Julia Gonzalo is a 32 year old actress, originally from Argentina, who has appeared in a bunch of TV shows and films since 2001, but I have to admit that I only know from one show, the new version of Dallas on TNT. I’ve written before about how the original show, and in particular its star Larry Hagman (R.I.P.), influenced my life. So naturally I was quite happy when TNT began a continuation of the show in Summer 2012. Now while it’s true that I have not been happy with the creative direction of the show, one thing that I cannot fault is the cast, especially the younger cast who have been hired to play the children of the main characters from the original show. Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe are both just great as John Ross and Christopher Ewing. But I have to say that I am most impressed with Gonzalo because her character has gone through the most changes in the three years of this show, and therefore she has shown the most acting range.
In order to give examples I am going to have to give away a lot of plot details from the show thus far so…
When the new series began Gonzalo was introduced as Rebecca Sutter, Christopher’s fiance whom he met overseas and had brought back to Dallas to get married. Rebecca seemed like a sweet innocent young woman who was devoted to Christopher and, as an orphan whose only relative was her brother Tommy (played by Callard Harris), was therefor really eager to join the Ewings on Southfork and have a real family again.
Over the course of that first 10-episode season we soon learned that Rebecca was not who she said she was. First we learn that she and Tommy were plotting to steal Christopher’s methane-extraction technology and then that she and Tommy were actually lovers, not brother and sister. Then she was forced to shoot him dead in self-defense. And then we found out in the season finale that she is actually Pamela Rebecca Barnes, the secret daughter of J.R. Ewing’s longtime nemesis Cliff Barnes.
So then when we pick up in Season 2, as Pamela she’d completely dropped the innocent act and now got to be a driven conniving no-nonsense manipulative vixen, and it was awesome!
It was like she was playing a completely different character, because of how dramatic the change was from season to season (they even had her wearing much darker clothes this season), but Gonzalo rose to the challenge and made it work. From that season 2 premier I knew she’d be the future of the show, and during the rest of the 15-episode season we saw why. She went through a lot, not only just being seductive and evil, but then she showed vulnerability again when she suffered a miscarriage and then went through a bout of depression in the aftermath. But the absolute best thing the series did in Season 2 was pair up Pamela and John Ross. From their first illicit meeting together the chemistry between Gonzalo and Henderson was through the roof. And it just grew throughout the season.
The Pamela/John Ross couple quickly became a fan-favorite, and they eventually got married. I feel like Pamela had been underutilized in season 3, with her being oblivious to John Ross’ affair with Emma, but then when they had her catch them in bed together, I thought her response was…interesting…(skip to 2 minutes):
Now that they’ve come back from their spring hiatus it looks like we’re about to see the return of the bad-ass Pamela, so this should bring some more fireworks.
Whatever the future holds for this show, I believe that Gonzalo’s future as an actress is bright indeed. She’s just got that special something that draws you to her when she’s onscreen. Mark my words, she’s a star in the making.
There’s also this interview (with lingerie pics!) in MAXIM
And learn more at Gonzalo’s official website juliegonzalo.com
And check her out Monday nights at 9pm and 11pm EST in DALLAS on TNT