The Browsing Effect: Gabriela Lopez on Dating In The Twenty-First Century [Exclusive Interview]

Technology is a boon and a curse.

With technology, society thinks dating would be easier with apps like Tinder, Bumble or Match. On the other hand, technology causes miscommunication, social media stalking and other conflicts in this new millennial age.

In the comedy romantic indie film The Browsing Effect, the film explores the endless possibilities of dating apps as a group of friends enter the whirlwind world of sex, jealousy and self-doubt. This ensemble comedy explores the dating culture in the age of swiping.

The film stars Megan Guinan, Josh Margolin, Nikki SooHoo, Drew Fonteiro, Gabriela Lopez and Larry Powell. The film is written and directed by Michael K. Feinstein.

LRM had a phone interview earlier this month with Gabriela Lopez, one of the dating characters in the film. We talked about the dating life, the production, technology and most importantly, a cow’s heart.

The Browsing Effect is available on digital and On Demand today.

Read our interview below.

LRM: I’ve checked out this a film called The Browsing Effect. Tell me why you were attracted to this project.

Gabriela Lopez: First of all, the first thing that caught my eye was the character’s name, who I ended up playing is Gabriela. It’s spelled the same way. She is Peruvian-American. And I am Peruvian-American. That was the first. It was like am I meant to do this. That’s crazy. In my almost 10 years working in the film industry, I have never seen a character with my name, around the same age, and also Peruvian-American. [Laughs] First off kind of was maybe this is like meant to be. When I started reading the script and got to know Michael [Feinstein], this is just weird and how it was meant to be.I was just really drawn to the comedy of it and his style of filmmaking.

LRM: Besides being Peruvian-American and the character name is Gabriela, is there any other commonalities with Her? Do you totally relate to Gabriela in the film?

Gabriela Lopez: I do it in a way, but I’m not a law school student and not as smart as she is. [Laughs] I do feel like she’s very open-minded and I’m the same way. She’s very authentic. She’s not afraid to be who she is. She says on how she feels. She’s very confident. I aspire to be more like her, honestly. I have some of those good qualities that she has. I feel like she is very well-rounded and I’d like to say that I’m a well-rounded individual. I feel like those are the kinds of similarities.

LRM: The film is about dating, itself. Are you familiar with these dating apps in the 21st century?

Gabriela Lopez: [Laughs] Oh, yeah. It’s so funny. We talked about it when we first started during the table read in all the cafeteria together, we obviously asked, “Okay, who’s on dating sites?” What’s your profile? If you had anything like this? I’m familiar with it and all of my friends do it. I’ve actually never been on dating sites. I just got to hear those stories from my close friends and their experiences, but I’ve never actually been on them.

LRM: You never had a chance to browse, swipe right, swipe left and do any of this stuff? You don’t have those stories?

Gabriela Lopez: No, I don’t. Everyone that I’ve dated, it just happened in real life. I’ve met somebody was a friend, through a friend or it happened naturally. I’ve never had to do it for myself though. I haven’t ever had that experience of what that would be like.

LRM: Now your character, Gabriela, had to date Ben, which is played by Josh Margolin here. How was working alongside with him?

Gabriela Lopez: We had a more intimate scene. I had really never done that before. Most of my films in the past were more like teen friendly and family friendly. This is like kind of the first thing I’ve done, a little bit more adult. He made me feel so comfortable on set. He’s so respectful. And he’s a really great guy. I really can’t say enough about him. He’s really talented and hilarious. It was easy to work with him. In many scenes, it felt like we were having a conversation. It felt real. I think you can get that from watching the film too. It’s natural with us. It doesn’t seem like we’re forcing any chemistry or forcing anything.

LRM: You said this was your first time doing the intimate scenes. There are a lot of adult themes such as fake sex and smoking pot. How did you mentally prepare for something like that?

Gabriela Lopez: Honestly, I was pretty nervous. I’ve never done anything like this before. The only way you can really like mentally prepare for getting in the [mind set], you just have to be comfortable and relaxed. You are smoking pot, the side effects is to be relaxed and giggly. If you’re nervous on set, then you’re not really going to get the best performance when you’re in those kind of scenes. Thanks to Michael and everybody that was on the team, they made it feel comfortable for me to be able to go there. Not to feel uncomfortable or nervous. It’s the perfect environment for me to be able to do those things with being feel comfortable and relaxed.

LRM: Do you want to do more of these types of movies that have more adult themes or you want to go back to family friendly type of stuff?

Gabriela Lopez: [Laughs] Honestly, I like a little bit of both. The things that I would really love to do are more like Marvel and Tim Burton films. I like big, fantasy and sci-fi films. They have adult themes and family themes. I’m really open to like both. I’m getting older. Since I started in the industry when I was pretty young, I was in that kind of world. Now I’m getting older, I want to get into this a little bit more adult stuff since it’s more relatable to where I’m at in my life.

LRM: It’s funny you mentioned Tim Burton and Mar Marvel type of movies. I can’t imagine you into geekdom and nerdom stuff?

Gabriela Lopez: [Laughs] You can’t see me into that? Ever since I’ve been acting, I’ve always wanted to be the girl version of Johnny Depp. In almost every interview that I do, people are like, “Really?” One day I’ll show all of you that I’m really just a big nerd on the inside.

LRM: You just come across so innocent. I think that’s why. [Laughs]

Gabriela Lopez: [Laughs] Well, not too innocent. My dream role is to be a villain in a Marvel movie that I really want to do.

LRM: That would be indeed be Interesting. You also have a big birthday scene. Even though you’re Peruvian, how close is that to your culture?

Gabriela Lopez: Interesting. I grew up in Alabama. [Laughs] Being Peruvian-American, is more like mainly American. To my Peruvian side of the family, this is really close to the birthday scene. My family is a little bit more like Tequila shots and let’s have some fun birthday parties. Gabriela in the film, her family is a little bit more relaxed and not as wild. My Peruvian side of the family, when we have birthday parties, we stay up until like 3 AM with a DJ and we’re dancing all night salsa dancing. It’s more on the wild side my family, but similar in regards of family dynamics.

LRM: You did have a brief break up scene in the film. Did you actually have to mentally prepare for something like that too?

Gabriela Lopez: Yeah, definitely. I had recently started dating somebody and we’re still dating. For the scene, I just used it as substitution as if he were breaking up with me. It just like broke my heart, because we were just in the early stages of dating. Being able to prepare for this thing, I just was imagining it as if he were to break up with me at that time. It was heartbreaking. I had to go there. Josh supported me in that scene where it was just hard to have someone tell you like that you’re not what they want.

LRM: You supposed with characters like that, do opposites attract can actually work?

Gabriela Lopez: Yeah! I think so. My boyfriend now, we just started dating when I was shooting the film. In a lot of the scenes, I use him as substitution to further my character. He’s an engineer. I’m an actress. We’re completely different. It works, because it is a little bit more of a balance there. Left brain and right brain. You’ve got to have both.

LRM: That is true. Why do you suppose dating is so difficult in the 21st century?

Gabriela Lopez: Honestly, I think people are so wrapped up in themselves. It’s so weird. It’s so different. With social media, it’s a thing in everyday’s lives. I feel everybody is just kind of judged on that. It’s all about like what you eat, you know, how you appear to everyone else and what are your accomplishments in your life. It just seems a little bit more selfish. I think. It is a stereotype with millennials. Part of it is kind of true, where we all are kind of wrapped up in ourselves that we can’t really see something really good that’s out there. I think people were just a little too picky, honestly. That’s just my personal opinion. [Laughs]

LRM: I’m glad it is working out for you. But, uh, let me start wrapping things up. Can you talk about some of your future projects after The Browsing Effect?

Gabriela Lopez: I have a short film that’s going to be doing this festival run this year called The Meridian Contact. I’m really excited about it. Hopefully something else will be in the pipeline, but I’m writing my own projects and working with production company. I will be working in those films and acting in them as well.

LRM: I do have one more question for you, Gabriella. Have you ever tried a cow’s heart?

Gabriela Lopez: Yes! That was actually my idea for this film. I’m so glad that you asked that. Michael asked me about it, in the script, I forgot what it was written as. I told him, “Michael, my favorite food is cow’s heart.” He replied, “What?” I told him that he got to go get it. He literally went to the store and changed the scene to fit with my favorite Peruvian dish. He was like, “Oh, that’s just too good. We have to use that.” That’s actually my favorite food being a cow’s heart.

LRM: Wow. I’ll have to try it out someday.

Gabriela Lopez: [Laughs] Sounds good.

LRM: Thank you very much, Gabriela. I enjoyed this conversation. Thank you for this interview.

Gabriela Lopez: Thank you.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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