With roles on two major shows Gloria Votsis has been on television screens everywhere this summer! Her acting skills have been put to the test as Votsis plays two very different characters on two very different shows. In addition to starring as a vampire on ABC’s The Gates, Votsis also joined the cast of the widely popular USA Network hit series White Collar. She plays Alex Hunter, a strong, beautiful woman with a mysterious past who was brought in to further stir the pot alongside Matt Bomer’s character of Neal. In a recent interview, Votsis chatted with me about what she enjoys most about being a part of White Collar, her experiences of working with two roles at the same time, and what kind of women she most aspires to play!
How has your experience been working on White Collar, with the cast, and filming in NYC?
Gloria- Honestly I have to say it’s like the best show I’ve worked on in terms of the people, which I think everybody has pretty much said. The show itself is just like a family. And it’s rare to work on a show where everybody gets along so well and there’s just wonderful chemistry. Everybody’s friendly and fun. And the work is fun and creative and that’s White Collar. White Collar is really a unique family where people kind of all get each other and they’re all on the same page. I was really fortunate because when I got there I kind of just immediately fit right in with everybody. Also I spent a lot of time living in New York city so I was like right in my element. Which is a blessing. It’s kind of a bit like the dream actor’s job with all those elements in place.
What most appealed to you about the role of Alex?
Gloria-I just love the fact that Alex is a strong, confident female character that has depth. And it’s interesting. It’s very rare to read and find those types of characters at that age, especially for television. She’s a strong woman and a dynamic woman, but at the same time, she’s got a little bit of an edge coupled with a heart which I think is just really rare. It’s a gem of a character. When they offered the role to me and I read the material, I was just like ‘wow! She’s a bad ass without kind of being too much of a bad ass’. (Laughs) She’s got the heart too. Which is an amazing mix. So I feel really lucky to play her. I’m fortunate.
Do you have a moment you most enjoyed with her? A scene that really stood out?
Gloria-I have one coming up right now actually. There’s a ton of them but I have one coming up in the next upcoming episodes that I obviously can’t reveal too much about but it’s a great one. It’s between me and Matt [Bomer] and it has all of the elements of Alex in it. But I mean there’s so many scenes.
Actually one of the best ones we did which was the most fun and I think really exemplifies the Alex character, would be all the stuff we did in the season finale. In the Italian Embassy with the heist. That was a lot of fun, kind of James Bond moments, with the playful banter between me and Neal. That stuff was really fun to shoot.
What can you tell the fans about the future of Alex & Neal’s relationship.
Gloria-All I can say is that these two people have something that’s really deep. They have a strong history and a past. They mean a lot to one another. That’s going to be something that manifests itself in the next season without revealing too much. They’re very important to one another. They’re kind of on the same wave-length. I would say it’s a unique relationship so to speak.
You also have a major role on The Gates on ABC, how did you get involved in that show?
Gloria-Well when the pilot first came out I had initially auditioned for one of the characters on the show, Devon, I was supposed to test for that role. And I ended up not testing for it and instead auditioning to play Vanessa Buckley. Initially I did not know that I was going to be a vampire so I was under the assumption that I was just auditioning to play this character. And I was not told until I got the job by the executive producers that in fact I was a vampire. So I thought that was cool because it was a little twist that even I was unaware of. And I’m into the vampire stuff. I think it’s really fascinating and interesting. There’s a lot of history behind all of that and if you look into it, it’s really interesting stuff. So I was super psyched to play it. I was like ‘oh I thought I was just playing a real estate agent’, instead I’m going to be a vampire. It’s really cool.
What do you most enjoy about playing Vanessa, a vampire?
Gloria-I love playing Vanessa because she is like a breath of fresh air. She’s just light. And it’s a great dichotomy between being a vampire and also having this great love and this warmth radiate from her. I found that to be really interesting and I love love love that the character has that quality, that she’s actually really sweet. She’s loving and she connects with everybody in the town. At the same time she’s a vampire. So it kind of puts a little twist on the entire theme of the vampire. It humanizes a vampire. And it’s a beautiful role to play because it’s really tender.
What will viewers see happen with her this season?
Gloria-I guess I could say that we’ll get to see that darker side of her. We will get to see Vanessa in her other form.
Is it difficult for you to go back and forth between two very different roles and shows? Between Alex and Vanessa?
Gloria-I find it to be very very refreshing. I like that the two characters are so different. For me it’s a lot of fun because I can access different parts of myself in either role. And also where they take place. Vanessa, it takes place in Louisiana that’s where we shoot so the energy there and the lifestyle and the culture is drastically different and helps and lends itself to kind of the warmth, the love and the tender piece that Vanessa has. And then Alex is in New York City so there’s that. I feed off the energy of those towns so it’s really great to go to work in different places and be able to access different parts of myself.
Do you have a dream role you wish to play someday? An ideal character?
Gloria-I don’t know if I would say one specific dream role or a specific character. I think just the most important thing for me is finding warmth that resonates with who I am in a deeper level whether that be the Alex or Vanessa. I just find that finding material that kind of speaks to me where I can access deeper places within myself and things that have meaning to me on a larger scale. As opposed to where we’re just telling a story, at the same time we’re also revealing parts of ourself in these characters. I just think when you read something that’s magnetic that pulls you into it or resonates with you, whatever that may be, that’s always a positive thing. And you never know what that’s going to be. Whether it be something where you’re blown away and go I have to play that or read something and say I didn’t feel anything. So it really depends.
What else are you passionate about? What would you be doing if you weren’t in this industry?
Gloria-There’s a few of things. Maybe I would open a restaurant. I love to cook. And I love food. I’d probably work with animals. Interior design, I’m very into that. That kind of stuff, I’d love to do that.
Do you come from a background that has a passion for cooking?
Gloria- I do actually I’m Greek! I come from a very big family and I grew up in restaurants. I actually never made that connection until you just said that. (Laughs) But that actually may be where it comes from. It extends more for my passion for cooking and for food, I love eating. I’m just really into going out to eat and restaurants in general. That would be something I’d like to do.