Chloe De Los Santos finds a firm foothold with ‘La Brea’

Chloe De Los Santos.

Making it to Los Angeles is a common aspiration among young Australian actors but Chloe De Los Santos is treading a path that is all her own.

The 15-year-old plays Lilly Castillo in NBCUniversal’s La Brea, a drama that follows a family’s fight for survival after they are separated by a massive sinkhole that mysteriously opens in LA and transports them into a prehistoric version of the city.

As one of several projects lured to Australia via the Federal Government’s Location Incentive Program, the series has chosen Victoria as its shooting location, with production currently underway on the second season.

De Los Santos joins fellow Aussie Rohan Mirchandaney in a cast that also includes Nicholas Gonzalez, Eoin Macken, Natalie Zea, and John Seda.

She told IF taking part in an international series that was being produced in her home country was “a dream come true”.

“Being able to do a project that has a completely different storyline and a world that my character and I get to explore was so much fun and I loved every minute,” she said.

“Everyone I was with on set was so nice, and there are so many incredible actors in it that I got to watch and learn from as well as work opposite.

“I like that Lilly is more of a complicated character than just your usual everyday person. It made her a really interesting role to play.”

She said while many people assumed the clearing where the majority of her scenes were shot was the product of a green screen, the backdrop was authentically Victorian.

Jon Seda, Chiké Okonkwo, Chloe De Los Santos, Veronica St Clair, and Jack Martin. 

“The entire thing is all there in real life and with all the atmos, buildings, cars, pieces of bitumen everywhere, and even the fires,” she said.

“It was all there and it was all very surreal, like you were living in a fairytale.

“You would never even know you were in a place that was created by someone.

“The weather definitely reminded us we were in the mountains of Victoria though, not sunny California.”

Originally from Brisbane, De Los Santos began acting in musical theatre, securing her first role in a production of The King and I at age six before completing an Australian and Asian tour for Les Miserables.

Since then, she has appeared in the Netflix series Tidelands, web series Jade of Death, and Luke Sparke’s sci-fi action feature film Occupation: Rainfall.

Following La Brea, De Los Santos will appear in another feature film, the details of which are yet to be revealed.

She identified getting to perform her own stunts in the upcoming role as a personal highlight of her career so far.

“I wasn’t meant to do the whole stunt myself, it was meant to be my stunt double, but the director ended up letting me do it,” she said.

“Our stunt team were amazing and believed in me and that I could do it safely, and I absolutely loved it.

“Basically every show I’ve done has been a highlight, and I’m so grateful to have had so many amazing opportunities already and to have been able to work with and learn from some really experienced and lovely actors, creatives and crew.”

There may be more action on the horizon, with the young actress on the lookout for further opportunities in the genre.

“I would love to do more drama or action in the future,” she said.

“Something like a Marvel project would be incredible, but anything with a great, gritty character is high on my list.”