Lily Cowles plays Isobel Evans on The CW’s Roswell, New Mexico. The series, which originally premiered in 2019, is now in its fourth and final season. New episodes of the sci-fi drama air Mondays at 8 PM ET/PT. This interview will include spoilers for episode 4×06, “Kiss From A Rose.”
POWERLESS- Liz (Jeanine Mason) turns to Shivani (guest star Rekha Sharma) for help finding scientific answers while Bonnie (guest star Zoe Cirpes) looks to Max (Nathan Dean) for protection. Meanwhile, Kyle (Michael Trevino) and Isobel (Lily Cowles) deal with the fallout of their actions.
I spoke with the actress about diving into her character’s emotional content, Isobel and Kyle’s relationship, why that kiss was inevitable, Isobel’s legacy, and more. Keep reading for our discussion!
This season, Isobel has been dealing with a lot emotionally in terms of romance and owning her truth, which Lily Cowles opened up to me about: “I mean, it’s good. I’m glad that Isobel is finally getting some personal emotional, like romantic stuff because, for so many seasons, the emotion that she’s been dealing with has been so related to trauma, her past, and trying to find her true self and everything. Finally, we’re seeing her in the situation where she’s in a romantic environment, and she’s trying to find her way through that. But the journey never really ends for Isobel.”
“It’s always that the ground is constantly crumbling under her. But I think a lot of that, it comes from the trauma in her past and the reality of her life, which is that she has this dangerous secret that is not only threatening her own safety, but the safety of her brothers— she is nothing if not protective of her family. So, revealing this secret isn’t just dangerous for her personally, but it’s dangerous for her brothers. And so, it’s a really hard position to be in,” she continued. “How can you be open, establish a relationship, get on honest and good terms, and really be loving with someone when you’re still holding back so much of yourself? I think that’s really, really difficult and I think that’s something that a lot of people can relate to, and struggle with, even if they’re not aliens.”
In “Kiss From A Rose,” Isobel and Kyle have a joint storyline, leading to some really special moments between the two of them. “I think my favorite moment in this episode is actually that discovery when they learn in the diaries that they find that the Valentis have actually been involved in keeping Isobel’s family line safe for generations and generations. I thought that was a really sweet revelation where Isobel has this feeling of safety and trust with Kyle because he’s someone who knows her so deeply and accepts her so fully. To realize that that has been like a family legacy on both sides for generations, I think just deepens that bond and that feeling of like, ‘Oh my gosh, this feels…’ it almost feels fated, right? Like when you get to that level, you’re like, ‘Holy moly, your family and my family have been like braided together in destiny for so long. And here we are, the two most recent ones of it,’ and we find ourselves in this relationship that’s kind of confusing and shifting,” the actress expressed.
“I think that gives her this sense of like, yeah, it kind of confirms like, ‘Wow, yeah, this person– there’s something really, really deep and meaningful here.’ And there’s also the chemistry, sexy part of it! I mean, he’s a very attractive man, and they have a dynamic between the two of them. I think, that can get kind of confusing, like, ‘well, what is this?’ But I think the deepest part of it actually is that the two of them really see, understand, trust, and really respect and admire each other, and I think that runs much deeper than just the like, ‘Damn, boy, you would look good with your shirt off,'” she said.
Over the course of the series, Isobel’s relationship with Kyle has evolved so beautifully. Cowles shared what it was like to build that with Trevino. “It’s so great. I mean, Michael Trevino is phenomenal to work with. He’s so professional. He comes in so prepared and he brings so much excitement and passion,” Lily told me. “If all my senses were removed, and I just was interacting with like the energetic presence, which is Michael Trevino, he would be one of my favorite people to work with because he’s just so on point. He’s so curious and I think that that has had such an impact in the way that the Isobel and Kyle dynamic has unfolded because the two of us get on set and we’re like, ‘Ooh, oh okay, what if we do that?’ Then like, ‘okay, and she could take his hand. What would happen if she took his hand?'”
The actress explained, “We play and we find these things, and I think it’s really reflected. It feels like the dynamic between them feels so living, spontaneous, and fun because I think the two of us as actors were experiencing that in the moment. Isobel and Kyle have such a fun dynamic. I mean, I think it’s really sweet at the very heart of it is there’s so much love and trust, and I think that’s why Isobel feels comfortable to then, you know, she kind of opens up in a way that I don’t think she can open up with other characters all the time. I think she feels very completely accepted and seen by him, like, he’s seen her at a worst. Kyle has seen Isobel on death’s door, he knows all of her dirty, dark past that she’s ashamed about and he still is loving and always there for her, always offering her guidance and support. So I think at the base of it is this like, deep trust and feeling of just safety. But then on top of that, like there’s a fun little power dynamic they got going on where they kind of like make a little back and forth. Isobel kind of messes with him a little bit and they’ve got this fun rapport that’s sometimes friendly and sometimes a little flirty. There’s a lot of chemistry between them. So I think it’s a relationship that just has– it’s so much; it’s like pulsing, sort of throbbing, just deeply energetic force between them.”
Of course, I had to ask about Isobel and Kyle’s kiss, which Cowles was excited and ready to talk about. “I mean, finally! I think that there has been tension that’s been building and it’s been building, and I think that we’ve seen it on Kyle’s side a lot, but I think it’s been existing for Isobel, whether she has wanted to admit it or not. I think she hasn’t wanted to admit it. I think, to be honest, she feels that she can’t afford to jeopardize her relationship with Kyle. So she’s sort of compartmentalized him and she’s hardcore friend-zoned him because she can’t fathom the idea of losing a person like him. The stakes are too high and I think Isobel has this suspicion that maybe she will mess up every romantic relationship she’s in. So, I think, she’s kind of like, ‘don’t say it, don’t think it. Don’t say it, don’t think it.’ But like, you’re standing in front of this person, who you have this enormous amount of energy with, they’re telling you how beautiful you are and how much you mean to them, and there’s only so much that you can do. Oh my God, at a certain point, you gotta just give in. I’m happy for them,” she added.
With the show, unfortunately, coming to an end, the actress also shared what she hopes Isobel Evans’ legacy is for fans who relate to her or love the character: “Playing Isobel has been such an incredible journey and such an amazing opportunity that as an actor, I fully recognize how blessed I am to have had such a dynamic, interesting, and deep character to get to play with for four years. I mean, I look at the journey that Isobel has gone on and I do hope that there are people who can relate to it because it’s a story about someone finding their deep truth, someone’s finding their authentic life and going after it. It’s a story of healing.”
“She dealt with some massive amounts of trauma, and she was so resilient and she picked herself up, and in that healing process, she was able to find her true self. Playing a character, who finds that self-empowerment, who becomes strong through trial, who is thrown down and consistently gets back up, and just shows that kind of courage and that kind of adaptable resilience is so– it’s important to see those kinds of characters because it shows us as human beings that it’s possible, that we can all do this. That trauma in some ways is an inevitable part of being human, but that it also can be a gateway to healing and to expansion into a new evolution of the self in this really beautiful way. I think Isobel took a bunch of lemons and I think she made a bunch of delicious lemonade, and I hope that everyone who remembers Isobel Evans will have a sweet taste on their lips thinking about that delicious lemonade,” she concluded.