Eli Stone's Julie Gonzalo Takes on Hollywood
You may not know her name yet, but 26-year-old Argentinean actress Julie Gonzalo is a star on the rise. Following memorable film roles in Freaky Friday and Dodgeball , and a starring role on the UPN drama Veronica Mars , Gonzalo is enjoying her role as idealistic attorney Maggie Dekker on the ABC drama Eli Stone, which stars Jonny Lee Miller as a lawyer with a brain aneurysm, who might also be a prophet. Read on to get to know the gorgeous and talented model turned actress, and get the inside scoop on tonight's finale.
You were born in Argentina. When did you come to the U.S.?
I moved to Miami when I was 8. Well, I was moved. I held my mom's hand and didn't have a say.
When was the last time you were in Argentina?
Unfortunately, it's been a while. I haven't been there since 2001. But I love Buenos Aires – it's an amazing city and I have family there. It's pretty much like New York – full of life, people, cars and a subway system. It's just beautiful. That's why people call it the European city of South America.
When did you know you wanted to become an actress?
I started in high school with theater and plays. After high school, I started modeling in Miami because there's a big base for commercials there. I always had a thing for performing, but I really got bitten by the acting bug at about 18 or 19. At one point I was living and modeling in Milan, Italy, and I remember saying, “I don't want to model anymore. From now on, I will pursue acting.”
You've worked with so many talented actors, from Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn to Kristen Bell and Lindsay Lohan. Who's the most talented person you've ever worked with?
Jaime Lee Curtis. I got to work with her twice: once on Freaky Friday and another time on Christmas with the Kranks. In the latter film I played her daughter. We shared a trailer and she wanted to be with me, and I was flattered and amazed. She is so down to earth, and such a beautiful human being. She taught me about acting and about having a long career. She's the best person I've worked with because to this day, I still remember the words she said to me. But I have worked with many talented people.
Tell us about your character on Eli Stone, Maggie Dekker…
Maggie is just full of energy and life. She's a junior associate of a firm and doesn't have a lot of experience. But what she does have is the yearning and desire to learn. That's why she clings onto Eli – she's trying to learn everything she can from him, because she admires him and likes him.
Maggie and Eli shared a kiss during a recent episode this season. Are they going to become an item on the show?
Not that we know of yet. Eli's priority, after he finds out he has a brain aneurysm is to find out what's going on with him, not to have a relationship. Our characters kiss during a scene in which Maggie has just won a case, so she hugs and kisses him. It was a cute kiss.
Is Jonny Lee Miller a good kisser?
Hmm. Ya know, it was very quick. I didn't really have time to soak it in. But I'd say yes, of course!
Have you ever dated a guy like Eli Stone, who sees things that aren't there?
Oh God no. Not yet. (laughs) I am in L.A., though, so you never know!
You've worked on television and done movies, what's the best project you've ever worked on?
I am very grateful and blessed for everything I've been a part of, but I have to say that Eli Stone has been my favorite work experience. The cast is great and the writing is fabulous, and I've really gotten to connect with my character over the last six months. I enjoy playing Maggie a lot. The show is so different from everything else that's on television. We talk about God and religion in unique ways. It's magical, heartwarming and light-hearted.
What can we expect to see in tonight's season finale?
Well, it's one of the best episodes of the series. My mouth fell open when I read it. It's going to make people laugh and cry and get very emotional. Fans can expect to see a guest appearance from someone who has appeared on the show in the past. I don't really want to say anymore, and I want people to watch it because it's honestly a spectacular finale!
What's next for you?
I don't know yet because we're on the fence with the show. I hear rumors we might be returning, because ABC is 100 percent behind the show. I'm hoping they will give us a chance.