Gabriel Luna may be making his mark in Hollywood with projects like The last of us and fubarbut the actor never forgets where he comes from.
The Crockett High grad had never considered acting growing up in Austin. He was more focused on athletics. After dislocating his shoulder, he turned and began to do theatre. He never thought it would lead to anything, but he later attended St. Ed’s to study acting and, as he said austin.com in 2019, “I kept shooting and here I am.”
We meet Luna in HBO Max Cafe at SXSW 2023. He participated in a “Fireside Chat” hosted by a fellow Austin native. Selome Hailu, who currently works with Variety. The couple meet through Hailu’s older brother, who worked as a production assistant on one of Luna’s previous films: balls out. Released in 2014, the film was made in Austin.
Since then, Luna has starred in the Robert Rodríguez series. Matador, Terminator: Dark Fate, True Detective, Agents of SHIELDand the most recent projects already mentioned.
The last of us
if you have seen The last of us, you are aware that the story begins in Austin. Luna was asked during the SXSW chat how she felt about seeing “the apocalypse begin at home.”
“That was great,” he said. “They put the ever-changing Austin skyline into the show and I hardly recognize it. I recognized the Step building. And the Frost Bank Building. And there were other buildings that I had no idea had been built.”
He went on to talk about recognizing Austin when he first played the video game years ago. “Today it is much more frequent that our city is the spirit of the age… something like always present in the media. But back then it was a bit jarring and really exciting to see Austin represented in that way,” Luna explained.
The support of family and friends
Luna’s family and friends were on hand to show their support at the event. Her mom Debbie and her cousins were sitting in the front row. His wife Smaranda mingled nearby. The friends were distributed by the intimate public. There is no doubt that friends from St. Edward’s University were there too. She has spoken at and from her alma mater several times. And when she gave the “toppers up” hand signal, cheers went up from the crowd.
You’re sure to see more of Luna on screen, but the locals might see you in the Austin music scene next, or at a local restaurant having breakfast tacos with your family. As Luna bounces from Los Angeles to Austin to various filming locations, she’s always looking for a reason to come home.
“I’ll take any excuse I can find to come see my mom, Debbie Luna the legend!” Luna exclaimed.
texas this or that
Of course, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask the Austin native our questions about this or that about Texas. These are the tough decisions he made.
You’ll find more Texas This or That videos on our instagram and Tik Tok accounts!
This article was written with the help of Michele Schmidt.