Sergio Osuna‘s character as Rafe on The Magician‘s has won over a lot of hearts and his talent is well shown in the series; but Sergio’s reportoire doesn’t stop there, as he portrayed various well-known characters such as Arturo in Rush, or Hector in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. We had the pleasure of interviewing him about him and his projects, and here’s what he had to say…
CineAddiction: Hi Sergio, how are you? Thank you so much for doing this!
Sergio: I’m good and how are you?
CineAddiction: We are fine, thank you! So let’s start! What’s your favorite thing about The Magicians?
Sergio: With The Magicians the thing is really the name of it. How magical it is and to use your imagination, as an actor it’s priceless! Specially when my character lives in Fillory and the world the writers, the producers have created. It just makes this show so much fun to work everyday and then see everything come to life and the way there are no rules. And also working with animals! I am a big animal lover and I love interacting with them…
CineAddiction: Are animals well treated on the show?
Sergio: All the animals in the show are very well treated. They have, specifically Sassy that I get to work with a lot, you know, the sloth, she has two or three people taking care of her at all times and she has a handler that brings her in and everybody has to stay quiet, be calm and everything and it’s a whole process before we start shooting. There’s a security team that tells us what to do in front of the animal and so all the animals are very well treated. And, yeah, they pretty much come first!
CineAddiction: That’s good to know! Do you think your role in The Magicians will be bigger next season?
Sergio: Unfortunately I can’t talk about it at the moment but what I can say is that where it left of last season everything was kind of different, since they had to return magic to the world that in the end of the season, you know, a big cliffhanger! And I think it will not disappoint next season, and there are a lot of interesting things and I think everybody’s going to enjoy it!
CineAddiction: If you could chose another character to play from your colleagues, which one would be?
Sergio: Interesting question… I think it would be… can I give you two?
CineAddiction: Yeah, sure thing!
Sergio: It had to be either Elliot (Hale Appleman), just because he has a bigger-than-life personality but he would be my number two… my number one would be Margo! Because what she says and does on the show and her attitude is always fun to see and it is incredibly fun to work with Summer [Bishil].
CineAddiction: You were part of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. What can you tell us about that experience?
Sergio: That was so much fun! It was shot at the same time I was shooting season three of The Magicians so it was interesting to go back and forth of those two shows because they’re both very different. That was such an interesting role to play. It was a different role for me! I played a father on that show and to be able to work with things that I never got the chance to do before, you know, like firearms and a bit more of action sequences, that was very interesting! I took a bit of inspiration from my own father… because my character Hector was a very protective father and caring and loving, so I take that from my father… and I go back and think about everything my father has done when we were younger. So in that sense, it challenged me as an actor and that made me so proud to be on it as well.
CineAddiction: Do you think the show can still be saved by another network? Or do you think this is it for the show?
Sergio: I don’t know… I really hope so! I think the fanbase is really dedicated! You never know what it’s gonna happen on that show; everything is kind of unpredictable in a fun way and it’s a very good story, and the acting is amazing! I mean Elijah Wood and Samuel Barnett are also amazing! Yeah, I would hope so there’s still a chance for it to still be saved, but I really don’t know.
CineAddiction: We live in an important landmark for television, since peak TV continues to make its presence notice. Do you think that binge-watching changed the way people consume television shows?
Sergio: Yes, I do believe in that. I think that it made people become bigger fans quicker than expected. Because you get that immediate response of the audience and if they liked the first episode they just keep on watching and they pretty much become instant fans, but at the same time, society right now we consume everything super fast. We want everything now! In that way you finish an entire season, which I have done myself, you are left wanting more and then you have to wait a little longer and in that sense, as a viewer, I find it a bit frustrating, but as an actor I atually enjoy it.
CineAddiction: What’s your favorite TV show?
Sergio: Aside from the one I’ve been on? [LAUGHS] Hmmm, I like good comedies… The Office for example and I also like dramas! I am big fan of The Good Wife and now the spin-off, The Good Fight, it’s really really good, and there’s a British show I binge-watched last year that is called Broadchurch! That show is insane! Such good writing, and also the acting, and the story, I don’t know, it was amazing!
CineAddiction: Is that a TV genre you are most comfortable being part of? Since The Magicians is set in a fantasy world, and you have Colony, a sci-fi driven series… do you feel comfortable being part of those different themed TV shows?
Sergio: I do! I do feel comfortable being in those type of TV shows. It goes back to the imagination thing… It allows you as an actor to expand a little bit more and not to have any boundaries while you’re acting. Every role I had the opportunity to play, I try to bring a little bit of stillness or a little bit of comedy, just because to me, as a person, I can do something funny and see life with a little sense of humor. Yeah, so I like to put a little bit of comedy in the characters that I play, except from Colony. Glen, the dude that I play, is very straightforward and very business oriented so that one I think I play in a less comediant way, but other than that, yeah, I do like to work on sci-fi shows.
CineAddiction: Colony is actually one of the most intense TV experiences at the moment. What can you tell us about the final episodes? Are we going to be surprised?
Sergio: You are going to be surprised, yes. Obviously I joined just last season, and I’m amazed by the whole production and the whole team behind it. You will be pleasantly surprised, the twists and turns that this season has had have been very intense.
Sergio: Well yes, I didn’t get a chance to work with Josh unfortunately, but I did get a chance to work with Sarah. The audition process for Colony was interesting because it was a director-producer session with the director Deran Sarafian, who I’ve worked with on another show, and then we recognized each other! So these characters are recurring characters, so the next episode that my character Glen was a part of was directed by Sarah. And I’ve got to say it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had just because I feel that she was obviously very invested in this episode, and she was so good dealing with everybody. She gave us a lot of good advice and we could have input on anything we could think of doing, and she was like “I trust your impulses, go for it”.
CineAddiction: It’s a TV show that’s growing more and more. You also made short appearances in shows like Arrow, Supernatural, Impastor, iZombie, and others. Which one would you say was your most enjoyable experience?
Sergio: Of all of those, I think Supernatural. Just because, again, the fanbase is amazing and when you get a chance to be in a show like Supernatural that has been on the air for a long time, everybody welcomes you and embraces you. It was such a great experience. Also, to be directed by Jensen Ackles was great. He was well prepared, he knew what he wanted and because he is an actor, he knows how to talk to people. And with my character, I gave it a little bit of comedy, which I enjoyed. It was just a shame that I died on the end. [LAUGHS]
CineAddiction: Would you return if they asked you to?
Sergio: Yeah, for sure! It would be an amazing experience to go back.
Cineaddiction: So, with a different type of question, do you think that TV has become richer than cinema in terms of storytelling?
Sergio: If you had asked me this question years ago, I would’ve said no, but now I think that yes, it has become that way. I think it’s because of 2 reasons: the way that you have TV shows now, like The Magicians or other shows that have 12-13 episodes per season, they contain bigger and better arc stories, as opposed to shows back in the day with 23-24 episodes per season, where they had a lot of episodes just for “filler”. I think now, the stories we are getting as an audience are way more condensed and impactful than they used to be. The other thing is that the quality of the product has been growing, the way the shows are shot has become similar to film. And with the freedom that television now has and also with streaming services, basically sometimes you have no rules on the type of stories that you can show. That helped TV grow in a huge way.
CineAddiction: What do you have in store for the future? Do you have any more projects coming up?
Sergio: Yes, I have. The last episodes of Colony are coming up and I am part of the next season of Van Helsing. [About Van Helsing] Yeah that character was really good, not funny at all [LAUGHS], it was very dramatic and intense. I had the opportunity to be directed by Jason Priestley, which was a great experience. I got to do different things and expand my acting abilities. And also I’m producing a short film with a producing partner, and we’ve had very good feedback and won a few writing competitions as well, it’s a very good story, not funny at all [LAUGHS], and we’re hoping to produce it by the end of this year.
CineAddiction: Congratulations! Are you going to send it to festivals?
Sergio: Thank you. Yeah, that’s the main goal, to start with film festivals. It’s called Empty, the subject matter is very serious and currently important, unfortunately. It’s about human trafficking, and my producing partner Katherine Hill is very invested in this subject, as am I. We’re working with lawyers that deal with that type of cases, not only in Canada but also all over the world, as it is a very powerful story.
CineAddiction: Do you have a particular director you were interested in working with?
Sergio: I like Steven Soderbergh, I like his style. And to work with Tarantino, that would be a dream come true. Also one of my favorite movies is Unfaithful, I would like to work with Adrian Lyne, I think he’s very subtle. And If i had to say another director, it would be Alejandro González Iñárritu, he is great. Every single movie he makes, I think he makes such interesting stories, nobody portrays the human connections like him.
CineAddiction: Being a Mexican actor, what were the challenges of finding a job in the States?
Sergio: I feel like it wasn’t difficult. In the beginning, when you start over from zero, it takes a little bit of time to get to know everybody and to create good relationships with the casting directors, but at the same time, if you make that your priority, that’s when it becomes easy, once they get to know you and what you can do. In my case, Canada has been incredibly welcoming so I can’t complain. I think I see a change from 5 years ago, when I moved here, in the whole diversity subject, and I’m very happy to see that. I think it just makes TV more interesting and richer.
CineAddiction: Based on your own personal experience, what would you say to young actors that want to follow the same dreams you had when you found a job in the industry?
Sergio: I would say: don’t be afraid, give it your all and to make it your number one priority. Perseverance is key. It’s challenging, but you have to like the challenge. For every 10, 20 “no”, there’s always gonna be a “yes” that keeps you going.
CineAddiction: Thank you so much for this, Sergio. I really enjoyed our conversation.
Sergio: Thank you so much for this! I enjoyed it too.
The CineAddiction team would like to thank the effort and sympathy of, not only Sergio Osuna, but also his agent Erica.
Interview conducted by Jorge Lestre.