Marisol Nichols, a native of Naperville, plays mother Sarah Monohan in ABC's new supernatural drama, "The Gates."
Marisol Nichols, a new mom who stars in ABC's new supernatural drama "The Gates," enjoys playing the role of a parent.
Naperville native and actress Marisol Nichols wants to make something clear about her new television show, "The Gates."
It's not just a retread of "True Blood." Or "Twilight." Or any of the other vampire-themed entertainment franchises that are all the rage these days.
"It's got that element, for sure, but it's also about the people who live in this particular neighborhood," Nichols said. "It's more of a drama, in that sense."
"The Gates" is one of ABC's new programs for the summer season. It premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, June 20, and will occupy the coveted "Desperate Housewives" time slot.
The show centers around the Monohans, who have moved from Chicago to an exclusive mountain community where each enormous home and perfectly groomed lawn is enclosed by imposing gates. Nick Monohan, the father of the family, has just been named the town's new chief of police.
The family quickly learns, though, that there's something different about the people who live in this picturesque suburb. As in, some of them are vampires, and others are werewolves.
Nichols, who plays Nick Monohan's wife, Sarah, said the script to the pilot episode of "The Gates" stood out among the dozens she read during the ramp up to the new television season.
"I immediately thought, 'I would watch this,'" she said. "The whole supernatural thing is handled really well in the show. It becomes part of the fabric of the town, and it's part of why people behave the way they do toward one another. This is a fun, addictive show."
Nichols, whose daughter, Rain, was born in 2008, also responded to the fact that her character is a parent. In the past, Nichols has played women focused more on their professional lives.
"I've played cops and FBI agents; this is something different," she said. "Sarah is a mother, and I enjoy exploring that side of life. I definitely feel myself drawing from my own experiences there."
The 36-year-old Nichols, a Naperville North High School alum, is probably best known for her stint on the television show "24," in which she played Nadia Yassir, a Pakistani-American intelligence agent. She's also appeared on a slew of other top shows - "Blind Justice," "CSI," "Cold Case." Her work has been nominated three times for an ALMA Award, which recognizes Latino performers. Nichols comes from a Mexican-Hungarian-Romanian background.
When not working on television, Nichols acts in films. (She recently appeared in "Felon" with Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff.) She hopes to continue alternating television and film roles as her career progresses.
"I love doing movies because you get so much time to create something in a scene," she said. "TV is super fast. You just go go go."