Interview with Lou Diamond Phillips from "Blindspot" on NBC - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Lou Diamond Phillips

Interview with Lou Diamond Phillips of "Blindspot" on NBC 11/2/15

It was great to speak with Lou; I'm a huge fan of his from way back! I loved his role here on "Blindspot." It was very kind of him to also let us ask him about his role on "Longmire." He's always really good about talking to fans on Twitter, too.

Moderator: Matthew Mitchell
November 2, 2015
1:15 pm CT

Coordinator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Blindspot Lou Diamond Phillips Press and Media Conference Call. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards we will conduct a question and answer session. At that time if you have a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

If at any time you need to reach the operator, please press Star 0. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded on Monday, November 2, 2015. Now I'd like to turn the conference over to Matthew Mitchell. Please go ahead.

Matthew Mitchell: Hi, there. Hello everyone. Thanks for joining today's call. We're really thrilled to have Lou Diamond Phillips on the phone with us today. He'll be guest starring as Saul Guerrero on Blindspot tonight. We'll be airing our seventh episode, "Sent on Tour," starting at 10:00 pm Eastern time this evening on NBC.

To start off, we do ask that you keep it to one question, so that we can give each of you a chance to ask. And then should you have a follow-up, please just feel free to re-enter the queue. Also, just a reminder that we will be recording the conference call. Please welcome Mr. Phillips now, and we're ready to begin the questions. Thanks.

Coordinator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you'd like to register for a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You'll hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you'd like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3.

If you're using a speaker phone, please lift your handset before entering your request. Our first question comes from the line of Stephanie Piche with Mingle Media TV. Please proceed.

Stephanie Piche: Hi, Lou?

Lou Diamond Phillips: Hi, Stephanie. How are you?

Stephanie Piche: Good, thank you. Can you tell us what intrigued you about your character for tonight's episode.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You know, it was (unintelligible) really have the script yet. They just basically gave me an outline of it. I was, you know - even before the show aired, you know, (unintelligible).

Stephanie Piche: I'm having a hard time hearing you. Sorry. I'm not able to hear you. I don't know if it's just...


Matthew Mitchell: Lou, I think the connection's bad.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Hold on, we're going to try (unintelligible).

Matthew Mitchell: Okay.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Is this - hello?

Stephanie Piche: Hi.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Hi. Stephanie, is that still you?

Stephanie Piche: Yes. Yes, Lou. Thank you.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Oh, good. Is that better? Can you hear me better?

Stephanie Piche: Perfect. Yes, thanks.

Lou Diamond Phillips: So as I was saying, I was very, very intrigued by Blindspot just from watching the ad. I was going to watch the show as a fan, and then the call came to go on the show. They didn't have a script yet, but they gave me a character description. I thought, you know, that sounds, you know, like a lot of fun.

I'd worked with Martin (unintelligible), so I had a great sense of, you know, how intelligent the script would be, how much fun it would be. And I kind of jumped into the Blindspot, so to speak. And ultimately what was a lot of fun was that I was (unintelligible) with Sullivan Stapleton and Audrey, Ashley, all from the show. So, you know, (unintelligible).

Stephanie Piche: Missed your last sentence. You cut out again. Sorry.

Lou Diamond Phillips: (Unintelligible) Audrey and Ashley and all (unintelligible). That was the week I was (unintelligible).

Stephanie Piche: Okay, I caught part of that, but I can't wait to see you tonight, and I'm looking forward to The 33 and Longmire. So keep them coming.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Yeah, you know what? It's - the stars are aligning right now, and I'm very, very grateful.

Stephanie Piche: So are your fans.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Excellent.

Stephanie Piche: Thanks.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby with Sci-Fi Vision. Please proceed.

Jamie Ruby: Hi, thanks for talking to us today.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Thank you.

Jamie Ruby: So I just saw a preview -- actually it was a different one than I saw before -- saying that you may be the key to her tattoos. And I know obviously you can't, you know, tell us specifics. But you have an important part coming up, and obviously Mayfair has been kind of hiding it from everybody what's going on. Can you talk at all about that tease? About anything that - of how he's connected?

Lou Diamond Phillips: (Unintelligible).

Jamie Ruby: Your line is like really going out again.

Matthew Mitchell: Sorry, Lou. It's going in and out really bad. We're not able to understand.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Yeah, okay. You know what? Let me try to go to a different location here. Hold on. I may be in a rough spot. Okay...


Lou Diamond Phillips: I'm like in the commercial. Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? Here I go. Now I'm walking.

Matthew Mitchell: That's perfect.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Stairs -- this is better. I'm getting closer to heaven as we speak, and therefore, you know, where the signal is going out. So how about now?

Jamie Ruby: Much better.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Okay, great. What I was saying was that yes, Saul -- emphasis on the ul -- is definitely a part of the puzzle, but I don't even know if he knows, you know, what part he plays in this. And every question just leads to more questions, and I'm just, you know, one big worm in a can of worms.

So it's intriguing, and then obviously I think, you know, any show, any success, has a long-term plan. And, you know, very interesting to see how it's going to play out.

Jamie Ruby: Okay, great. Thanks so much. Can't wait to see it.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Thank you.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite. Please proceed.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi, it's great to talk to you, and congratulations on Season 5 of Longmire.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Yeah, that just came down on Friday, so I'm absolutely thrilled. I think this last season was our best yet and, you know, our writers just keep raising the bar.

Suzanne Lanoue: Cool, cool. I love that show. I was wondering how many episodes will you be on Blindspot, do you know?

Lou Diamond Phillips: You know, I don't even know if I can reveal that. All I can say is it's more than one, you know? Yeah, no, believe me, you know, it's a show about, you know, black ops and high intelligence. And, yeah, they - yeah, I've got a gun to my head right now. I don't know if - you know, you can't see that, but yeah, they're watching every word I say.

Suzanne Lanoue: Okay, thanks. Thanks a lot.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You bet.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of (Tim Hogan) with The TV Addict. Please proceed.

Tim Hogan: Hi, Lou. It's an honor to get to speak with you today.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Well thank you, and thanks for your patience. I mean, wow, this is kind of a crazy process, man. This is a new one on me.

Tim Hogan: Okay, and thank you also for retweeting my little Twitter poll asking if I should bring up Longmire.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Oh, hey man. It's a total symbiotic relationship, isn't it? I mean, you know, that's what the social media's for. And I'm thrilled because, you know, it opens up an absolute channel not only between me and my fans, but between me and the media, which is very, very cool.

Tim Hogan: Indeed. Definitely. Well I wondered if you wanted to comment - okay, so there was that criticism by Variety's co-editor in chief regarding the show's age demo.

And I thought that was hollow, because I know fans of all ages that like Longmire, and of course all the fans of yours, and Katee Sackhoff's fans from Battlestar Galactica. I imagine you've met Longmire fans of all different ages. Do you want to comment on that?

Lou Diamond Phillips: You know what? I will simply say that it is inaccurate to assume that we appeal to only one demographic; and that our fans are incredibly loyal. They're incredibly vocal. And this is the reason that we were not only picked up by Netflix, but that we have a Season 5. So any statement to the contrary is not only irresponsible, it's inaccurate.

You know, obviously we could go into that a lot, and I actually do think that there's going to be some sort of discussion toward that comment this weekend. But I need to leave that to our producers and to Netflix to handle.

Tim Hogan: Okay. I have so many questions. I'll get back in line. Thank you.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Very cool. Thank you.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Pamela Perry with Miz Hollywood. Please proceed.

Pamela Perry: Thank you. Hi, Lou, and I just am thrilled. I'm such a big fan. You are such a rich and talented actor. You bring it all to everything you do. You add so much. So this is going to be very exciting to see the Number 2 feared criminal on the FBI's Most Wanted List.

Lou Diamond Phillips: And I have to say yes, he might be the most feared, but he's got a great sense of humor. And that's one of the things that I really loved about the role. It was an absolute blast to play it. And, you know, that's one of the nice things about bad guys, is you have a license that you would not necessarily have as a hero. So it's always fun to come in and, you know, let the bad buy play a little bit.

Pamela Perry: Well I'm just curious. I watched a couple of the clips, and it is a funny twist, because they're trying to take you away. And I don't think I'm spoiling anything here. And you say, well the people in this community have strict instructions not to let anyone take me away.

And that just - they don't know what to do. So it was very unexpected, and really was a great hook to tune in. So I wish you all the best. And your talent, it just offers so much to everyone. So thank you.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Well no, thank you, and it's not - I've been very, very fortunate recently in that, you know, a lot of the roles I'm getting to play have a lot of meat on the bone and, you know, are challenging to me because, you know, I'm doing different things.

The role in 33; Henry Standing Bear on Longmire; and now this guest spot on, you know, Blindspot, you know, they allow me to tackle the roles in different ways and to, you know, use different facets of my own personality, if you will.

Pamela Perry: Well that's what an actor dreams of, so you deserve it.

Lou Diamond Phillips: That is what you hope and you pray for, because the same thing over and over again would just get boring.

Pamela Perry: Right. Well all the best.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Thank you.

Pamela Perry: Thank you.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of (Agatha Kasprzak) from (Oh, So Grand). Please proceed.

Agatha Kasprzak: Hi, Lou. How are you?

Lou Diamond Phillips: I'm good. How are you doing?

Agatha Kasprzak: I'm good. I just wanted to congratulate you on the renewal of Longmire.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Thrilled, thrilled, thrilled about it. I think, as I said before, the fourth season was our best yet. It certainly gave Henry Standing Bear so much more to do, and has, you know, set the table, if you will, for, you know, some very, very interesting plot lines for the next season. So we're all absolutely incredibly grateful that we get an opportunity to continue that.

Agatha Kasprzak: I'm very excited to see Season 5. It's exciting.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You and me both, because I don't know exactly what they're going to do to me yet.

Agatha Kasprzak: So you mostly played good guys throughout your career. So do you find you're more excited to play the bad guy role?

Lou Diamond Phillips: You know, I love playing bad guys because, you know, the gloves come off and there are no rules. You can be as mean or as - I don't know, irreverent as you want. And certainly the bad guy in Blindspot is part and parcel of that.

I mean I think he's hilarious. You know, they gave me some very funny lines, and he's incredibly talky. But yes indeed, he's a bad guy. And, you know, it's definitely different than Henry Standing Bear, or the very, very emotional and earnest role that I have in The 33.

Agatha Kasprzak: Okay, and do you let your children watch your bad guy roles?

Lou Diamond Phillips: You know, it depends on the bad guy role. I mean this is one that I would certainly, you know, not have a problem with them watching. But I mean for instance, I played a serial killer/child molester in, you know - yeah, in Law and Order SVU. And that was one that was like no, you're not going to be seeing that.

And I also - even though I have older daughters, I've warned them. I did an independent film recently where I played Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker. And we'll see that next year. So, you know, it's not just a reminder to my fans, it's a reminder to my family -- don't forget, I'm just acting.

Agatha Kasprzak: That's awesome. Thank you very much, Lou.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You bet. Thank you.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby from Sci-Fi Vision. Please proceed.

Jamie Ruby: Hi, again. You were just saying that, you know, doing the same thing is boring. So I'm curious. You've been in a lot of different projects, but is there like a type of role or maybe some character that like you would really love to get to play?

Lou Diamond Phillips: You know, the one thing that I don't get to do enough of is comedy. And I absolutely love that. I cut my teeth on it, you know, when I was doing theater back in Texas. Actually my first paying role ever was part of a sketch comedy troupe called The Zero Hour, where we used to do comedy in punk clubs. And if you weren't funny, they threw bottles at you, you know?

And, you know, fortunately I've had great success in drama. I've had great, you know, success with intense roles. But, you know, I like to get away from the brooding ethnic every once in a while and, you know, bring the funny.

Jamie Ruby: Okay, great. Well thank you so much.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You bet.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Allison Hazlett with Flick Direct. Please proceed.

Allison Hazlett: Hi, how are you?

Lou Diamond Phillips: I'm excellent. How are you doing?

Allison Hazlett: I'm great. You mentioned that you were intrigued by the show as a fan, and wanted to watch it. And I will say from my own experience, the first episode I wasn't quite sure about, but I'm glad I stuck with it because I'm really enjoying it now, and I'm really looking forward to seeing your character. But I was wondering, have you had a chance to see all of the shows, and what you think of it.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You know, I was very fortunate in that the week while I was filming, I actually got to have Sullivan Stapleton and Audrey and Ashley, you know, with me in my hotel room, and we watched the premiere together. So that was pretty exciting. And, you know, I've seen a few of the episodes.

But, you know, fortunately and unfortunately for me, I've been incredibly busy these last few weeks on this press tour, and getting things together for The 33. And I also just got back from Australia and New Zealand, making a couple of appearances.

So I'm not quite up to date, but I certainly have seen enough of the shows to know that, you know, it's incredibly quality writing, and the directing. And it's just a big show, you know? It's a little action film every single week. And so I think they're doing a great job.

Allison Hazlett: I tend to agree with you. And again, I'm really looking forward to seeing your character tonight, and continue in the season.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Thank you. Excellent, thank you.

Allison Hazlett: You're welcome.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite. Please proceed.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi, again. Do you get to do the action in the episode tonight?

Lou Diamond Phillips: I get to do a lot of action in the episode tonight, and I have to do all of the action while handcuffed.

Suzanne Lanoue: Wow.

Lou Diamond Phillips: I took a few bruises and a few bumps on this one. But, you know, like I've always said about fight scenes, if you don't come away a little sore, you weren't doing it right.

Suzanne Lanoue: Well, that's great. And can you tell us anything about future episodes? Do you get to do more fight scenes?

Lou Diamond Phillips: You know, I can't really comment on what's coming up for Saul Guerrero, you know, just that he is intrinsic to the plot and to what's going on with not only Mayfair, but obviously Jane. But I don't think I'm allowed to divulge any of those other secrets.

Suzanne Lanoue: Oh, that's all right. Thanks. I really appreciate it.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You bet. Thank you.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Erica Schaaf with Talk Nerdy With Us. Please proceed.

Erica Schaaf: Hi, Lou.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Hi, Erica. How are you?

Erica Schaaf: Good. How are you?

Lou Diamond Phillips: Good, thank you.

Erica Schaaf: I know we were just talking about that you had been intrigued by the show and wanted to watch it as a fan. What other shows -- new shows this fall or other shows -- have you been intrigued by or following recently?

Lou Diamond Phillips: You know, because I have been so busy, I've pretty much been going back to a lot of my favorites. I mean like a lot of people, my jaw's still not off my chest from The Walking Dead. Huge fan of that. And, you know, looking forward to bingeing some other shows that I need to catch up on -- big fan of The Good Wife; Ray Donovan -- I mean just a stellar cast. And I actually did an independent film with Dash, who I love.

So, you know, unfortunately I haven't had a lot of down time to catch up on everything that's out there. And, you know, and Gotham I'm a huge fan of. So right now I can't speak - other than Blindspot, I've been sticking with the tried and true.

Erica Schaaf: Okay, thank you very much.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You bet.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Stephanie Piche with Mingle Media TV. Please proceed.

Stephanie Piche: I'm back.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Hello.

Stephanie Piche: Hello again. So I'm intrigued that you're in this series, because you have played so many different roles. Would you rather have played a different character? Or do you really like what your character is doing in this series?

Lou Diamond Phillips: I absolutely love what my character is doing in this series, because it's different than, you know, what I'm doing on Longmire. I mean it's 180 degrees from him. And it's a different kind of bad guy than I've played, you know, recently. And so, you know, there's a certain charm to him.

There's definitely a sense of humor. There's this off-the-cuff, cavalier quality about him that I found, you know, very refreshing and a lot of fun to play, especially when, you know, everything else is so life and death for the regular characters, you know? So many times the process of filming can be an incredibly enjoyable one. And this was one of those situations.

Stephanie Piche: Well that's good to know. So we'll see you tonight. Thanks.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Yeah, thank you. I hope you enjoy it.

Stephanie Piche: I will, I'm sure.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of (Tim Hogan) with The TV Addict. Please proceed.

Tim Hogan: Hi. As to The 33, I have a quick two-part question. I was wondering if you got to spend any time with any of the actual survivors. And what was it like being directed by Patricia Riggen?

Lou Diamond Phillips: First of all, yes, the miners were involved in this process from the beginning. We actually started filming in Colombia before they had a chance to fly some of them up. Mario Sepulveda, who was Antonio Banderas' character, was there almost constantly. And he had been magnanimous and bigger than life, as Antonio plays him.

And I had the great opportunity to spend some time with Luis Urzua, my character, and just soak up the man's, you know, quiet dignity and his reserve. And it really helped me, I think, approach the role in the right way.

And I will say that Patricia Riggen was absolutely the best choice to direct this film. She obviously brought a woman's sensibilities to it. She never forgot the heart and the soul. She never forgot the importance of the families -- the wives, the sisters, the mothers, you know, that were keeping hope alive in Camp Hope.

And I also think as a Mexican, she brought a real cultural sensitivity to the story, and that the authenticity of the Chilean people, you know, was not lost. So to me she was the whole package, and she and I had just an absolutely wonderful collaboration. And I'm quite proud of what we put on the screen.

Tim Hogan: That's wonderful to hear. I'm a fan of hers, too. Thank you.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You bet.

Coordinator: Thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Pamela Perry with Miz Hollywood. Please proceed.

Pamela Perry: Hi. Being a little greedy wanting to ask more questions, but...

Lou Diamond Phillips: That's quite all right then. Thank you.

Pamela Perry: I did get to see a wonderful interview with Juliette Binoche on, I think it was, Charlie Rose...

Lou Diamond Phillips: Yeah.

Pamela Perry: ...where she talks about The 33. And it was such a prestigious kind of interview, you know, where I really got the feeling that the movie has, you know, international interest, and that it's being treated as - you know, with reverence. And I was just wondering - I mean I think like to be on Charlie Rose must be so thrilling. I was wondering if you had any exciting interviews on The 33 coming up anywhere?

Lou Diamond Phillips: Well right now, I mean I'm literally in the middle of a press tour for The 33. We did our junket Thursday and Friday here in New York. I was on The Today Show this morning. I'm doing a number of appearances on New York television. And then when I go back to Los Angeles, I'll be doing Conan, Access Hollywood Live, a lot of the E! entertainment shows, that sort of thing.

And our premiere is on the 9th, and it's part of the AFI International Film Festival. So once again, I mean we're really, I think, operating in rarified air, and I'm very privileged to be a part of this.

Pamela Perry: Yeah, it's great. So I mean all the best again, and thanks for talking with me.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Oh, no, my pleasure. Thank you.

Coordinator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of (Tim Hogan) with The TV Addict. Please proceed.

Tim Hogan: Hi, Lou. Me again.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Hey, how are you doing?

Tim Hogan: Hey. Maybe I could slip in two questions. As many times as you've played Native Americans, including recently on Comedy Central's Another Period, which was hilarious...

Lou Diamond Phillips: Thank you.

Tim Hogan: I'm curious if you have any personal affinity towards any one particular tribe, or if any tribes have made you an honorary member.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Well absolutely. And, you know, I mean honorary member's actually an understatement. After Young Guns films, I was adopted into the Lakota nation on the Pine Ridge Porcupine and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota, and given a Lakota name.

And just last year, the Cheyenne people of the Lame Deer reservation in Montana adopted me, and also gave me a Cheyenne name. In both cases I went through a naming and blessing ceremony.

So, you know, much like when I represent, you know, the Latino community, you know, be it Mexican-American or Puerto Rican or, in the case of The 33, Chileans, I try to be specific. I try to be respectful and accurate, because I know I'm representing a community, you know, of people who have, you know, pride and dignity.

And, you know, fortunately I think the acceptance that I've received from any number of these communities is affirmation that, you know, I'm approaching it in the right way.

Tim Hogan: Yes. As a Native American myself, I agree 100%.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Oh, brother, thank you.

Tim Hogan: Yes, you do an excellent job. And the last time I spoke with actor Eric Balfour, he was talking about the Tao of Surfing, and how shooting on that was especially sporadic. Can you tell us if the shooting has concluded on that piece?

Lou Diamond Phillips: No, unfortunately we have not finished that film. It's one of those little films that has struggled, and still trying to get the finishing funds on that. So, you know, hopefully sometime in the future, because it truly is a beautiful little piece. But the state of independent film in the world right now is, you know - it's difficult. It's like getting blood out of a turnip.

Tim Hogan: Well I hope I get to see it someday. I look forward to it.

Lou Diamond Phillips: There you go. Me and you both.

Tim Hogan: Thank you.

Coordinator: Thank you, and I'll turn the call back over to you, Mr. Mitchell.

Matthew Mitchell: Hi, everybody. Thanks so much again for taking time to participate in today's call. Lou's got to run, because he's obviously out promoting both this and The 33. So thank you so much for your time, Lou.

Lou Diamond Phillips: My pleasure. Thank you. And I'm glad we got those technical difficulties ironed out, and really, really appreciate everybody's time and questions.

Matthew Mitchell: Absolutely. And should anybody have questions or follow-ups, and need any additional information, feel free to reach out to me. I'll do my best to get you what you need. And also if you'd like a transcript of this call, we'll have that probably within the next 48 hours. So I hope everyone has a great rest of their Monday, and we'll talk soon. Thanks so much.

Lou Diamond Phillips: You bet.

Matthew Mitchell: Bye, Lou.

Lou Diamond Phillips: Bye.

Coordinator: Thanks. Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your line.


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