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From Miami to Fire Country: Stephanie Arcila Talks Redemption, Stunts, and Growth

Stephanie Arcila, a Miami, Florida native, is an actress known for her standout roles in "Fire Country" (2022), "Don't Breathe 2" (2021), and "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels" (2020). 

Arcila began her career with roles in short films and single-episode TV appearances, such as "Passions of the Heart," "I Hate This Part," "Til Death Do Us Part," "Supergirl," and "Black-ish." Her big break came in 2017 when she portrayed Rosie Rivera in "Jenni Rivera: Mariposa de Barrio." In 2020, she gained further recognition for her role as Bernadette Romero in "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels."

In this exclusive interview, Miami Living delves into Arcila's role in "Fire Country" and her experiences on the show, Miami connections and more.

Miami Living: Congratulations on the success of Fire Country! What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a part of such a hit series?

Stephanie Arcila: Thank you! It’s been an amazing experience and I have continued to learn new roles and skills everyday while onset. The show is such a collaborative experience I am getting to learn from all different types of crew members from the stunt team, to fire techs, and of course our writers & directors.


Miami Living: Being a native of Miami, Florida, how has your upbringing and cultural background influenced your approach to portraying Gabriela Perez on Fire Country?

Stephanie Arcila: Most Miami natives (like myself) begin swimming at a very young age. In my role as Gabriella, I have found my comfortability in the water to be very helpful as she has quite a few scenes/ stunts which involve swimming.

Miami Living: Can you share any insights into how you prepared for your role as Gabriela Perez in Fire Country, especially considering the unique storyline involving firefighting and redemption?

Stephanie Arcila: As I developed my understanding of Gabriela and the show, I completed lots of research on Olympic diving. Our producers also recommended a few documentaries/ movies which focused on firefighters and the hardships of the job. Besides expanding my knowledge on the career, I also completed lots of physical training. Not only was I training to be able to do certain stunts, but I mainly trained to be able to even carry the gear we used on set. I am still getting to know Gabriela a little more every day.

Miami Living: What do you find most compelling about the character of Gabriela Perez, and how do you see her evolving throughout the series?

Stephanie Arcila: Definitely her heart! She has the ability to see the best in people and sympathize with people’s raw emotions.

Miami Living: Fire Country tackles themes of redemption and second chances. How do you think these themes contribute to today's society?

Stephanie Arcila: In a world where judgment can be harsh and forgiveness is not often, I think redemption resonates deeply in today’s society because it reflects our belief in the possibilities of forgiveness, and our capacity for personal growth/ to overcome mistakes and not let it define them. I think it offers hope and reminds us that everyone deserves an opportunity to change and redeem themselves.

Miami Living: What has been the most memorable or challenging scene you've filmed so far on Fire Country, and why?

Stephanie Arcila: The most challenging scenes I’ve filmed so far definitely have to be the ones in the open ocean which were filmed in the beginning of winter. I have only lived in tropical weather, so it was beyond shocking to my body. However, I always left the set grateful for a vessel that allows me to be able to complete these challenges.  

Miami Living: With your background in both television and film, how does working on a long-running series like Fire Country differ from other projects you've been a part of?

Stephanie Arcila: Well this is definitely the most physically challenging show I’ve ever been on, that would be the biggest difference.

Miami Living: Miami is often celebrated for its vibrant and diverse community. How do you think your experiences growing up in Miami have shaped your career as an actress, particularly in navigating the entertainment industry?

Stephanie Arcila: As a Miami native, I have developed a deep appreciation for different cultures, perspectives, and experiences. As an actress it’s helped me in bringing out authenticity in my roles. With Miami being such a melting pot, it has taught me the importance of inclusivity and representation in storytelling which is why I love playing Gabriela in Fire Country so much. There’s a resilience, adaptability, and work ethic I believe growing up in Miami gives you.

Miami Living: Miami has a strong presence in the entertainment industry, from film to music to television. How does it feel to represent your hometown on a national stage through your role in Fire Country?

Stephanie Arcila: It’s a beautiful honor. Being able to showcase that to a broader audience is so special to me.


Miami Living: Looking ahead, what are you most excited about for the future of Fire Country, both in terms of your character's journey and the overall direction of the series?

Stephanie Arcila: I’m most excited about the potential for growth and development in both my characters journey as well the overall direction of Fire Country. I look forward to diving deeper into Gabriela’s complexities, getting to know new parts of her personality after what she’s experienced and just being able to witness her evolution through the course of the series. As well as being excited for what new characters will be introduced and what existing relationships will evolve.

Follow Stephanie Arcila at

Interview by Markin Abras. Photos by Leslie Alejandro.


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