July 4, 1978; in Los Angeles
|In Twilight saga|
As far back as she can remember, Andrea always knew she wanted to be actress. This came as no surprise considering she is the daughter of John and Sandy Gabriel, two long-time soap opera stars. Growing up surrounded by her parents' circle of friends, all New York City actors, Andrea innocently thought there were only two careers to pursue: acting or politics. She even thought her pediatrician was really an actor who chose to be a doctor as a 'survival' job. With no interest in government and eager to get started in the family business, Andrea made her screen debut at the age of seven in a guest episode of the soap opera, All My Children. She knew immediately she made the right choice.
The young actress understood the need to study and work hard at the craft of acting. She dove into the New York theatre scene and spent most of her early career in off-off-Broadway productions. But, it wasn't long before her efforts paid off, being cast alongside veteran actors F. Murray Abraham and Joyce Van Patten, in the off-Broadway production of It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To. Shortly after, Andrea was honored to get the chance to work closely with one of her favorite playwrights, David Rabe. Chosen to originate the role of Teresa in the world premiere of his play, The Dog Problem, in New Haven, CT and later reprising the role for a New York run at David Mamet's Atlantic Theater would prove to be an invaluable experience for the young actress.
While gaining a solid reputation on stage, Andrea continued to pursue her on-camera career making several television guest appearances on New York based soap operas and television shows, including All My Children, Guiding Light and Law & Order. After making her feature film debut in 2002 as a fast talking Latina in the comedy Hyper, Andrea realized her on-screen opportunities were limited in New York and she made the decision to move to Los Angeles.
It only took two months for Andrea to land her first 'Hollywood' job, an episode of Strong Medicine. She hasn't stopped working since, appearing in Criminal Minds, Just Legal, House, M.D., The Whole Truth, and the pilots Foster Hall and In Security. It was her portrayal of a young Iraqi mother on JAG that would lead to her biggest role to date, Nadia on Lost. Andrea first appeared on the show as Nadia in 2004 during Sayid's first flashback episode in season one. Since then, she has emerged every season, in a different place, and in two additional characters' storylines (Locke and Charlie), making her one of only four actors to have appeared in every season of Lost.