What do you love most being on "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series?"
D.J. Cotrona: Working with Robert and our cast and creative team at Troublemaker Studios in Austin. It's a special place with a great creative energy. We're encouraged to try crazy things, push boundaries on all sides of the camera-- thanks to Robert. It's a rare experience that I'm thankful to be a part of. Also, getting to play a classic antihero in that sandbox is an absolute blast.
What would Richie say about Seth Gecko?
D.J. Cotrona: I don't think he'd say anything. He'd give a frustrated look while Seth rambles on, and then casually or violently fix whatever problem they were dealing with.
What would Seth Gecko say about Richie Gecko?
D.J. Cotrona: "Shut up, Richard."
Which "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" cast member is the funniest?
D.J. Cotrona: Zane. He's completely unaware that he's a comedic genius which makes it funnier for the rest of us.
What's your favorite line from season 2?
D.J. Cotrona: "...That, is a MILF." Flawless delivery by Brandon Soo Hoo.
How does working with Robert Rodriquez in Austin differ from experiences on other "Hollywood" projects?
D.J. Cotrona: I say this so much that at this point it's probably coming off as disingenuous, but I say it repeatedly because it's the best part of the job. Working with Robert at Troublemaker is a very special experience. Creativity is championed and encouraged in every way. Everyone is empowered to bring their ideas to life and to try the crazy sh** most other productions wouldn't, and that's all a testament to Robert and his approach to film making and creativity in general. I heard rumors of it from other actors that have worked with him before. When I was first reading the "Dusk" scripts, I was told, "Just go. Doesn't matter the role, doesn't matter the project, working with Robert reminds you why wanted to do this in the first place." And they were right. Working with him and his team at Troublemaker is like a creativity gas station. You get there and you fill up. I'd work there on every job if I could.
What's harder to prepare for as an actor - a difficult stunt or an intimate scene?
D.J. Cotrona: Depends on the scene, the material, the specific stunt or the moment you're trying to portray. I'd say stunts are easier to prepare for because if you think, "Sh**, I can't pull this off," then you can tap our incredible stunt team in--J.J. Dashnaw of Brand X stunts specifically for me--and have them help you out with it. If you have a scene that is hard to play or find the rhythm with, you're on your own. Camera's rolling, time's wasting, and you are rushing to finish the day's work. You got to get it done on your own one way or the other.
Have there been any earlier role(s) you've had that might have helped you prepare for your character on "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series?"
D.J. Cotrona: Honestly, it's the roles I didn't get that helped me prep to play Seth I think. You feel like a bank robber as an actor sometimes--walking into a room, trying to smooth talk your way into a job, and most times you fail. You get knocked down. Seth has a chip on his shoulder. He's taken a lot of knocks in life and wants to grab the next bag of cash and hit the road. There's something intrinsic to trying to just get work as an actor for a long time. It informed him a lot for me--subconsciously.
What is the one thing you have in common with Seth?
D.J. Cotrona: Impatience.
If you could actually have a Culebra power which one would you pick?
D.J. Cotrona: I wouldn't. Seth and I both hate those damn things. We want to get to El Rey. Beaches require sun. 'Nough said.
When you're not acting you are ___________?
D.J. Cotrona: When I'm not acting, I'm spending time with friends and family. I read a lot. I'm a homebody. Watch movies. I'm writing some other projects with some friends that hopefully someday we get to shoot. I grew up in a gear head family so there's always a car or project in the garage we're working on....usual stuff.
If you wouldn't be in entertainment you would be in _________?
D.J. Cotrona: Architectural design or graphic design. I get sent a lot of mixtapes though because of my name. Maybe I should start DJ'ing.
What's one thing about yourself that fans will be surprised to hear?
D.J. Cotrona: That I'm not a disk jockey.
What advice do you have for aspiring young actors out there?
D.J. Cotrona: Lean into the struggle. Learn to enjoy it. It's a hard business to break into. When you're in, it stays very competitive. But there's opportunity to learn and grown from it. It can sharpen your abilities and solidify your instincts. You need tenacity and patience.
What's your favorite Miramax movie?