Zyra Gorecki is well aware of the historical nature of her first role in her regular on the NBC series “La Brea”.
Gorecki, who is one of the few mainstream/main casting actors to have had amputees in real life on a radio television series, said. “Being an amputee, you have a different mental state and how you react to things and how you experience things. And to be able to bring that into an amputee is something a full-limbed person wouldn’t necessarily get used to because they didn’t experience it.”
“La Brea,” which premieres at 8 p.m. Wednesday on WMAQ-Channel 5, details how a massive crater in Los Angeles upends a family’s lives, separating them in the process. Goriki plays Izzy Harris, a teenager whose mother and brother fell into a pit.
“The script was really good when I first read it. I said, ‘Oh, that’s going to be fun,’” Gorecki said. “Also, not being an extra character is really a huge step forward in my book. You’ve got that, plus a really good outline. The entire first text was really fun to read and really fun to shoot. I was just sitting there, “What next?” The whole time I’ve been reading it.
Goriki, a Michigan native who lost her left leg below the knee at 13 in a wood accident, says some people miss a level of understanding when it comes to ability.
“I think people try to be good; they try to care and understand others, which is not always the case,” Gorecki said. “And that’s totally fine — you can come back from that, totally. It’s just a matter of going to people with disabilities and going to people who are different and understanding. Take something out of a conversation with them and go: ‘Oh, I got it wrong. Now I can fix this.’”
Goriki says she receives constant support from fans who are inspired by her story. She works with Amputee Blade Runners, a non-profit organization that helps provide amputees with free prosthetics.
“I have quite a few messages in my inbox asking me for advice and different things; it’s really scary on social media, because it’s a fetish,” Gorecki said. “Sometimes people ask me about pictures of my torso. You have to be careful about this kind of thing.
Ciphers are not covered by insurance because they are considered recreational. Blade Amputees give blades to people who want to get back into running – they do it all for free. “
In 2016, Jorecki spent time in Chicago filming a small part of the popular NBC series “Chicago Fire”. She appeared in the 100th episode of the series.
“I showed up, got into the makeup trailer. It was the most bizarre experience of walking into being this stupid little kid, seeing all these people I’ve seen on TV forever,” said Gorecki. [‘Fire’ cast members] They were wonderful people. Everyone at Chicago Fire is so cool, and the directors were great. It was really fun. It was a really good first experience. “
What does Gorecki think the fans will get out of “La Brea”?
Familiarity, she says.
“[The series] “He has a family connection that I think a lot of people can relate to,” Gorecki said. “I don’t want to say it’s fun to watch, but it’s cool. It’s like you’re on the road when you see a car crash that looks like you: ‘That’s awful, but I can’t take my eyes off of it.’ I think people can relate to ‘La Brea’.” Especially after the pandemic because there are plenty of times on the show where you feel completely helpless and hopeless.
“You don’t know what’s going on and you don’t know how to save your family, and you’re in this crazy storm and you’re holding on to whatever you can find and hoping you’ll survive. I think that’s what’s going on in the world right now.”