V Girls: Tati Gabrielle Nominated by Zendaya

This screen slayer is more than just your average teenage witch.

As the Discovery Issue, V117 features our cast of the latest and greatest ahead, as nominated by the cultural forces of now. This feature appears in the pages of V117, our Spring Preview 2019 issue, on newsstands today!

On a rare day off from filming the second season of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Netflix’s gothic reincarnation of the sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Tati Gabrielle is indulging in yet another work of ‘90s nostalgia: She’s in the middle of watching I, Tonya, the 2017 film about the disgraced ice-princess Tonya Harding. The Spelman grad, like many of her generation, retains a soft spot for all things ‘90s.

“My brother and I watched the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch when we were kids,” she says. “When I first got the script, [we] were like, ‘Oh snap! They’re bringing it back. That’s awesome.’” But not every millennial gets to fully immerse themselves in the fictional realms of their childhoods, the way the cast of Sabrina does. The show, which stars Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka as the titular teen, is shot on an elaborate soundstage in the suburbs of Vancouver.

With reboots a dime a dozen these days, Sabrina has managed to leave a lasting impression—thanks in no small part to Gabrielle’s witchy turn as Prudence; with her steely features and mean-girl icy delivery, she reflects a type that might have struck fear into your heart back in high school—no spells required. But in conversation, Gabrielle couldn’t be further from her chilly onscreen persona, who, in the first couple episodes, hazes Shipka’s Sabrina pretty harshly.

Like Gabrielle herself, who was raised in the Bay Area, Prudence’s cool exterior eventually softens; she may be a witch, but she still wants her parents’ approval. “I knew that in the beginning that Blackwood was a father figure to Prudence and the Weird Sisters, and his respect was something that she had a very strong desire for,” says Gabrielle.

Hazing aside, most problematic behavior on the show comes courtesy of the boys. “We push a lot of messages of feminism,” says Gabrielle. “It’s been an honor to send that message, especially to young girls, and I feel very honored to be able to remind young women that you have power, you have a voice,” says Gabrielle. “Don’t ever let anybody take that away from you. We definitely feel a responsibility to the message.”

As for the second season, which premieres this spring, “You’ll definitely get to see more of Prudence in the second season, and you’ll see her story a little bit further,” says Gabrielle.

Gabrielle wears jacket Dior, jewelry talent’s own
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