Ones to Watch: Fall TV’s Breakout Stars

At a recent press gathering in Los Angeles, Bio chatted with some of the fresh faces of fall TV. Meet Five of the Ones to Watch, as the new shows sweep onto the small screen starting this month.
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At a recent press gathering in Los Angeles, Bio chatted with some of the fresh faces of fall TV. Meet Five of the Ones to Watch, as the new shows sweep onto the small screen starting this month.

KAREN GILLAN

Age: 27

She Plays: Eliza Dooley on Selfie, a modern interpretation of My Fair Lady, with John Cho (Sleepy Hollow) as her Henry, who tries to help transform his vain and vapid social media obsessed co-worker into a charming unselfish swan.

Selfie TV Show Photo

Karen Gillan and John Cho in 'Selfie' (Photo: ABC/Bob D'Amico)

Premiere Date: September 30th on ABC

Where You’ve Seen Her Before: Doctor Who (2008-2013), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

On Her Self-Obsessed Character: “It’s a mixture of everyone I know, including myself, and I just took those character traits to the extreme,” Gillan told us. 

The Scottish Beauty Plays American: “That was one of the things that was most attractive about the role for me, was to get to learn to do an American accent. I watched a lot of American TV shows for this research. And went to SoulCycle to listen to the women,” Gillan laughed. “It’s a combination of all the girls who go to SoulCycle.”

CRISTIN MILIOTI

Age: 29

She Plays: The lovelorn Zelda on the destiny-themed rom-com A to Z, costarring Ben Feldman (Ginsberg from Mad Men) as her potential soul mate Andrew. Series narrator Katey Sagal explains the premise in the intro: “Andrew and Zelda will date for eight months, three weeks, five days and one hour. This program is a comprehensive account of their relationship — from A to Z.”

A to Z Photo

Cristin Milioti and Ben Feldman on 'A to Z' (Photo: Trae Patton/NBC)

Premiere Date: October 2nd on NBC

Where You’ve Seen Her Before: As the “Mother” on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother

The Mother of All Guest Roles: “It’s an honor to be known as The Mother,” Milioti told Bio of landing the coveted HIMYM role. “It’s a dream come true…I’m the luckiest person in the world to do this for a living, someone pays me to do this. And now I’m having the best time on this show…I’m very eager to go to work every day.”

Does She Believe in Destiny? “I would say I believe in destiny 85 percent of the time. No. 94 percent of the time,” Milioti said during her panel presentation at the TCA Press Tour in Los Angeles. “I do think if the right song is playing and the sunlight is good and hits me a certain way, I believe in it.”

GRANT GUSTIN

Age: 24

He Plays: Barry Allen in The Flash, a nerd-turned-superhero after an explosion causes a freak storm in which Barry is hit by lightning and suddenly develops lightning quick speed.

Flash CW Photo

Grant Gustin as 'The Flash' (Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW)

Premiere Date: October 7th on The CW

Where You’ve Seen Him Before: On Arrow, Glee and 90210

The Irony of His Flashy Super Powers: “Speed is his power. I actually was very fast as a kid but, ironically, I hated running," Gustin revealed. "I started acting when I was eight, and I quit soccer because I thought it was ridiculous that we were running back and forth. But I have always been pretty fast, luckily.”

Challenges of the Job: “I have to jump up really high just to get the pants on,” Gustin told us of his skin-tight superhero costume, “so that's part of the ritual now.”

His Favorite Superhero: “Christopher Reeve as Superman – I was obsessed with those movies. I actually got a tattoo of Superman on my forearm because of those movies.”

GINA RODRIGUEZ

Jane the Virgin Photo

Gina Rodriguez stars in 'Jane the Virgin' (Photo: © 2014 The CW Network)

Age: 28

She Plays: The titular role of Jane the Virgin, a series inspired by a Venezuelan telenovela in which she plays a young college student and devout virgin who – and don’t ask us how – accidentally gets artificially inseminated by her OB-GYN. Complicating matters: The father turns out to be the handsome, married owner of the Miami hotel where Jane works.

Premiere Date: October 13th on The CW

Where You’ve Seen Her Before: Starring in the 2012 breakout Sundance film Filly Brown; appearing on The Bold and the Beautiful (2012)

A Cultural Role Model: “I didn’t become an artist to be a millionaire. I didn’t become an actor to wear Louis Vuitton. I have to give this dress back when we’re done,” Rodriguez told TV critics at a press conference in July where she charmed the crowd. “I became an actor to change the way I grew up. I never saw myself on screen.

“Sadly, right now the perception of Latinos in America is very specific to maid, landscape, pregnant teen. Mind you, I am playing pregnant…” she continued. “So every role that I’ve chosen has been one that I think is going to push forward the idea of my culture, of women, of beauty, my idea of liberating young girls, of feeling that they have to look at a specific beauty type. I don’t have to be a perfect size 0. I can be a perfect size me.”

CRISTELA ALONZO

Age: 35

She Plays: A woman chasing her dream of becoming a lawyer while juggling her family obligations and multiple jobs in Cristela, a Latino family comedy loosely based on the breakout comedian’s own life.

Cristela Alonzo Photo

Cristela Alonzo as 'Cristela' (Photo: ABC/Bob D'Amico)

Premiere Date: October 10th on ABC

Where You’ve Seen Her Before: Performing on the college comedy circuit; as a writer for Mind of Mencia

A Difficult Childhood: “I starred in a play in the 3rd grade and I was hooked. I was just accidentally very good. So my mom having to work double shifts six days a week, and her not being around so much to squash the dream, helped me continue chasing the dream,” Alonzo told Bio of her acting dreams. “I grew up in the Border town, lived there for 18 years, tried to go to college for theater, couldn’t afford it, had to drop out immediately to move in with my sister and her kids and take care of my mom when she started getting sick, which is right where the show starts, so it comes from a real place of truth.”

Her Comedic Inspiration:Roseanne Barr. She was a real woman but spoke the way she wanted to, was unapologetic, and didn’t care if anybody liked her or not. She was honest and very comfortable in her skin and, to me, she just looked like people I knew. And I thought being herself is really working for her, so I’m just going to try and be myself as well.”