I play Captain Sarah Essen on Fox's GOTHAM, and I'm looking forward to hearing your questions! Victoria's helping me get started. AMA.
This has been wonderful. I've had a great time talking with you all. I'm gonna have to get back home in time for dinner. But thanks so much for all your great questions. And feel free to ask me more questions on Twitter, but be patient, I'm still getting used to it! And don't forget - TONIGHT is GOTHAM's second to last episode, 8 pm ET on FOX, and if you want to check out an interview that I have coming up on Noches con Platanito on EstrellaTV it's on tonight at 9, right after the show!
Hi Zabryna! What was your most favorite scene to film on Gotham?
My favorite to-date was walking into the medical examiner's room, and having to ask Nygma to take his hand out of the corpse.
The line is hilarious. I couldn't say it with a straight face when we did the read-through. Nor could everyone not chuckle at the line. And shooting it, I had to work hard to keep a straight face. And working with Cory as Edward Nygma is just wonderful. He's so talented and funny. So it's a great combination to be able to walk in with a great line!
What is the most inspiring speech you've ever heard? #1Qi
It's still Martin Luther King's "I have a dream." I still cry when I hear it. I never, ever fail to be stirred by that speech.
If you could be a hero / villain in any comic book TV or movie adaptation, who would you pick?
Wonder Woman. With the invisible jet. Whether or not that's in the comic books, I'm not sure, but she's somebody I'd love to play.
Hi Zabryna, You’ve had roles in superhero TV/film projects but you’ve not played a superhero yet…so if you could chose to be a famous superhero or super villain, who would you like to be?
I haven't decided who I want to be yet. So far, the ones I've been the most excited about are the male superheroes, so I haven't chosen a female counterpart to play. But I hope to narrow it down very soon!
You are notable in many movies, and in many tv shows. I've seen you in Gotham, and I just want to ask: what is it like working with the gotham cast? What is it like working in crime fiction? I find it really interesting, and I'm glad you are making an AMA!
Edit: I need to catch up on Gotham by the way
Well, I'm really glad to be here for this AMA. It's an exciting new world for me, too. Working on the show is a complete delight. The cast is wonderful, supportive, and incredibly talented. I can't really ask for a better situation to have to go to work to.
Hi Zabryna, love you in Gotham by the way and huge fan of the show! How is it like working with the cast? Are you close to any of them?
It's wonderful working with the cast. They're all really lovely. I've spent extra time with Robin, Victoria, Andrew, Cameron and David...We've done cast gatherings, where we'll get together at Ben's place, or to go bowling, and it's been nice, really great bonding for us to all get together. When we shoot, we don't really get to see each other on the set at the same time, because we're shooting piecemeal, and everybody does their own scenes. So it's always a nice opportunity to bond, when we get to do these get togethers outside of the set.
Having worked on both a Marvel production and a DC production, have you noticed any glaring differences between how each is run?
No, not really. I found both productions were incredibly professional. And accommodating to everything that needed to get done. And I've had a great time on both sets.
Zabryna, Are you big on exercise and fitness? How do you stay in shape and do you have fitness role models?
I have 2 small children. And it's hard for me to make the time for exercise these days. Lately I've been doing videos at home, by Tracy Anderson and Julie Tupler, because they helped me get back in shape after the second pregnancy... Jada Pinkett-Smith has been my role model. She is incredibly in-shape, and she has several children, and she manages it all incredibly well. So I've been looking up to her quite a bit.
Hi Zabryna!! Want to say that you are drop dead gorgeous before anything. How do you like working on a Batman tv show without Batsuited superhero?
It's great. We have so much leeway because it's an origin story. So we have a lot of room to play in, and to invent the storylines. And so it's pre-Batman. And I'm okay with that. And I'm actually most interested in young Bruce Wayne's developing storyline right now - I love ALL the storylines, but his has me on the edge of my seat the most.
Hello Dear Zabrina;
I'm very curious about one thing do you improvise some lines ? Are you allowed to do that? Or you have to follow the script?? Love you Zabrina❤️😏👍
I love you too!
I do not improvise lines. I am a child of the theater. And I tend to take the word on the page as law. But if we do encounter lines or phrases that we find don't fit, or are having some trouble with them, we can always approach the writers and have a discussion to see if it's something that can be changed or at the very least clarified so it can be played with truth.
How are Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue as coworkers?
I love them. They're really wonderful, wonderful guys. I get to work with them mostly. And i have such a great time with them. Donal is always making me laugh all the time. And Ben's just a sweet, sweet guy!
What summer movies are you looking forward to most this year?
So I just found out there's a Terminator movie coming out this summer, and I'm a HUGE Terminator fan, so I have to go see that. i'm not up to date with films that have already come out, with 2 young kids at home, so I'm hoping to catch up on the films that I haven't seen yet, that have ALREADY left the theaters.... as well as catching up on some of the Broadway & Off-Broadway shows that I haven't had time to see yet!
Which band would you quit your job to join as a back up singer? #1Qi
I would want to go back in time and be a backup singer for Salt n' Pepa. Because they framed my childhood. And to be their backup singer would the pinnacle of my existence.
I would totally be a backup singer for Prince.
Hi, Zabryna! c: Is there anyone on the show that you haven't worked with that you would like to?
Yes! There are so many people I'd like to work with. I'd love to do a scene with Carol Kane...and David Zayas...and Jada! They're all on the other side of the precinct. So I haven't gotten any scenes with them yet. So hopefully that happens in the future!
Hi Zabryna! Which episode of Gotham do you like the most so far?
By far, Jada scooping her eyeball out still gives me nightmares. I yelled out loud when I read it, and I yelped out loud when I saw it onscreen - and I knew it was coming!
What were the main differences you noticed between working on big films like X-Men and TV series?Which did you prefer?
Well, they're completely different mediums, between film & television.
On film, you have much shorter periods of time to work within, and you have a good idea of what your character is from beginning to end when you start production.
On TV, you're spending the better part of a year developing a character, and not always knowing what the intricacies are going to be of what will develop - even if you have a general idea of where they're going to go by the end.
I don't prefer either one over the other. They just are a little different. And you have to walk in prepared in a different way for each.
Being a big Terminator fan? What do you think of Arnold and the fact he's coming back as the title character in his mid 60s (I have to ask since I run his fanclub)?
I love it. I saw the end of the trailer, and my heart just about leapt out of my chest. I really love that series of movies. And Arnold coming back in his 60s to do this Terminator, I think they'll find a way to justify it, and his change as a Terminator - or not - he's a robot! He's traveling through time. I didn't need any coaxing to buy it when I saw the trailer, so I don't think they'll have to work too hard to sell it to me for the movie.
How did you get into acting in TV/Movies? Was it a lifelong thing or something you decided to try later on? And how long had you been pursueing acting before your career picked up signifigantly?
PS. Are you looking for a kept man in the SF Bay area?
Hehehehe! Unfortunately, I am not looking for a kept man in San Francisco, or elsewhere, but thank you for the offer!
Now I know where you are, in case.
I was a theater actor for many, many years, and I did regional theater throughout the country, as well as theater abroad - going to Ukraine and Cuba with shows. I started working in the early 90's, and after working in the theater for several years, it seemed a natural progression to pursue film & television as the next step in my career. It was a gradual transition. I worked much more in theater, and would book guest-starring roles on LAW & ORDER, or LAW & ORDER: SVU (both of which I worked on twice)... then a few years later i booked a recurring role on a pilot, and after that, a few other guest spots, into a GOTHAM series regular role!
Hope you're still answering questions. Will Gotham end with Batman showing up?
So right now, we're just in the beginning stages of young Bruce Wayne's journey. Who knows what the creators and writers have in mind? I'm sure it's gonna be good, though!
What's something that you did in your family growing up that you didn't realize was not the norm? #1Qi
My dad & mom separated when I was 12 years old. But my parents worked very hard to maintain an incredibly good friendship for us, and my father would visit for Thanksgiving, Christmas, stay with us for major holidays, and they got along just dandy. And it wasn't until I was an adult and told people that I realized that was not necessarily true for everyone who's gone through a divorce.
What was it like working on Burn Notice? It seemed your character had great chemistry with Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar).
It was great. I had a wonderful time with them. They had been running for 6 seasons already! About 5 seasons. So they had a very well-oiled machine when I arrived. And it was a pleasure to step into something so easily. And the character was kind of fun to play. Ayn (my character) was a lot of fun, because she had so much attitude, and piss & vinegar to her character! It made it a lot of fun to play.
Have you ever wanted to work on a comedic role or do you prefer dramatic and more serious work?
I enjoy dramatic work quite a bit. But I actually started out doing sketch comedy & improv. It was weird, I went into an audition in my earlier part of my career, and the casting person was saying that I might try NOT making all my choices comedic, because I'd gone in for a dramatic role. And I didn't realize I had made comedic choices - they just came across that way! And then slowly I transitioned into dramatic roles, and have sort of stayed there for a while.
Hello Captain! Any funny incidents on the set of Gotham involving Donal Logue, he seems like a bit of a prankster?
He totally is.
Unbeknownst to many people, he speaks fluent Spanish. And shocks me every time with how well he speaks it! And we were shooting a scene, it was the last scene of the last day of shooting for the week, so everybody was REALLY tired and ready to go home, and we're shooting the scene, and it had to get shot again, and all of a sudden, Donal breaks out translating his lines into Spanish, with a Spanish announcer voice!
And everybody just broke out into laughter. It helped lighten the mood, but also, it's just what he does. He's a really, really special guy.
Hello from Ohio Zabryna! I love Gotham and you especially :)
My question for you is, if you could have one superpower, (other than being superbly attractive) what would it be and why? Thanks!!
If I had one superpower it would be two-fold (because you can't just have ONE superpower). It would be to develop ridiculous martial arts skills, and at the same time, be able to heal people with those same martial arts powers! I can fight like a demon, but I can also heal with my hands.
Hey Zabryna!!! I have a question, has being on so many crime based shows made you more knowledgeable on how to commit the perfect crime if you had to do so?
Hahaha! That's hilarious! Absolutely not! I am still a wimp when it comes to breaking the law. I always work hard to stay on the right side of the law. But if I did work out how to do the perfect crime, I don't know if i'd state it publicly - that would sort of ruin my plans!
Was Peter Dinklage as awesome as he seems?
Peter is a really delightful guy. He was great to work with. I worked with him and switched off with him & Jennifer Lawrence, and they were both really lovely, as well as the director Bryan Singer on X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. I shot the movie when I was 5 months pregnant, and the costume designers worked very hard to hide my bulging belly, and nobody ever knew I was pregnant, they were very good about that!
What would you like to see happen in Season 2 of Gotham?
I would love to see the Captain's backstory develop... What her life is like outside of the Precinct. She's a tough woman who's gotten to a very high position in a very male-dominated line of work, and for her to reach this position I'm sure has meant some kind of compromise or sacrifice. And i would be interested to find that out.
If you need any real advice, don't hesitate to send me a PM on here or on my Twitter (I could send you a message on there), have been training for 5 years, and I won't charge a penny, don't believe in any of that unless someone is spending hour(s) with a client in real life.
Wow, that's very sweet.
I'm glad you're doing an AMA too. It's an incredible pleasure to talk to someone who I see on TV, especially someone from my favorite TV drama show, Gotham. You are incredible on the show by the way, very realistic acting and all!
Well, thank you very much, I'm very flattered that you enjoy the show as well as my work. It's an honor for me to be part of such a loved & anticipated show, and for people to like it is a real blessing to boot.
Would you consider going back to sketch work? It'd be interesting to see you go back to your roots
I would love to do sketch comedy again. Or any comedic role again! I hope to do that at some point, but right now, dramatic roles have been what have come my way. And I've enjoyed them too, so I don't feel like I'm taking a "hit" necessarily because of not doing comedy right now. But it would be great to go back someday.
I'd love to see you do some comedic scenes, I think you'd be brilliant at it. Do you have any sketches that you are particularly proud of?
I worked in a sketch comedy troop called "Fried Eggs" and in one sketch, we played - me and my scene partner - I played the Fallopian Tubes and she was the egg that just dropped in to be fertilized. This was never recorded.
I'm not but thanks for asking :)
Do you read any batman comics? Or any comics for that matter?
I read a bunch of research before we started shooting. But I haven't had the chance to go back since because of the production on the show. I hope to go back and read more Batman history!