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Blindspot - Lou Diamond Phillips talks Saul Guerrero, Longmire, The 33 and more



Last week I got to speak to Lou Diamond Phillips, who made his Blindspot debut in last week's episode Sent on Tour as Saul Guerrero, the number two on the FBI's most wanted list. Currently he is also promoting his new film, The 33, which tells the story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for 69 days in a gold-mine in CopiapĆ³ in 2010. Below you can see what Phillips had to say about Guerrero, joining the show, his experience for The 33 and more.

On how he joined the show

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 like a lot of fun'.

I'd worked with Martin, so I had a great sense of how intelligent the script would be, how much fun it would be. And I kind of jumped into the Blindspot, so to speak.

On how connected Saul is

Saul is definitely a part of the puzzle, but I don't even know if he knows what part he plays in this. And every question just leads to more questions, and I'm just one big worm in a can of worms.

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

On how many episodes he'll be in

I don't even know if I can reveal that. All I can say is it's more than one.

On suggestions that Longmire only appeals to one demographic

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.

On playing his character

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 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 let the bad buy play a little bit.

I love playing bad guys because 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.

I absolutely love what my character is doing in this series, because it's different than 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 very refreshing and a lot of fun to play, especially when everything else is so life and death for the regular characters. So many times the process of filming can be an incredibly enjoyable one. And this was one of those situations.

On roles he'd perhaps like to play

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 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.

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

On being a part of The 33

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 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, 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 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.

On his affinity for Native Americans

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, much like when I represent the Latino community, 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 of people who have pride and dignity.

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

Blindspot airs Mondays at 10pm on NBC.

About the Author - Bradley Adams
17 year old based in England, currently Senior Staff at SpoilerTV. Most of his posts are news/spoiler based, though he is currently the reviewer of Person of Interest, co-host on the SpoilerTV Podcast. Created and is in charge of the yearly Favourite Episode Competition and currently runs the Favourite Series Competition. A big TV fan, his range of shows are almost exclusively dramas, while some of his all-time favourite shows include 24, LOST, Breaking Bad and Friends. Some of his current favourites include Person of Interest, Banshee, Arrow, The Flash, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul and many more. He also runs an Arrow fans site, ArrowFansUK, and aside from TV, is a keen cricketer. Get in touch with him via the links below or via email bradley@spoilertv.com
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