Zyra Gorecki is an up-and-coming Hollywood actress to watch out for. She is the first actress to play a primary character on a network series with a limb difference. The series is La Brea, and Gorecki plays Izzy, a regular kid who happens to be an amputee. Izzy bands together with her dad to save her mom and brother after falling into a sinkhole, leading to a prehistoric world.
In an interview with Amputee Coalition, the 19-year-old shares how she draws from her real-life experience of being an amputee to bring life to her character. Experiences like people staring at her while walking down the street and days of being forced into a wheelchair because she can’t wear her prosthetic limb have shaped her in a different way than a non-disabled actor could comprehend. This is how she sets her character portrayal apart.
Gorecki lost her left leg when she was 13 due to trauma. She was physically strong at the time of her amputation, so it only took her one day of rehab before she received her prosthetic leg. She then had four physical therapy sessions to work on her balance and bending her knee. Gorecki is thankful to Amputee Blade Runners for providing her with blades at no cost. She also said that they make the best legs she’s ever had.
Road to becoming an actress
Gorecki’s first foray into acting was in a second-grade Christmas play. After that, she only considered seriously acting after she had her leg amputated. Gorecki wanted to inspire other amputees, so she decided to try modeling. After signing on with Bravo Talent Management, Gorecki’s agent sent her to acting auditions. She recalls feeling sick before every audition and being nervous.
Also, just like every actor, Gorecki faced numerous challenges in pursuit of her big break. Most of the time, producers would comment on her six-foot frame. However, she’s pretty sure that her prosthetic leg is a huge factor in not getting callbacks.
This all changed when she got a role in La Brea. Gorecki received an email from Camp No Limits that NBC searched for a female amputee actor. She sent a self-tape for the part, went to California for a chemistry read, and the rest is, as they say, history.
In the future, Gorecki dreams of being in an animated film or an action film, possibly as a villain. She also wants to travel more.Gorecki advises people experiencing limb loss or limb differences to be “unapologetically yourself.” Because no one cares what you look like or how many limbs you have. And those who do are often not worth your time.