HS Insider reporter Sarah Nachimson speaks with Kylie Cantrall and Maxwell Donovan. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Nachimson)
YULA Girls High School

Stars of ‘Gabby Duran and the Unsittables’ say the show promotes inclusivity and acceptance

Aliens are all the buzz across the internet. This is the result of a pledge by more than 250,000 facebook users to “storm area 51, they can’t stop all of us.”

A new Disney Channel show called “Gabby Duran and the Unsittables” plays with the concept of aliens with a fun plot concept. Gabby Duran moves with her mom and overachieving younger sister to a new city where she feels as if she won’t fit in. She tries to get in trouble so that her family will have to move away, but her plan fails. Instead, she babysits for her teacher’s (surprisingly) alien nephew with plenty of mishaps.

Show producers Mike Alber, Gabe Snyder and Joe Nussbaum said that the TV show is not an original idea, but instead a book-to-TV adaption.

“We wish we could take credit for [the idea],” said Gabe Snyder.

The show’s creator explained that while the show is materially different from the book, the novel is about a girl who babysits alien children.

One significant difference between the adaption material and the show is Gabby Duran’s personality. In the book, she’s uptight and responsible, but the show’s creators thought there would be more comedic value in a flawed, relatable character.

Kylie Cantrall, who plays Gabby Duran in the show, said she relates a lot with her character.

“She’s confident no matter what situation she’s in,” Cantrall said of the main character. “A lot of people would be nervous to move to a new town and try to fit in, but I think it’s cool that Gabby was able to still be herself.”

Cantrall’s unique style in real life is similar to Gabby’s in the show.

When she auditioned, the directors adjusted Gabby’s style to match with Cantrall’s, bucket hats and all. Cantrall also noted that she’s always been a fan of Disney channel and when she was younger posted Disney-related videos on YouTube.

Her Disney Channel role model is Zendaya from her favorite show as a child “Shake it Up.”

Cantrall shared her idea of the show’s message.

“I hope that fans watch the show and realize it’s okay to be who you are,” Cantrall said.

Maxwell Donovan, who plays Gabby’s friend Wesley, says he admires his character’s unique and different personality.

“It’s cool to see how similar the problems [the characters] are to us,” Donovan said.

He said his favorite show on Disney Channel when he was younger was “Phineas and Ferb.” He hopes fans watch the show and are inspired to have fun.

Valery Ortiz, who plays Gabby’s mom Dina, said the show was a surprise to her. Gabby’s mom was supposed to be a recurring role but after Ortiz’s audition, she was promoted to a series regular and had to relocate to Vancouver for filming. Ortiz relates to Dina because she’s also a go-getter.

“She’s a single mom, but she still goes out there to reach her dreams. She’s also a big family person, which I relate to,” Ortiz said.

Coco Christo says that Olivia looks out for her big sister, just like Christo looks out for her own big sister Pia. Christo hopes that fans will watch the show and learn to accept every.

“Gabby met all these aliens who were different, and she didn’t treat them any differently,” Christo said.

Nathan Lovejoy says he connected with the writing of the show at first.

“It was a very ambitious tone,” he said.

He says his character Principal Swift is very self-aware, which Lovejoy really admires. As Principal Swift moved from another planet to Earth, Lovejoy relates as he moved from Australia to Vancouver. He, like his character, had to adjust to a new place where he didn’t know many people.

Callan Farris says he relates to his character Jeremy because like him, Farris is very unpredictable.

“I’ve always felt like a social outcast,” Farris said. “I was never really part of the society of my school, and Jeremy is that way as well.” Farris emphasizes with his character’s gradual journey into the social atmosphere of Earth and finding new friends.

“Gabby Duran and the Unsittables” aired October 11.

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