At any moment, life can change.
Stephen Lopez knows this all too well.
The Australian actor was asked to read for the pilot of NBC’s “La Brea” while it was filming in Australia.
“I read for some other minor roles and did table reads with the cast,” he says. “Nothing was set in stone. I thought I was helping out the production by being that and participating. Little did I know that the table reads were my callbacks.”
In the NBC hit series, Lopez plays Billy Fisher.
The series has been averaging about 5 million viewers since its debut in September. It airs at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC. It is also available on demand and on Hulu.
“La Brea” is an epic adventure that begins when a huge sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles, pulling hundreds of people and buildings into its depths.
Those who fell in find themselves in a mysterious and dangerous primeval land, where they have no choice but to band together to survive.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world desperately seeks to understand what happened.
In the search for answers, one family torn apart by this disaster will have to unlock the secrets of this inexplicable event to find a way back to one another.
The cast includes Natalie Zea, Eoin Macken, Jon Seda, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chiké Okonkwo, Karina Logue, Zyra Gorecki, Jack Martin, Veronica St. Clair, Rohan Mirchandaney, Lily Santiago, Josh McKenzie and Chloe De Los Santos.
Writer David Appelbaum executive produces with Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt, Ken Woodruff, Arika Lisanne Mittman and Adam Davidson.
Lopez says Fisher is a very opinionated person from Los Angeles.
“He loses his glasses, and that makes life quite difficult,” Lopez says. “He’s in a relationship with Tony. Billy is very sure of himself aboveground, but in the sinkhole, he’s a little bit like a fish out of water.”
Being part of the cast, Lopez says, provided an opportunity for him to do something different.
“There’s a hole in the market for something sci fi like this,” he says. “I’ve been watching it unfold week after week with audiences. It’s been thrilling to see the reactions to it all.”
Lopez is no stranger to the entertainment industry.
He started working as a child actor, and by the time he was a teenager, his long, curly hair helped him snag roles as the “pretty boy” in productions.
With “La Brea,” he’s proud of how diverse the cast is, and it helps play to his strengths.
“Diversity in casting is a big thing, because it opens up opportunities for people like me,” he says. “I like to think I can play any role.”
Being part of an ensemble cast has been amazing, he says.”
“There are a lot of us, and it’s like one big jigsaw puzzle,” he says. “Each one of us is important to the overall narrative.”