By Ryan Demarco & Al Mannarino
In 1996, Robert Rodriguez unleashed a film that boldly went where no other film has gone before. With the help of Quentin Tarantino writing the screenplay, the two made an unconventional and bold choice to genre mash a bank robber brother duo on the run who collide with blood thirsty vampires in a Mexican bar that operates from dusk till dawn.
The film ended up being a cult smash. Now almost two decades later, Robert Rodriguez is rewriting the rules he boldly set out to establish with From Dusk Till Dawn the TV series. Now in it s second season, the rules are rewritten and anything is up for grabs in this chaotic world were danger lurks around every corner and nearly everything is possible.
We spoke with D.J. Cotrona (Seth Gecko) and Jesse Garcia (Freddie Gonzalez) about exploring their characters in season 2, their most difficult scenes to film, and what other Robert Rodriguez property they would love to star in.
So Season 2, what were the feelings going in? You both had two converging storylines that merge at the end of the season
DC: Seth in the first season was very well defined, the mouth piece of this unit. He was the guy that has everything in control, a confident, cocksure bravado. In the second season we rip his brother away, and when that gets taken away from him we wanted to see what he’s like when he’s broken. What does he look like when he’s given up? So we went deep. He completely gave up and it was great because it was always by design to get to this point where we can do things like that. Jesse had the luxury of being an original character, and we had to get these guys past what everyone had already known in order to explore new ground so it was very satisfying to do that.
JG: Compared to last season I think he’s discovered this world he didn’t know existed that he’s destined to be a part of. I don’t think he necessarily wants to be a part of because it’s ruining his family and it’s scary as shit!
DC: That’s literally how I feel.
JG: Let’s just branch off and do our own thing.
DC: Maybe season 3? No spoilers (laughs).
JG: But as an actor I’m having a lot of fun with it, I get to kick a lot of ass this year along with some cool dialogue coming out of my face, you know? I think he’s evolved a lot from last year completely. Innocence is gone. And it’s clearly affected his family obviously since his family has taken off and he has to deal with this world until his family comes back, whenever that is. That’s another storyline in itself.
What has been one of the most difficult scenes for you to film?
JG: We had a love scene halfway through episode 9, and it was pretty aggressive so we had to train (Laughs). I do a lot of yoga.
DC: Ok were going to stop this before we get in a lot of trouble and you snip a soundbite. No, but really, one of the greatest things about working with Troublemaker and Robert is the fact that they champion old school action and practical effects. We try to keep the classics alive so what that means is it looks cool but it also fucking hurts. When we get to work one day were racing cars and the next were getting thrown across a room so there’s a lot to choose from.
JG: I’ve had twisted ankles, jammed fingers, you get really busted up. You’re kind of hitting each other sometimes. It’s a lot of fun, not particularly difficult, just very physical.
DC: Everybody is down with it, everyone in the cast.
Any special techniques you can mention?
JG: A hug afterwards (laughs).
DC: Everybody in the cast is proud of the job and we’re thankful for it.
JG: Plus the crew is great, our stunt team is amazing. Our special effects team, with the hair and makeup, they make us all look good. We wouldn’t look nearly as good if it weren’t for them.
DJ, what is it like mirroring George Clooney, but at the same time making the character you’re own?
DC: Well there’s no thought of “Mirroring” anyone to be honest with you. The character is the same character that he played so obviously by definition there will be a ton of similarities written as such. It’s impossible to avoid certain moments. I think whatever Robert saw in the original casting I was lucky enough for him to see that in me for this casting. He saw some sort of quality that works for him being brought to life. I’m just very happy to be able to get to do it. It just happens organically, we had no preconceived notion about trying to do it similarly. At the end of the day, it’s the words on the page, and we go to work with Robert and we spitball our ideas and at that point it’s all in Robert’s hands. He makes it look how he wants it to look.
JG: And if you think about it to in the other direction, by trying to stay as far away from Clooney as possible you’re not going to please everyone. The fans would say “Ah, Clooney would never do that”! So he’s doing the work as distinctively as possible.
DC: When we go to work, that’s the last thing on our mind. It’s only when we look back and make those comparisons. We do the best that we can. I talk the way I talk, and act the way I act.
JG: Maybe Clooney is impersonating you?
DC: Not in the bank account, elsewhere maybe.
Speaking of iconic performances and properties, if Robert ever decided to bring back a known film into a TV series, which would you like him to do and what character would you like to play?
DC: I think Sin City, man. Could you imagine? If you could make a cool, stylized noir like that, like the way Frank and Robert did it. I would watch that endlessly, the same way he drew the original comic. I would play anybody they’d want me to play.
JG: I’ll play the Jessica Alba character, for sure.