Tonight, FOX premieres its newest crime drama, Gang Related. Antonio Jaramillo has a supporting but important role in the show's first season, and BFTV recently spoke to him about it as well as his recurring role on TNT's Dallas.
Antonio's Gang Related character isn't one of the elite LAPD cops who make up the heart of the show. Instead, he portrays someone else that populates the series' gritty world, connected to the notorious Acosta family. "I play a guy named Beto, and I'm a childhood friend of the main character, Ryan [Lopez] is his name," he explained. "I'm willing to risk my life to save his and to remain in good standing with the family." It's a two-episode stint - but it has larger repercussions for the story.
Above is the trailer for the series, which stars Ramon Rodriguez (Need For Speed) as Ryan, with Terry O'Quinn (Lost, The Cutting Edge), RZA (Brick Mansions), and Cliff Curtis (Live Free or Die Hard).
Antonio has a larger role on TNT's Dallas, where he plays the scheming Luis, and you can see more of him on that series when it returns to finish out its third season. "They had the midseason finale about three weeks ago, and before that I'd already had three episodes," he told us. "I have seven more episodes to come starting August 18 or the end of August." We're going to assume that means we can expect more deviousness between Luis, bad guy Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi) and Harris's mom Judith (Judith Light).
What's it like for the veteran actor to have landed roles on two TV series? "That's awesome," he enthused. "Work is work, and I appreciate it, and the fact that they happen to be kind of at the same time."
There's one small-screen character Antonio wishes that he could've spent more time with. "I wish the guy was around for longer, but the show had its final season," he reflected. "It was Burn Notice, playing Detective Garza [in the episode 'Means & Ends']. He was a jaded cop, a jaded homicide investigator, and I just thought there was a lot to play with. I really enjoyed it."
He's been working steadily since his first TV appearance in a Veronica Mars episode in 2005, so we asked him what other part he'd like audiences who check out Gang Related or Dallas to have checked out. "Hopefully they'll get out and see theater, because you get to do great roles on stage," he told us. "As far as a role I think was pretty cool, working with Oliver Stone on Savages was very cool...to get to work with him and the outstanding cast and crew."
"For me, it's just giving life to what's on the paper," he told us of his process. "I'm given four, five, eight, maybe ten to twelve pages of text, and I have to make it come to life as if it's happening for the first time. And more importantly, [I have] to give that person a beating heart. If you make [a character] a breathing human being, people can tell the difference."
Is there any series he'd really love to add to his resume? "House of Cards is one of my favorite shows," he said. "It's a perfect show for my taste. I know my casting doesn't really match politicians, but I really, really like that show. If there was ever an opportunity to work with those cast and those writers, it'd be terrific."
No matter what character he gets to play next, he's enjoying the career that he's built for himself. "It's a nice journey that I'm having," Antonio reflected. "I'm just looking forward to more opportunities in the future."
Gang Related premieres tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on FOX.