On Thursday, October 7th, the Rugrats revival returns with eight brand new Season 1 episodes on Paramount+, and with those new episodes comes not only new adventures for Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Phil, and Lil, but new characters and guest stars as well. Among those coming to Rugrats in these new episodes is Raini Rodriguez. The Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous star will join the Rugrats crew as Gabi Gutierrez, Phil and Lil’s 14-year-old cousin who is absolutely adored by the babies, but especially Angelica.
In the series, Gabi is Betty’s bilingual niece, having grown up in a house where Spanish and English were both spoken. Lively, fun, and hip with a sweet nature that draws in kids and adults alike, Gabi brings a burst of enthusiastic teenage energy to the Rugrats whether she’s helping out at Betty’s Beans or reading to preschoolers in the park for the Reading Rangers program. Gabi will appear in the upcoming episodes “Great Minds Think Alike” and “Betty and the Beast”. You can check out a clip of Gabi in action below.
ComicBook.com recently had a chance to sit down with Rodriguez to talk about Gabi as well as her own life-long love of Rugrats, how Rugrats is truly for everyone, as well as what it’s like to be part of two very iconic universes between her work on Rugrats and Camp Cretaceous. We even made her choose between Jurassic World‘s T-Rex and Rugrats‘ Reptar for who is the coolest dinosaur.
Read on for our full chat with Rodriguez!
ComicBook.com: The Paramount+ Rugrats revival is just delightful on every possible level. Were you a big fan of Rugrats before becoming a part of this iconic universe?
Raini Rodriguez: Yes. Yes. Double yes, I mean, absolutely. I still have my old VHS Nickelodeon orange tapes that said “Runaway Reptar”. I went to all the theater showings of Rugrats The Movie, Rugrats in Paris. When they did their crossover with Wild Thornberrys and they gave you like the sticker for the scratch and sniff…
Oh my gosh.
Right? Huge fan of Rugrats. Growing up, which looking back on it now I’m like “good thing, bad thing”, but growing up, I used to be called Angelica sometimes. So I was like, not a good thing. What does that mean about myself? Yes. Huge fan of Rugrats. When I heard they were doing a revival, first and foremost as a fan, I was excited. You know, everything that is Rugrats, the purses, the backpacks. So like I’ve always been a fan of Rugrats. Hearing about the revival as a fan, like I said, I immediately was excited for it. I have 10 nieces and nephews, so to be able to show them my childhood and what I got to grow up on was… crazy. And then, getting an audition for Rugrats, seeing that it’s for a whole new character that they’re introducing, she gets to interact with the babies and the adults and she fits like right into this world. It was a huge literal dream come true. A childhood dream come true. And now getting to be on the show, even crazier, like just auditioning for it, I was excited. Just the opportunity that somebody from Rugrats and Nickelodeon would be able to hear my voice was like, cool. And in the script I like interacted with Angelica. Some of my lines I said Angelica’s name, and I was like that’s crazy, because I grew up with that. And then I booked it and I was like, this is even crazier because here I am in the booth, literally just recording with all of these legends. Just amazing.
It sounds like, in a sense, you’ve been training for this your whole life.
Pretty much. Yes. I’ve been ready for very much. Gabi is a lot like me, literally how she is at 14 is probably how I was at 14. Like I said, I have a big family so I was always around babies, helping them with their homework and going to parks and playing around with them. So to kind of be able to bring that in for Gabi and that youthfulness and that lovable, she’s like the cool aunt, the cool babysitter combined. She’s kind of it all. I love it. How they fit her in as Betty’s niece, she’s bilingual and there’s so many fun things about Gabi I’m so excited for the fans to see.