First Trailer, Exclusive Chat: Zane Holtz on “FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE SERIES” Season Two!Home,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
With FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE SERIES bursting out of the shadows of its cinematic predecessor, all eyes have been on the upcoming second season of the series and the expanding mythology within. Now, FANGORIA has the first trailer for the bloodthirsty show, giving us our first look at the new, the old and the nasty in action this time around. And to sweeten the pot, FANGORIA was able to chat exclusively with Chainsaw Award nominee Zane Holtz about reprising the role of Richie Gecko, the vampire variation on his performance and just how gory the series will get in its sophomore season…
FANGORIA: At the end of season one, Richie Gecko is certainly in a different position than his cinematic counterpart. What can you tell us about how Richie has changed between then and season two?
ZANE HOLTZ: Well, at the end of the first season, you saw the end of the Gecko Brothers as a duo. So for the second, you don’t see Richie acting on his own since he’s working with Santanico but for the first time in his life, he’s operating without Seth. The only other time we’ve seen him operate without Seth is in the flashback in season one when Seth was in prison, and we saw that Richie wasn’t doing so well; he was living in the woods like a hermit. But in season two, Richie has a new sense of confidence since being turned into a vampire and having successfully been working as a criminal.
I think the main difference, for me, between the seasons was that in season one, Richie was transparent with every vision and every emotion he was feeling. Everything was being worn on his sleeve, and everyone in his life was reacting to that while not knowing if it was real or not. In the second season, Richie is playing everything closer to the vest now that he’s seen this vampire criminal world. You’re really going to see Richie’s ambition, but he’s going to hide that from the people all around him. He’s going to be playing his cards right and take the right approach.
FANGORIA: Speaking of confidence, Richie definitely rolled with the punches in the first season when it came to his visions and his destiny. Is he going to take the same approach now that he’s a part of a supernatural world he knows so little about?
HOLTZ: Yeah, he’s confident but in a different way. He’s more sure of himself but he’s not going to tell everybody what is going on. In the first season, Richie would tell Seth, “Hey man, I’m seeing stuff. This is what’s going on and you’ve got to believe me.” In season two, he knows everything is real, and now that the audience and Richie both know that vampires exist, so that confidence comes from knowing what he saw was real and how he can use it to his advantage.
FANGORIA: How has your approached to Richie changed now that he’s no longer a part of “The Gecko Brothers?”
HOLTZ: It’s still a continuation of the character from season one, but with a different frame of mind. So all of Richie’s ticks and character traits are still going to be there but he’s a little more stern and he’s in a relationship, which is definitely different from season one. Audiences will also get to see how Richie acts without having to prove himself to his brother all of the time because he now has self-worth from being a vampire and setting out on his own. So Richie isn’t going to be a completely new character this season, and it’s still going to be the Richie that people liked in the first season.
FANGORIA: How does it feel to be going into completely new ground for the character that is unconnected to the FROM DUSK TILL DAWN movies?
HOLTZ: It’s great, and that was something that we all wondered about when we started the show. But now that I’ve played the character for 20 episodes and I’m hoping to continue playing the character beyond that, I feel like I’ve really had the opportunity to make Richie my own at this point. Especially during the last season, the character has been explored in new territory and that’s going to be really exciting for the audience. No matter how good the first season turned out, people were always going to compare it to the movie. But now that we’ve achieved beyond what our initial goal was, we can reintroduced these characters and tell some stories that no one else has ever seen.
FANGORIA: What will the relationship between Richie and Santanico be like this season? Will it still be the starry-eyed affair of the first season or might it be something a little more tense this time around?
HOLTZ: I think in this season, reality has set in for them. In the first season, she was a siren calling to Richie, and he thought she was magical, wonderful and great. At the beginning of season two, you’re going to see how Richie is fitting into this relationship and their regiment, especially considering the supernatural elements of it all. At the same time, you’re going to see the strain that people would normally go through in a high-stress relationship, and that will test whether Richie and Santanico really like each other or not. The fantasy is over, the reality has set in, they’re on the run and even though he’s used to that lifestyle with his brother, life is different now that the situation is with a woman. So it’s not just going to be glitz and glamour between the two of them.
FANGORIA: In terms of Richie’s emotions, is he going to be more like himself in season one or might have vampirism turned him a little more aggressive?
HOLTZ: When Richie is a vampire, I still try to keep the character as close to human Richie as possible. When he turns and bites someone, that’s all fun but Richie has not lost his soul. He’s still the same guy but with added abilities. You won’t see Richie floating around and stalking people, nor am I trying to go for a more reptilian performance. I’m trying to keep as much of Richie’s quirky core performance alive as possible. But you’re going to see whether or not Richie likes being a vampire or not, and I’m still 100% tapping into the human side of the character.
I do have to thank the writers for having Richie written that way, though. They didn’t just abandon Richie as a man as soon as he became a creature of the night. He’s still Richie Gecko, first and foremost.
FANGORIA: What has the experience been like working with the new castmembers such as Esai Morales and Danny Trejo, especially considering they’re playing characters who were never established in the source material?
HOLTZ: Yeah. Actually, my favorite pieces of dialogue from the first season were the banter between Richie and Seth where they’d go back and forth at each other, and not to spoil anything, but should they get the opportunity to do that again, I think audiences would really like that this season as well. But of course, I enjoyed working with other actors this season in this new storyline. I got to work with Eiza [Gonzalez] a lot this year, which was great. I got to spend a lot of time with Jeff Fahey, and he’s amazing, and I also got to work with Esai a lot for the latter half of the season.
It’s fun that I still get to show up and play my character while testing out his chemistry with other characters and their respective actors in this world. It’s great for us and it’s great for the audience to seen these characters interact with these new people as well as the people from their past.
FANGORIA: How was the experience working with Robert Rodriguez this season considering it was new territory for him as well?
HOLTZ: I actually didn’t feel a big change in working with him from the first season. Robert’s dedication to the show is the same as it was in the first season where he shows up, tries to make the show work out the best way it can and be very supportive of us as actors. He wants us to stay true to our characters and have as much fun as possible, so it was essentially like we picked up exactly where we left off last season.
FANGORIA: Was there any particular episode or moment that was a blast to film?
HOLTZ: Well, the premiere was great to work on and to work with Robert again, and it was a great way to kick things off. Fans might wonder if the show can exist beyond the movie or not , and I’ll think they’ll be pleasantly surprised. Later on, I think fans will enjoy episodes four and five; there’s a lot of cool sequences in there for Richie, and the seventh episode is awesome as well. And in the tenth episode, I worked with Robert again and that episode is just crazy with a lot of action and stunt work involved.
FANGORIA: Compared to the first season, how is the blood and gore SFX in season two?
HOLTZ: Yeah! It’s still FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, man! They’re still going to bring the juicy blood effects, and Esai Morales’ character has a particularly gory tactic that he uses that you can see in the first episode. Another thing I’m really excited for fans to see is that the immolation effect on the vampires has been updated this year, and it looks really amazing. Danny Trejo’s character also has some gory things that he has to do, but the good news is that it’s not the same old gore. All the gore this season is handled in a very interesting way.
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE SERIES returns for its second season on August 25th at 9 p.m. EST on El Rey Network. Fans can catch DUSK RETURNS, a one-hour sneak peek of the second season at 8 p.m. EST tonight on El Rey Network. You can check out the debut trailer for the new season below!