Aimee Garcia shared some details at Comic-Con about what to expect from her character, Ella Lopez, when she joins the cast of Lucifer this Fall.
Lucifer’s mother won’t be the only new face on our screens when Lucifer returns for its second outing in September. Aimee Garcia will be bringing Ella Lopez to life, the latest addition to the Los Angeles Police Department — but she won’t be a detective, like most of the other characters we’ve been introduced to on the police force. Ella Lopez will be a forensic scientist.
“I feel like, especially as a girl, I love representing female scientists, y’know?” Garcia said of Ella’s profession. “I got to play a scientist on Robocop with Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman, and well, she’s a physicist, and she’s a chemist and I’m like, ‘I love it.'”
But there’s more to Ella Lopez than just being a scientist. “Honestly? I love that I feel like she is the modern, woman. She’s super smart, she’s sometimes goofy, she’s fun, she drums to her own beat,” she enthused, laying out Ella’s personality quirks for us. But Garcia also made certain to emphasize how important Ella is, as a professional woman of color. “She also loves anything from The Shining to Nickelodeon shows. So she’s just the best. And I feel like especially a woman of color, like you never see, you don’t see that often. Like a professional, smart, y’know, scientifically brilliant woman, and much less a woman of color, so I am just so giddy.”
And that enthusiasm for the role, and Ella’s profession, seeped into Garcia’s preparation. “I interviewed a bunch of forensic scientists. I watched so much, I mean, technically I guess I should have a hazmat suit on, and I’m like, guys, am I gonna have a hazmat suit?” Garcia said, recounting with a smile a conversation she had with some of the crew behind Lucifer. “They’re like, no, no, this is Fox. Like, I really thought I was gonna be coming on all Contagion style, y’know? I was like, aw, this is gonna be awesome. I’m gonna be like an astronaut, and they’re like no. We’re gonna see your face. They’re like, it doesn’t look good.”
All joking about hazmat suits aside, Garcia reiterated to us just how important it was to know the ins-and-outs of forensic science. “I watched a bunch of YouTube videos, watched so many documentaries on how to solve a crime. ‘Cause it’s really important, I think, how someone does something. So if someone is collecting evidence, how do they do it? It’s very indicative of who their behavior is. And that was it, y’know, I just kind of, like, dove into it.”
It’s inevitable, of course, that working for the Los Angeles Police Department will throw Ella Lopez into Lucifer’s path. According to Garcia, they’ll have an interesting relationship — and she may be just as intriguing to Lucifer as Chloe Decker is. “She doesn’t treat Lucifer all like, ‘Aww, he’s tall and handsome and very attractive.’ She invades his personal space constantly. She’s constantly hugging him, touching him, and he’s like, ‘What is happening?’”
Okay, maybe not exactly like Chloe Decker after all.
One thing that Garcia touched on in respect to Ella Lopez is the balance she has between being a woman of science, but also a woman of faith — something that I am incredibly interested in seeing explored when the show returns.
“The thing is, she’s not judgmental. And he’s kind of, like, sinister. And so I think of it like being the son of a rockstar, where the son of a rockstar feels like his dad wasn’t the best dad to him, but was an inspiration to people all over the world,” Garcia said of Lucifer and Ella’s differing opinions on God. “So in the same way God is like the bomb to her. And for him, God was like a crappy Dad to him. So what I love about her is she’s fixing her stuff, and talking about God, and he’s so intrigued by it because he has so many dad issues, so many God issues. But she has no God issues. And she’s the only one on the show that I think is completely [fine]. She ain’t got no issues.”
Before we parted ways, Garcia offered a little more on her character’s origins: her family, childhood, where she was before Lucifer — and what shaped Ella into the woman we’ll meet come September. “She’s from Detroit. She comes from a family of all boys. So she knows how to handle herself. So if she ever had to throw down, she could throw down,” Garcia said. “This is what I love about this character. It’s like, on so many shows, if you’re the scientist, you’re the scientist and you’re super nerdy. If you’re the rocker girl, you’re the rocker girl. If you’re the funny girl, you’re the funny girl. But she’s all of it, just like we’re all of it.”
As for how often we’ll be encountering Ella Lopez on the show? “Let’s just say it’s, y’know, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”