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  • Writer's pictureVingt Sept

Editorial: Lou Llobell on Foundation


British actress Lou Llobell is best known for her leading role in Apple TV’s hit show Foundation where she plays Gaal Dornick, a brilliant mathematical prodigy from the repressed water planet of Synnax, who becomes an integral part of preserving civilization.

The Spanish-Zimbabwean actress is a breath of fresh air to the screen as well as in the industry, gaining adornment from heavyweights such as Forbes, Vogue’s Young Creatives of 2022 and Hollywood Reporters Next Big Thing (2022); the ambitious talent has more to show the world despite being new to our screens.

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Following on from Foundation (loosely based on the eponymous books by Isaac Asimov), Llobell is filming for Beach Boys, a story of two groups of young adults who turn up to a beach party, and find their plans disrupted by the others' presence. Her film credits include Lionsgate’s Voyagers with Colin Farrell and Lily-Rose Depp as well as The Pilgrim.

We managed to grab the actress between her busy filming schedule to discuss what viewers can expect from Foundation and from Llobell for the rest of the year.

What inspired you to pursue a career in acting, and when did you realise that this was your true passion?

I’ve always wanted to act, growing up I didn’t really think I wanted to do anything else. I grew up in South Africa and took part in every school play so getting to where I am now was always a dream that felt really far away. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity and I feel lucky every day to be able to say my job is also my passion.

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You've had the opportunity to work with some amazing crews and actors. Who has been your favourite person to work with, and why?

This is so difficult to answer! Everyone I’ve encountered so far is the best at what they do. For example, we’ve got Rory Cheyne who’s the brains behind our incredible sets, Chris Maclean who’s a VFX genius, and Alex Graves who’s such a wonderfully generous director. Of course getting to work with all these incredible actors has been such a gift - Rachel House this season is absolutely fabulous.

You’ve mostly worked in television but dabbled in film. What are some of the key differences between the two mediums, and which one do you see yourself focusing on long term?

Funnily enough, each Foundation episode is basically a film in itself. I’ve found that the experience in film that I’ve had isn’t that different to my experience on this show. The scale of everything is epic and impressive so I feel like I’m ready for anything after this job.

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We have always wondered with the Sci-Fi genre, how do you immerse yourself into a world that doesn’t actually exist? What do you draw on?

You have to find the truth in everything. It’s so easy to get lost in the spaceships and galaxies but finding the truth in the story has to be the focus. Who are these people? What do they stand for? What are their goals? Gaal wants to save humanity from the impending darkness and her motivation is always remembering everything and everyone she has had to sacrifice so far. All the other things are in addition to that.

What advice would you give to aspiring actors who are just starting out in the industry?

Patience and perseverance are key. You’ll get so many no’s but you have to keep moving

forward. Also keep working your craft - read scripts, books and watch as much as you can.

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What do you think sets your acting style apart from other actors in the industry?

I wouldn’t say I have a particular acting style and I don’t like to compare myself to anyone else. I aim to have an understanding of my character and the story I’m trying to tell and then I pretty much trust my instincts for the rest.

What has been your most memorable moment on set, and why?

Filming on locations this season; from filming in the desert in Fuerteventura, to a beach in Lanzarote and then to the Tisá rocks in the Czech Republic. It’s pretty amazing getting the chance to act in these settings because although we have to imagine so much, these places really help make these worlds feel real.

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Is acting the final destination or would you like to explore other roads along the way?

I’m keen to see where this path takes me. I’m open to everything but also happy if I only act forever.

Finally, what can your fans look forward to seeing from you in the future? Do you have any upcoming projects that you're particularly excited about?

Hopefully more Foundation seasons and beyond!

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Foundation returns for Season 2 July 14 on Apple TV+

Photographer Philipp Raheem

Fashion Kiera Liberati

Hair by Natalie Jibeili at Proper Represents

MUA Margo Holder at Proper Represents using Decorté

Location Liberati Studios

Editor & Interview Jheanelle Feanny


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