There seems to be no shortage of shows that have an element of the supernatural to them, and that’s because we love to watch them. While vampires might currently be in the driver’s seat (think True Blood or The Vampire Diaries), our interest in the mysterious and other-worldly extends far beyond nocturnal blood suckers.

Enter the stunning Chandra West (90210, John from Cincinnati, White Noise) and ABC’s new supernatural drama, The Gates. The Canadian-born actress plays Devon Buckley, a day spa owner who, much like the community in which she resides, has more to her than meets the eye.

The show centres on the people living in a “seemingly sleepy, planned community” where the residents aren’t what they seem and, as West tells it, “there’s always something evil lurking beneath the surface.” Read below to find out just want that “something” is …


Why The Gates?

I really liked the script. I thought it was an interesting world they were creating and I knew that my character would be a lot of fun to play.

And that’s Devon Buckley, day spa owner and provider of homeopathic teas and treatments. But there’s obviously more to her than that…What’s beneath the surface?

What you don’t know about Devon from the press material is that witchcraft plays a large role in her “treatments.”

What do you see as her strengths and pitfalls?

My favourite aspect of the character is that she’s smarter than I am, and she knows exactly how to get what she wants. The least favourite aspect would be that on my morality scale some of her choices might be questionable.

For example?

One of my favourite scenes early on in the series is one between my character and Claire (Rhona Mitra), where I manipulate her into giving me something she desperately doesn’t want to give. She’s forced to give in to me because she knows that I could destroy her. Devon’s not someone you want as an enemy.


What’s the attraction of the sort of suspended reality offered by shows like yours?

I think that our collective reality has become rather sobering over the last few years so people want to see villains in movies and on television that are a little less “real” than what’s going on in the outside world. And there’s always been an alluring mystique to the whole vampire mythology.

So we’ll be seeing vampires behind the gates, though only at night I assume?

No. The writers found a clever way of putting vampires in the sun.

Any other supernaturals coming out to play?

Yes, but they won’t even tell me what they are!

Any supernatural beings that may or may not show up in the show that you’re particularly fond of?

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think that vampires were a bit sexy.


Are you a believer of ghouls and ghosts?

I’d certainly like to believe that there exists more in this world than what we can see.

This isn’t the first show to use gated communities or the suburbs as a way of examining the darker side of human nature. What’s different about The Gates?

Most gated communities are built to keep the unsavoury characters out; our show explores what happens when the gated community is built to keep them in.

Some critics have accused The Gates of jumping on the vampire/werewolf bandwagon.

I think our show is a little bit different in that it mostly focuses on the real life aspect of these “people” trying to integrate into this very pristine society. The original script for the show was actually written before the Twilight movies and Vampire Diaries, but I’d like to think there’s room for all of us.

The Gates airs Sunday nights on ABC.