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By Suzanne


Interview with Miguel Gomez from "The Strain" on FX 8/3/15

Final Transcript FX NETWORK: The Strain
August 3, 2015/1:00 p.m. PDT

Kristy Silvernail
Miguel Gomez


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience in standing by, and welcome to The Strain conference call. At this time, all participant lines are in a listen-only mode. Later there will be an opportunity for questions. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, todayís conference is being recorded.

Iíll now turn the floor over to our host, Kristy Silvernail.

Kristy: Good morning, or I guess I should say afternoon, and welcome to The Strain conference call with series regular Miguel Gomez, who stars as Gus, an ex-con working to redeem himself by aiding in the fight to kill The Master. Iíd like to thank everyone for joining us today, and remind you that this call is for print purposes only. No audio may be used. As you know, The Strain is currently airing its second season on FX, Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.

So, with that said letís go ahead and take our first question. Justin?

Moderator: Certainly. Our first question does come from the line of Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision. Your line is open.

Jamie: Hi, Miguel. Thanks so much for talking to us today.

Miguel: Hi, Jamie. Thanks for having me.

Jamie: Itís a great show. Iím really enjoying it this season. Youíve gotten lately a lot of stunts, a lot of action scenes, that kind of thing. Can you talk about filming those kinds of scenes?

Miguel: Yes. I have a lot of fun with the action and getting in there and really doing it for real. I try my best not to use any stunt doubles or anything like that because to me it just feels more authentic when I do it myself. Thereís been a few times where Iíve gotten some bumps and bruises, but I think itís all worth it and I think it all shows in the final product of the show. Yes, itís been a lot of fun, though.

Jamie: Great. How did you get involved with the show at the very beginning?

Miguel: I went in and I met with the beautiful, amazing April Webster and just talked about the character and what they were looking for. Then I ended up meeting with Carlton Cuse and he was giving me the direction of where they wanted to go with the character, and, yes, everything just fit.

Jamie: Great. Thank you so much.

Miguel: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Jasmine Alyce from Your line is open.

Jasmine: Hi, Miguel. Thanks so much for speaking with us today.

Miguel: Thank you for talking to me.

Jasmine: So, in last nightís episode we heard Gus say a number of times that he looks out for himself, he only looks out for himself. But he met Angel and Aanya, so will we start seeing that perspective of his change a little bit [indiscernible]?

Miguel: Yes, I think when he said that it was more out of anger and he was really talking to [indiscernible], The Master, whoever it was that was talking to him. But, yes, I think when he starts to get close to someone he just naturally has that protective instinct, yes. So, yes, itís possible.

Jasmine: Alright. And this is a quick follow up question. What is one of the funniest on set memories that you have, since the show is so dark and so serious all the time?

Miguel: Funniest memories. Actually it was with Joaquin Cosio, who plays The Silver Angel, and Parveen Kaur, who plays Aanya Gupta. Working with them every day, we have so much fun. We laugh all the time. And just sometimes in between takes weíd be freezing because we shoot in Toronto, so itís like frostbite weather. So, weíre freezing but in the midst of all that weíre still enjoying each other and having fun. This season was actually a lot lighter for me to shoot. It was a little more fun because last season was just intense; everything he was going through was so intense. And this season I was able to have a little more fun with them.

Jasmine: Well, thatís awesome. I canít wait to see what happens with Gus for the rest of the season.

Miguel: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Heather McLatchie of TV Goodness. Your line is open.

Heather: Hi, thanks so much for talking to us.

Miguel: Hi, Heather. Thank you for talking to me.

Heather: You bet. Last night Gus was one of the few thatís had a direct conversation with The Master, and he asked him what he wanted from him and he didnít get an answer. So, will we see that play out over the rest of the season, where heíll come back into contact with The Master, or will that have any bearing on his relationship with the Ancients?

Miguel: I think Gus is really just stumbling through everything trying to figure out whatís going on. Iím just as confused as you are about what they want from Gus, you know? But, yes, for some reason they keep seeking him out and I think heís completely confused about it too. Heís just trying to do his best with the circumstances that heís in.

Heather: And a quick question. As you said, he said that last night in anger, that heís only looking out for himself, and thatís really not all there is to the story. Is there a degree to which heís still trying to atone for being the one that drove The Master into New York and unleashed this without really realizing what he had been set up to do?

Miguel: Yes, I think thatís what really drives him. I think he feels that he lost his mom, and his brother, and his best friend because of his mistakes, and I think his nature is to be protective of the people he cares about and the people that care about him. So, yes, I think thatís whatís driving him, that revenge and that redemption, and I think he has one goal now and thatís to seek out whoever caused all these things to happen to his family and get revenge on it.

Heather: Great. Well, thank you very much. Iím really enjoying this season.

Miguel: Thank you so much for talking to me.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Rebecca Murray of Showbiz Junkies.

Rebecca: Good afternoon.

Miguel: Good afternoon.

Rebecca: You actually touched on it a little bit, in the conversation that your character had with The Master, but that has to be one of the creepiest scenes in a really creepy program. So, what was that actually like to shoot? Was it as creepy to shoot as it came across on the screen?

Miguel: It is super creepy because Adriana Barraza, the lady that plays Gusís mom, sheís such a wonderful lady. Sheís such a beautiful person, and to see her in that makeup and then to hear her speak those words to me, it was definitely something thatóthe way I am is I allow that into my body, into me, and those fears and those things to sort of awaken. And when I hear her saying these things and I just think back, and yes, it was super creepy to see her in that makeup and to see her completely change, no longer Gusís mom, just pure evil at that moment. Yes, it was really scary and creepy.

Rebecca: Well, it was my favorite scene of the season so far. I canít wait to see what happens with Gus.

Miguel: Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Moderator: Our next question comes from Jeri Jacquin of Military Press.

Jeri: How are you today?

Miguel: Hi, how are you?

Jeri: The one thing Iíve noticed about your character is that he can be in the room with The Master, the Ancients, or whatever, and he doesnít show fear. Well, I know heís afraid. But you just have such a great way of saying, okay, I know this is happening but Iím going to get through this.

Miguel: Yes.

Jeri: How has that helped you develop your character?

Miguel: I think, like you say, he absolutely feels fear, and some of the things that he comes across is very scary. Itís not that he doesnít feel that fear. But he comes from the streets, from really rough elements and circumstances, and heís used to that survival mentality and conditioned to face death a lot, I think. Because in the streets you can really die at any moment, especially if youíre involved with illegal activities itís always a possibility.

And itís survival of the fittest. So, he knows how to, I guess, mask that fear. I think even with the clothes he wears and the shaved head and his tattoos, itís all just battle onwards. Itís all just him adapting to his situation, to his culture, to whatís going on around him. So, itís really hard. I would say itís just a wall. Itís a defense mechanism that he has. But, yes, he definitely feels that fear, I would say.
Jeri: And a follow up, how much of your character are you being allowed to develop?

Miguel: Itís a really wonderful character that Guillermo del Toro created, and Chuck Hogan, the writer. Itís all there. Gusís heart and Gusís integrity, I think itís all written, but he does come from the streets. I think it all comes from Guillermo and Chuck, but, yes, they just placed me in the world and I just do my best to really live in it, and really try to figure everything out that I can about whatís going on. But it comes from them.

Jeri: Well, youíre doing an amazing job. And again, like everyone is saying, we canít wait to see what happens next.

Miguel: Oh, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Jeri: Thank you.

Miguel: Thank you for talking to me.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question will come from the line of Evan Griffin of
Evan Hi, Miguel. Hope youíre doing well. Thanks for doing the Q&A with us.

Miguel: Thanks, man.

Evan: [Indiscernible] real quick on Southpaw coming out just recently, a fantastic film. And I just wanted to ask you real quick, because the two mediums of film and TV have blended so much in the last couple of decades I was curious is there anything that you learned filming on the set of Southpaw, something as big as an Antoine Fuqua movie, coming back to The Strain is there anything that you learned on there that you wanted to bring on set on The Strain to Gusís character?

Miguel: Well, I think just the intensity and the dedication that you have on an Antoine Fuqua set, especially when it comes to boxing, that commitment. And really just working with some really great, amazing actors that I look up to, Forest Whitaker, and Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, and 50 Cent, these are all people that I admire, and how humble and how patient everyone is, and how everybodyís fighting for the same goal, everybodyís working together. I think those are the biggest things that I learned on Southpaw. But itís the same on The Strain set, everybodyís dedicated, everybodyís working really hard to bring this vision to life. So, it was just really nice to see that everybodyís really on the same page.

Evan: Sure. And just a quick follow up, Gus could hold his own before, but he met a new character, Angel, last night and it looks like maybe we could have Gus learn some advanced lucha libre skills maybe coming up, or do you think thatís a little too spoiler-y to talk about?

Miguel: Well, he seems like a pretty tough character. He seems like a tough guy. I wouldnít really want to mess with him. So, yes, he seems like he could be somebody that could really help in the fight.

Evan: Awesome. Miguel, thank you so much.

Miguel: Thanks, bro.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Preston Barta with Fresh Fiction.

Preston: Hi, Miguel. How are you?

Miguel: Good, Preston. How are you?
Preston: Iím great. This is based on Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hoganís books. Do you read ahead to see the arc of your character, or do you go along for the ride like the rest of us by reading each script as it comes to you?

Miguel: Yes. I do my best to just experience it as the character experiences it. I try my best to not really ask too many questions, unless itís something that Gus would already know, or needs to know for an upcoming scene. But I try my best to really live in that moment and not really know too much.

Preston: Right. As a follow up, the horror genre was like my babysitter growing up. There were movies I used to watch as a kid all the time. Was it like that for you, were you always attracted to this particular genre?

Miguel: No, I never really used to watch horror films or anything like that, because theyíre pretty damn scary.

Preston: Yes.

Miguel: No, I watch more comedy and stuff like that. But, yes, this is definitely something new for me.
Preston: Okay, thank you so much.

Miguel: Thanks, man.

Moderator: Our next question comes from Bruce Eisen of Here is TV.

Bruce: Hi, thanks for joining us today. Iím wondering if you like to watch TV, and if so, what do you like to watch?

Miguel: My favorite show at the moment is The Big Bang Theory actually, as funny as that might sound. People donít expect that.

Bruce: Quite different from the show youíre in.

Miguel: Yes. For me my entertainment is watching something thatís more keeping it light. I go through enough s**t on a daily basis that when I watch my entertainment I want it to be fun.

Bruce: Got it. Anything other than Big Bang?

Miguel: What else? I watch this incredible show called The Strain. Itís a pretty good show.

Bruce: Iíve heard good things about it.

Miguel: Yes, Iíve heard some good stuff too.

Bruce: Cool. Well, thank you. I appreciate it.

Miguel: I appreciate it, man.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Anushika Ganegoda of

Anushika: Hi, Miguel. Iím so excited to talk to you today. Iím a huge fan, and I love your character. But I was wondering what kind of reaction have you been getting from the fans? Do they love the character, or love to hate the character?

Miguel: Well, actually itís been really great interacting with the fans because it was really important to me to show a different side of this guy that comes from the street. And I think whatís really great about Gus is that what theyíre ultimately saying in the show is you canít judge a book by its cover, and people have been really giving him a chance and really seeing who he truly is. I think heís just a guy thatís trying to do the right thing, really loves his family, and is really just doing his best with the circumstances that heís in. So, yes, for the fans to actually see that and give him a chance, itís really been an honor to play a character like that.

Anushika: Thatís great. As a follow up, I just want to know whatís Gusís take on the vampire apocalypse, is he just trying to survive it, or is he actually actively fighting against it?

Miguel: Yes, I think at first heís trying to survive it. But when it takes his mom, and his brother, and his best friend, now heís actively seeking revenge for that and he made a decision that heís going to fight or die now. I think heís at that point where he wants to get some revenge for what happened.

Anushika: Awesome. I canít wait to see the rest of the season. Thank you so much.

Miguel: Thanks so much for talking to me.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Mary Powers of

Mary: Hi there.

Miguel: Hi, how are you?

Mary: Okay, how are you?

Miguel: Iím good.

Mary: Last weekís episode was actually pretty sad for a lot of fans, losing Vaun and the rest of that crew. The question I had is even though Gus knew Vaun for a very short period of time, what do you think he may have learned from Vaun, and do you think he may have changed Gus in any way?

Miguel: Well, I think itís important to remember that Gus, heís there against his will.

Mary: Yes.
Miguel: They kidnapped Gus. Gus has no loyalty to these monsters. These are just people that have taken him, and theyíre holding him, and theyíre basically forcing him into working for them. So, thereís no loyalty to them. He wants to get away as quick as possible. He doesnít want to be anywhere near these monsters, and especially after seeing what they did to this innocent man, the Ancientsó

Mary: Yes.

Miguel: óthey basically tore him apart. The good that came from it was that he got some really good training, and I think heís really equipped now to fight these vampires, and he learned a new way to actually kill them, and he knows how to fight, and he knows how to engage in combat with these monsters. So, yes, he definitely learned the skills. But I think his thing was he needed to get away from them as soon as possible.

Mary: Okay. And just as a quick follow up, what was it like working with Stephen McHattie? Fans love him, I love him, and so forth.

Miguel: Yes, heís a cool cat, man. Heís a really cool guy. Heís pretty quiet, man. But, yes, heís a really great, incredible actor.
Mary: Okay, thanks.

Miguel: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Damon Martin of

Damon: Hi, Miguel. Thanks for taking the time today.

Miguel: Oh, thanks for talking to me.

Damon: First things first, let me say I loved Southpaw. And my question to you is this, you worked with Antoine Fuqua, you worked with Kurt Sutter, who wrote the script, whoís a phenomenal writer and director in his own right, obviously you work with Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse on The Strain, whatís the best advice as an actor that any of those guys have given you, because thatís a pretty powerful brain trust to work with over a couple of projects.

Miguel: Yes. I think the best advice would be to just fully commit. Just be fully committed and really live in the moment. Be there. Allow this to happen. Somehow, some way the universe has put me here in this position and whatever it is thatís happening in that scene, itís happening to me in real life. Thatís my best way of trying to put it and trying to see it, that itís actually happening to me.

If I had just woken up out of a coma and Iím here, and Iím seeing these sorts of things play out in front of me, just believing in them as if they were really happening. And just working with these guys, really I just watch them. I just watch how they interact with different people, and really just their commitment, just be committed.

Damon: Yes. One quick follow up, weíre about obviously four episodes into the season of The Strain Season 2. As we get into the second half of the season, as much as youíre able to tell us what would you say you feel like Gusís story is going to be for the rest of the season? Is it a story of fighting back? Is it a story of redemption? What do you feel like his story is for the rest of this season?

Miguel: Yes, I think he wants redemption. He wants revenge for what happened to his family, to his mom, his brother, and his best friend. And whoeverís going to help him get that revenge, heís going to ride with, heís going to be down with. And, yes, thatís it. Thatís it.

Damon: Awesome. Thanks so much.

Miguel: Thanks, man.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question comes from the line of Tonya Papanikolas of SpoilerTV.

Tonya: Thank you. Miguel, itís great to talk to you.

Miguel: Oh, thank you so much.

Tonya: I wonder, do you have a favorite scene that youíve filmed so far in Season 2?

Miguel: Favorite scene in Season 2? I think itís been really fun to work with Aanya and the Silver Angel. I keep going back to that because last season was so intense for me and it was rough to get through just because of what was going on with the character. And this season I was able to have a little more fun and actually meet some people that make him happy in a way. They remind him of his childhood. And, yes, just working with Joaquin Cosio and Parveen Kaur has been really great.

Tonya: Your characterís a little more isolated than some of the other characters in the show, so Iím wondering is there a point where weíll see you meet up with some of those other main characters again? And whatís that like for you?

Miguel: Yes, itís pretty lonely. Itís like a lone wolf; youíre going through this whole thing by yourself. But I think his intentions and his motivations are in line with the rest of the cast. I think they all want the same thing. So, yes, I think if they cross it would actually be really great for everybody because they all want the same thing. They all want to defeat this sickness.

Tonya: Alright, weíre excited to see it. Thanks, Miguel.

Miguel: Thank you so much.

Tonya: Our next question comes from the line of Jamie Steinberg of Starry Constellation Magazine.

Jamie: Hi, itís such a pleasure to speak with you.

Miguel: Oh, thank you. You too.

Jamie: Thereís such a great chemistry between this cast. I know itís Season 2, so you guys have had quite an opportunity to gel, but was it there initially when you guys began working together? Did you all spend some time to bond?

Miguel: We had a very first cast dinner with everybody. And I donít know, ever since that everybody sort of clicked and everybody was really in the same space. I donít know, I just remember it being a really good moment. Everybody was really happy, and I think, yes, since the very beginning everybody really clicked.

Jamie: You are part of social media, but youíve only shared one item. Is that your secret way of finding out through fans what their thoughts are on the episode without them knowing?
Miguel: No, I donít really see it that way. I donít know, Iíll get better at it I think.

Jamie: Well, do you enjoy that instant fan feedback at least that you receive during episodes when fans do write you and tell you their thoughts?

Miguel: Well, I donít really get on social media very much. But definitely when I run into fans, or I come across fans and they really see the heart of the character, really see the heart of Gus, thatís what really inspires me and motivates me, and I really appreciate that. Itís sort of an honor to hear that kind of feedback.

Jamie: What do you think it is then about The Strain that really has made it such a fan favorite show so quickly?

Miguel: I think The Strain is not trying just to scare you. Thereís a political message, thereís a spiritual message that goes along with the show I think. And even deeper than that, it brings people from different walks of life together because I think in order to defeat this thing you need people from different walks of life. Nobodyís more important than anybody else. The billionaire needs the guy from the street, and the guy from the street needs the scientist, and the scientist needs his son.
If you really look at whatís happening - itís love. Everybody needs to be together as one. I think itís very important. Itís an incredible message for us as humanity. We need to all be together. Why does it take something like a sickness or an alien attack for us to realize that weíre just one? Weíre all one and we all need each other. I think thatís what people connect to. They realize that we need each other. Weíre all human beings, and ultimately whatís going to save us is love.

Jamie: Well, thank you so much for your time.

Miguel: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby of

Jamie: Hi, again. I know you mentioned that you said you donít try to read ahead to find out whatís going to happen, but did you read the novels originally when you got the part to research from there, did you take anything from the books, or have you mostly justó

Miguel: Yes, I had to read the novels to get an understanding of who the character was. But the show is actually a lot different than the novels, so I had an understanding of who the character was, but as far as a lot of the things that heís going through, yes, they are pretty brand new to me.

Jamie: Great.

Miguel: I try to keep it that way so that is authentic when it happens on set.

Jamie: Right. Is there anything in particular that you find challenging about the role still?

Miguel: Yes, every day thereís a challenge. Every day you try to figure out what it is that the writers, and Carlton Cuse and Guillermo, what theyíre trying to say, what message are they trying to get across. Yes, there are always difficulties with trying to figure out what it is exactly that Gus is going to do next, and what his intentions are and his motivations are. Yes, itís always a difficulty.

Jamie: Okay, great. Thank you so much.

Miguel: Thanks.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Terry Stanley of LA Times.

Terry: Hi, Miguel. How are you?

Miguel: Iím good. How are you doing?

Terry: Good, thanks. Vaun was a bit of a mentor of yours, for better or worse, right?

Miguel: Well, I donít think he was necessarily a mentor. I think he was a kidnapper.

Terry: Right.

Miguel: I donít think Gus trusted Vaun for one second, especially being there against his will.

Terry: So, you werenít that sorry that he fried?

Miguel: I think he made an attempt to help him as much as he could, but at the end of the day this was somebody that has you against your will and is forcing you to do something that you necessarily wouldnít choose to do. And then on top of that you lead me into this battle and youíre the first one to go. Now, itís like okay, youíre saying one thing but then youíre really not. Okay, so at the end of the day he had no loyalty to this person who kidnapped him.

Terry: Do you think Gus has any better idea now than he did before about what that vigilante group was really up to?

Miguel: I think heís even more confused now. I think the only good thing that came from it was the training, because this vigilante group was supposed to be the team to really give this fight a good chance supposedly, and to be the first ones to go in that way, it was shocking.

Terry: I had just one more quick follow up about the training. Now, maybe youíll have an opportunity to mentor the Silver Angel along a little bit. I just wondered if youíre going to teach him to rip out the stinger with his bare hands, or is that something you want to just keep for yourself?

Miguel: No, I think it would be a good idea. I think as many people that can know how to defeat these things, it definitely [indiscernible]. It would be great for even the rest of the cast and the group to know thereís more than one way to kill this thing, especially if you donít have a weapon on you at that time.

Speaking of, Vaun gives Gus a gun with two bullets. This is a thing where theyíre like this is not funny, this is your life at risk and at danger. So, itís like one of those things where you donít trust really whatís going on at all.

Terry: Right.

Miguel: But youíve got to make the best with what youíve got.

Terry: Thank you so much. I love your character. Good for you.

Miguel: Thank you so much for talking to me. Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question comes from Heather McLatchie of TV Goodness.

Heather: Hi again. Gus has had a lot of, heís had the benefit, for lack of a better word, of really varied types of scenes, action, and quiet scenes, and funny scenes, emotional scenes. Is there a favorite that speaks to you, or do you just enjoy all aspects of getting to play him as heís thrown into all of these different scenarios?

Miguel: Yes, the filming is so intense that any time that we have a scene where he can actually be happy, or connect to his childhood, to me thatís the most fun. But my favorite part about the character is showing the message behind the character I think is that you canít judge a book by its cover. If you give somebody a chance, you might really find something thatís really helpful, or really good about that person. And I think that to me is the most, I guess, rewarding thing about playing a character like him.

Heather: Very cool. And as far as fan interaction goes, when you all did Comic-Con last year the show was fairly new, and now a year later itís been out in the world and itís been around the world. Can you talk a little bit about the difference between those two experiences?

Miguel: Yes. Last year we were explaining what the show was about, and this year fans have come up to me and tell me more things about my character than I knew. They knew more about the character than me, and just them giving us a chance. And certain fans have come up and said, ďI really thank you for showing this character and showing him in a different light, and giving him some good things, and some good qualities,Ē which comes from the writing, which comes from Chuck Hogan, and it comes from Guillermo del Toro also. Those things I think, that was the plan from the beginning.

But for the fans to see that and connect to that, and hopefully motivate or inspire someone that comes from rough circumstances to try to be the best that you can and not be a victim of your circumstances. To me, thatís the thing thatís really rewarding and inspiring to me in playing a character like that. Itís really an honor.

Heather: Well, thank you so much.

Miguel: Thank you so much.

Moderator: And there are no further questions at this time.

Miguel: Yay.

Kristy: Thank you so much to everybody for joining us today, and especially Miguel. We really appreciated you taking the time to talk with us.

Miguel: Thank you guys for talking to me. I really appreciate it.

Kristy: As a reminder, The Strain airs on FX Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.

Miguel: Thank you.

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