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 its 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.
Eiza Gonzalez (Santanico Pandemonium) & Zane Holtz (Richie Gecko) talk about their characters and what it’s like to live in this insane world and the relationship their characters have with one another.
What do you enjoy most about your characters?
EG: Santanico is an amazing character as a female role in Robert Rodriguez’s world. It’s really interesting to be apart of this strong show with all strong male leads, you wouldn’t expect female characters to be as strong as them. Being able to play Santanico and talk about a subject, who is being abused and used for, she’s like the pimp of the twister and she wants to break free. She has a good soul that has been rotten from all of these men, so obviously being part of this show and doing a character that females can look up to is really cool.
To be a badass as well as having a sensitive side even though she is evil, and you get to see more of an evilness in Richie when he gets the power, more so than her, so it’s an interesting mix of a show. She’s more of a driven character. She wants vengeance and to bring her people back, but she understands that the means can sometimes be complicated so she knows that some heads need to be chopped in order to get to the big deal.
We got to see in Episodes 8 & 9 a real progression of her storyline, how did you feel about doing that story?
EG: I love that storyline. I think it’s so crucial so you can understand Santanico. At the end of the day she’s super intelligent and calculating. She’s much more primal. Richard is being introduced to her world and she is being introduced into the world, because she’s been locked away in the ‘Titty Twister,’ so this co-dependent relationship is so beautiful. It really shows their true colors and that we always make bad choices. I like that the series allows us to make bad choices. It’s not always us being triumphant on a decision like you see her go down and Carlos gets me.
Zane, so you’re portraying a character who never saw a third act, how does it feel to continue his story all of these years later?
ZH: I was glad to be able to continue a story because I thought there was always more that could be done with Richie. I didn’t think Richie’s story was done yet in the show so I wanted to keep playing him and selfishly still have a job (laughs). I know a deal with the company to come back for more seasons, but I didn’t know in what way. They can still kill you! So by the last few episodes I was happy to see that Richie was going to take Santanico and take off. As I’ve said before, I think where we are now, Season 2 and beyond, is and was the ultimate goal for the show.
On reestablishing old characters and changing the status quo
ZH: We redid the film in season 1 to reestablish these characters. You couldn’t jump back into this show without doing that, setting the rules with these two brothers who are bank robbers living in this realistic crime driven world, then take that left turn to get to the twister, then the vampires. Just as were being exposed to it, the audience is being re exposed to it. That’s why were all happy to be here in season 2 getting the chance to tell new stories.
EG: Even Robert said it, for him to be able to revisit his work, and fix the things that he saw as not making much sense. The whole first 5 episodes where I’m talking to Richie and we just assume that he’s crazy. In this he wanted to reintroduce that world before so it would blend in later. It’s great to see someone as creative as Robert revisit his work over 20 years later and fix what he didn’t like or what he wanted to go into detail more. It’s amazing just to be apart of that.
Is there an understanding between Santanico and Richie where he may understand that she may just want to “cut it off”?
ZH: I think there’s probably a reason why Santanico chose Richie to be the one that she would call out to and help him escape. She saw that maybe I was the guy that would have that calling to save her, but now that she’s out, you kind of see that she doesn’t love me. Maybe she was using me. Those are the layers in the different kinds of things we get to see.
EG: Every single character in the show goes through abuse, if you analyze it. I go through it with Malboto, Carlos goes through it with Malboto. He’s used. The Fuller’s, especially Kate is abused because of the whole Mother and Father story, and they had to take care of her father. Everyone has had scaring, and I think that’s the lovable thing about Robert and Quentin, they write intelligent characters and people can relate in many ways. Her relationship with Malvato is interesting because she looks up to him as a creator.
ZH: Everybody is bad in this show. There is no good and evil.
The Season 2 finale of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series airs Tuesday, October 27 on the El Ray Network