'Beauty and the Beast': Sendhil Ramamurthy on Gabe's Powers of Flirtation
"He comes in and he ruffles a lot of feathers right off the bat. He's not concerned with being liked," the former "Heroes" star tells THR of his character's entrance Thursday.
Catherine Chandler is about to face another obstacle.
Assistant District Attorney Gabe Lowen, played by Heroes and Covert Affairs alum Sendhil Ramamurthy, makes his debut on The CW's Beauty and the Beast this Thursday and his presence throws Catherine (Kristin Kreuk) for a loop. Gabe comes in asking questions about the precinct's handling of its cases regarding the vigilante (Jay Ryan), not knowing Catherine's direct involvement with the beast, Vincent.
"This character brings in a sense of intrigue, a sense of danger. He comes in and he ruffles a lot of feathers right off the bat. He's not concerned with being liked," Ramamurthy tells The Hollywood Reporter. "He's got his agenda. He doesn't feel like the case involving the vigilante is being handled properly, and he wants to know why the guy hasn't been caught. He doesn't think people are doing their jobs properly."
Ramamurthy previews his introduction on The CW drama, Gabe's surprising "connections" and why his character's relationship with Catherine is less "flirtatious" and more "adversarial."
The Hollywood Reporter: How would you describe Gabe's entrance in Thursday's episode?
Sendhil Ramamurthy: He comes in with a lot of zeal [laughs] for hunting down this vigilante. At first you think he's got an overdeveloped sense of justice, which for an assistant district attorney isn't necessarily a bad thing. He's really adamant about going after this guy and you'll start to wonder. He wants to get the guy, it's his job but this is above and beyond. As the episodes go on, we'll find out that he has a slightly different reason than Joe (Brian White) and the rest of the cops for going after this guy and wanting to find out what's going on. That's the mystery behind this character for the rest of the season, especially the episode we're shooting now. It's revealed what he's really up to and what motivates him. You'll also start to find out connections with other characters that Gabe has.
THR: How soon will the reveals be made?
Ramamurthy: It isn't slowly revealed. There are big reveals in each episode. As a viewer, you get annoyed when they're treading water. The advantage of bringing Gabe in for the back nine episodes is you've got a short period of time to reveal everything. For the audience, it's satisfying.
THR: So Gabe's presence accelerates everything in the precinct, which means there's more urgency on Catherine's part.
Ramamurthy: Gabe's presence lights a fire under everybody's rear ends because he's literally just there hanging over everyone asking, "Why aren't you doing this, why aren't you doing that?" I don't think he likes the fact that people aren't going after this with the same zeal that he is. He lives and breathes this case, and yeah, that's weird. People are like, yes, we get it, we have to get the vigilante, but this guy is way over the top as far as they're concerned. For Gabe, he doesn't get that at all. We'll find out very quickly after his introduction. It's very clever. The stakes go up a lot in the next few episodes. It feels like the show has turned a corner.
THR: We posted a scene of Gabe's first trip the precinct, and it's clear from his encounter with Catherine that he is going to have his hands full. How would you describe their dynamic?
Ramamurthy: The relationship between Catherine and Gabe, at first, is quite flirtatious but Gabe's flirtatious with everybody. It's one of his weapons in his arsenal that he uses to get what he wants. As the episodes go on, you'll see he has a lot more weapons in his arsenal. He's very crafty in trying to get what he wants. Their relationship is certainly adversarial; certainly right now they don't necessarily see eye to eye on a lot of things. Unbeknownst to Gabe, Catherine knows who the vigilante is. Gabe senses very quickly that something is up with Catherine; he doesn't know what and it becomes him trying to find out what's going on. There's a lot of tension there at first, and as things are revealed, we'll see their pasts connected. Gabe has a connection to Catherine's past and that's a huge reveal for the show and sends the show to the finale.
THR: Is he a love interest for Catherine?
Ramamurthy: There certainly is a connection there, but I don't know that it's going to go in the love interest direction. Maybe some time further down the line. Right now, they're at loggerheads. There's not a lot of romantic tension.
THR: How close does Gabe get to figuring out who the vigilante is and that Catherine is protecting Vincent?
Ramamurthy: He's a pretty clever guy and he starts to figure things out really quickly. Whether he's going to figure out that Vincent is the beast and all of that, I don't know yet. We just got the 19th episode, so maybe he's going to find out in that episode. He's getting very suspicious and very close, and information starts to come out about Gabe, Catherine, Vincent that really amp up the tension, especially when it comes to Muirfield. We don't know if Gabe is involved. That's one of the things that's explored: Is he working for Muirfield? Is he not?
THR: Your character Jai was killed on Covert Affairs in the season three premiere. Are you ever worried that Gabe may not be long for this world, at least on Beauty and the Beast?
Ramamurthy: Listen, that's totally a possibility. There is every possibility that there is going to be death this season. That's the case with any show like this. Lord knows I've been on a show like that where every episode you didn't know if your character was going to die for four seasons.
THR: Is there a scene that you recently shot that we should look out for?
Ramamurthy: Yeah, we just shot it on Friday (March 8). It was the hardest scene I've ever done, and it was the longest scene that I've ever done on television. It was a six-page scene, just between Gabe and Catherine. We shot the whole thing through, we didn't break it up. It's two people talking in a room, and you think, "Oh wow, how exciting is that?" But it's what comes out. A hundred pennies drop in that scene and so much information and backstory come out, and the way it's done is clever. That's probably my favorite scene that I've shot so far, and it'll be in episode 18.
Beauty and the Beast airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays on The CW.