INTERVIEW: Priscilla Quintana on ‘Pandora’ Season Two, Filming During COVID-19, ‘Good Trouble,’ and What Motivates Her

Emily Sandifer

All episodes of Pandora season two are now available to stream on The CW app, and we spoke to star Priscilla Quintana to find out all about the new season.

Emily Sandifer

The sci-fi action series takes place in the year 2199 and revolves around a young woman creating a new life for herself at Earth’s Space Training Academy after losing everything. At the Academy, she and her friends learn to protect the galaxy from threats, whether they are alien or human. It is up to the “Pandora,” made up of Jax (Quintana), Captain Xander Duvall, and Ralen, to save the galaxy from destruction.

Read our exclusive interview with Priscilla Quintana below to find out more about her acting journey, character, season two of Pandora, going to SDCC, dream role, and challenging herself as an actress.

Emily Sandifer

GLITTER: How long have you been acting?
PRISCILLA: I booked my first “real” job, AKA a speaking line, in 2016. The scene ended up getting cut (lol), but that was my first taste of it. Before that, I had done a couple of commercials and been an extra in a few films, but I don’t really count those. But the year 2016 was monumental for me because that’s when I decided to pursue acting full time; I made it a priority and decided not to have a Plan B as I thought it would distract from my Plan A. I’m so glad I did!

GLITTER: What is your approach to auditioning?
PRISCILLA: Oh, auditioning is a tricky one. It’s so crazy to think that they can cast an entire project based off of seeing you in a room for under 5 minutes. When I first started auditioning, I remember being so nervous that my hands would shake and my voice would crack, and my heart would be beating so loudly that I would half wonder if the Casting Director could hear it too! Over the years, though, I’ve really come into my own in the room. It really is all in the preparation for me. First, I’ll read the whole script once, then just my parts about 3/4 times. Then I’ll start building a backstory for the character- what are their dreams? Are they in love/have they ever been in love? What do they need right now in this moment? What was their childhood like? What makes them laugh? How do they view themselves? How do they think the world views them? Etc…. And then I’ll record the lines on my phone, get in the car, and drive to and from Malibu, listening/repeating until I have them down. If it’s a really big project or one that I’m having a hard time with, I’ll go in for a private coaching with my coach Carla.

GLITTER: Season two of Pandora premiered on October 4 on The CW; what are you most excited for fans to see?
PRISCILLA: I’m most excited for the fans to see all the crazy fights and stunts that we got to do this season! I’m really proud of some of the fight choreography that we did; I really think the audience will enjoy that. I’m also excited for them to meet all the new characters that are coming in this season!

GLITTER: Can you tease anything about the new season without giving anything away?
PRISCILLA: Not everyone is who they say they are. 

GLITTER: What is your favorite quality about Jax? 
PRISCILLA: I love her independence. She is so self-sufficient, and by no means is she a “damsel in distress,” which I love. She is so tough but also chooses to remain kind and soft, especially when it comes to people she cares about. She’s loyal, sometimes to a fault, but she will literally go to the ends of the galaxy for the people that she cares about. I can relate to that. 🙂

GLITTER: Pandora was one of the first shows to go back to filming after the pandemic; what was filming like for you? 
PRISCILLA: It was so crazy! What a different world it is from season 1. It is so bizarre to see everyone walking around in masks and goggles and shields, but we had to do what we had to do to make sure everyone stayed safe, and thankfully there were no cases. It was so nice to be in Sofia because the cases there were so low, so I never felt unsafe or worried.

GLITTER: You also have a recurring role on Good Trouble playing Isabella; what is your favorite part of that experience?
PRISCILLA: Isabella is such a fun character to play. I think a lot of people see her as a villain, but I really don’t see her that way. I think that due to her childhood and her relationship with her parents, she kind of turned into a chameleon to try to get them to love her. She tries so hard to be what people want her to be because she just wants to be loved. Unfortunately, though, that means she isn’t always her authentic self, which definitely gets her into trouble. So, navigating all of that and building her from the ground up has been so much fun. It’s really interesting to see how the audience reacts to her too, some adore her, and some can’t stand her. I’m really excited to continue developing this character this season.

GLITTER: Are you more like Isabella or Jax in real life? 
PRISCILLA: I share similarities with both. I’m friendly like Isabella but hard-headed like Jax. It’s so hard to say who I’m more like… I guess I would have to say Isabella because I think she’s a little more of a free spirit. It would be funny to see those 2 in a room together. I think that Jax would be annoyed with Isabella, and that would make Isabella try harder to get Jax to like her, LOL.

GLITTER: Last year, you attended SDCC; how was that for you? Would you want to do more conventions in the future?
PRISCILLA: Oh my god, it was SO fun. People told me it would be crazy, but I had no idea just how insane that weekend would be! We were crazy busy; we were actually in the middle of shooting when we flew from Sofia to SD for the weekend. We went straight from set, worked the convention, and straight back to set. The energy was so unreal; I loved meeting and giving hugs to all the fans. We were such a new show at the time; I think only two episodes had aired so far, so we really weren’t sure if anyone would come to see us, so we were so surprised when our panel was at max capacity and when our meet and greet line had to be closed off due to it being too full. That blew our minds! I would absolutely love to do a convention again; I love meeting our fans in person, truly makes me sad to think that because of Covid, we may have to wait a long time to see them again. 🙁

GLITTER: What is your favorite part of filming a new project?
PRISCILLA: My favorite part of a new project is definitely creating my character from the ground up. I love creating their backstory, imagining what their dreams and ambitions are, creating their own sense of humor and pet peeves, deciding on what ticks or mannerisms they’ll have. It is so fun to get the opportunity to build an entire human being.  

I love meeting new people. I love getting to know all the different personalities on set and learning about how everyone approaches their craft. Every set is so different, and I love that. I love walking into the unknown and figuring it out as I go- there’s never a moment on set where you’re not stimulated and learning something new.  

GLITTER: How do you challenge yourself as an actress? 
PRISCILLA: I challenge myself by staying in class. In class, we are given a lot of freedom as far as choosing what we want to put up that week so I always try to choose something that’s way different than what I usually go out for in the real world. For instance, if that week I had 3 “girl next door” type of auditions, then I will put up a horror scene in class, or maybe a period piece. I always try to switch it up, so I never get complacent.

GLITTER: What pushes and motivates you on a daily basis?
PRISCILLA: I want to look myself in the mirror at the end of my life and be proud of the person that’s looking back. I think about that every single day.  

GLITTER: One highlight of your career so far?
PRISCILLA: It’s on the way. 

GLITTER: Best advice you were ever given?
PRISCILLA: “The best way to hear an actor complain is to give them a job. Don’t be that person.”

GLITTER: Glitter has a Celebrity #SelfLoveCampaign; what’s self-love mean to you?
PRISCILLA: Taking care of yourself mentally and physically can vary on a day to day basis, so doing what your mind and body need that day is so important. For me, sometimes that means a super intense workout and a 24-hour juice cleanse, and another day it may be watching Real Housewives in bed with a glass of wine and finishing a whole pizza. Balance. 🙂

GLITTER: What would be a dream role for you?
PRISCILLA: I would love to lead a Marvel film one day; that would just be a dream come true.

GLITTER: What’s a day in isolation like for you?
PRISCILLA: I’m still trying to figure that out. I had a very different experience than most this year as I was on set for the majority of it! Now that I’m back in LA and everything is on lockdown, I’m trying to find my groove. So far, it looks like this:

7:00 Wake up, take puppy out to potty, go back upstairs, and straight back to bed.

8:00 Wake up for real this time LOL. Shower/make breakfast/have my morning coffee, respond to emails, play with a super hyper puppy who has the zoomies. 

10:00 A work out of some sort; my pilates class is still open, thankfully, so I’ve been going there almost every day. (Socially distanced/masks enforced)

11:15 Come home, work from computer/read scripts/answer emails, etc.

12:00 Make lunch and take puppy for a walk.

1:00 Read whatever novel I’m reading that week (currently: The 7 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle).

3:00 Probably a zoom interview or phone conference of some sort.

4:00 Catch up with friends and family on FaceTime, give my grandma a call- my favorite part of the day! I miss just being able to see everyone in person, though.

6:00 Make dinner. Play with puppy who has the zoomies again.

7-9: SELF CARE HOUR! Light some candles. Wind down, probably watch Spongebob in the bathtub with a face mask and a glass of wine. Or maybe yoga. Just depends on what I’m feeling that day, but every day before I go to bed is my “me time,” and I always make sure I stick to that. 

10:00 Bedtime. 🙂

GLITTER: Favorite ways to find your Zen?
PRISCILLA: Depends on how I’m feeling that day. Some days it’s wine and Spongebob; other days, it’s meditation and yoga. 

GLITTER: First place you’ll go when isolation ends?
PRISCILLA: Somewhere sunny where I don’t need anything besides a bikini and sunscreen.

GLITTER: What are your top 5 binge-worthy shows?
PRISCILLA: Killing Eve, Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, Easy, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City OR Beverly Hills.

GLITTER: Smoothies or Green Drinks?
PRISCILLA: Green drinks.

GLITTER: Coffee or tea?
PRISCILLA: Coffee in the AM, tea in the afternoon.

GLITTER: Favorite form of exercise? 
PRISCILLA: Pilates! or hot yoga.

GLITTER: How can fans follow you?
PRISCILLA: IG priscilla_quintana