Amaury Nolasco talks about his character on the show, Season 3 and his next movie, The Night Watchman
As the pivotal character of Fernando Sucre on television's immensely popular Prison Break, Amaury Nolasco knows a thing or two about creating a complex, yet menacing presence on screen. In a career that has featured comic turns in movies like The Benchwarmers, as well as larger budget fare like Transformers, Nolasco has made it a point to show a wide range of depth and versatility. These are all traits that he brings to the Sucre character and he was more than happy to discuss Prison Break on the eve of the DVD release of Season 2.
When you read the final script for Prison Break: Season 2 did you think that was it for your character?
Amaury Nolasco: (laughs) You never know until you get that pick-up letter in April. They don't tell you much, you know. I think they would have told me... they're not gonna be that ruthless. They would've said, "You're not coming back." In a way I did have a little assurance that, "Okay, I am coming back." Also, there's a lot of things on this show... it's a show that really goes through some loose ends. In a way I didn't have that much of a worry, I knew I was coming back. It's also a show that asks questions of, "What's gonna happen to your character? Where is it going?" It's always a question mark. You just pick up the script, read it and pray and light your candles (laughs)...
What for you is the most intriguing part of playing Fernando Sucre?
Amaury Nolasco: My intriguing part is what's gonna happen with him eventually. He is a guy who, right now as we speak, is a fugitive. He's not exonerated like Michael (Wentworth Miller) or Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) so he can't go back to the states. Yet, he is still looking for his girl so we'll see how it plays out. If and when we break these guys out of prison what's gonna happen with Sucre? Is he going to be able to come back to the states? In a movie it ends and you try and make up your own ending and tie up little loose ends like that one. The reality is can he be exonerated? No! He's a fugitive because he broke out of prison. He eventually has to come back and do his time, they're not going to let him go. Unless he saves the President's daughter or something like that. Who knows?
What can the fans expect from Season 3 of Prison Break?
Amaury Nolasco: First of all, they're in for a ride, again. Season 3 is based in the realm of Midnight Express. It's based on a lawless prison. There's no guards. There's no... it's survival of the fittest. We've got characters like T-Bag (Robert Knepper), Mahone (William Fichtner)... they're all inside. We've got characters like Lincoln and Sucre outside trying to find a way to break out these guys. We've got Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) and LJ (Marshall Allman) being kidnapped as leverage to make Michael do what the conspiracy people want him to do inside of the prison. There's a reason why they put him inside that prison. It's the worse prison there is in Panama, where they put all the biggest criminals. Again, the writers are just pushing the envelope with stories that will blow your mind.
Are you constantly surprised by the things they have your character doing on the show?
Amaury Nolasco: All the time. (Laughs) You guys are going to be surprised. Let me just give you a little bit of a hint... remember in the First Season, Episode 2... Michael gets one of his toes cut off? That was banned, there was a ban on the show right away. We're not gonna play around or beat around the bush, I know it's network, but we're gonna push the envelope. That makes it look like nothing compared to what you're gonna see. This prison makes Joliet look like a 5 Star hotel. That's all I am gonna say, just watch.
What is one episode or scene of the show that really stands out to you?
Amaury Nolasco: There's an episode that I love and it was Season 1. It was our flashback episode. It was the episode in which we get to know these characters. How they were before they got sent to prison. People get invested in who these people are. It's an episode in which you see how I met Maricruz. You see why he's crazy about her and you see how he got caught doing what he did for the love of his girl.
Why do you think Prison Break is so popular with people?
Amaury Nolasco: We're so used to cop shows, or lawyer shows, or hospital shows. I can sit down with you right now and we can name all the hospital shows. It goes on and on and on. There's nothing wrong with those shows, those are shows that I grew up watching. I think Prison Break has given the audience something different; something to look forward to. They broke that mold and audience members are completely hooked. You can't sit down on Episode 5 of Prison Break, or Lost, or Episode 10 of 24, because you'll be completely lost. Yet, you can jump in on any episode of Without a Trace or CSI and it's okay, you don't need to know the past. You get invested in these characters. You're in for a ride and that's what I think people are hooked on.
What are you working on now?
Amaury Nolasco: I just finished doing a movie with Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker... a great cast... an amazing script by James Ellroy and David Ayer called, The Night Watchman. The film is actually directed by David Ayer. It's a great thriller about LAPD Corruption. It's insane. With Keanu of course... I call him the midas touch, everything he touches turns to gold. I'm very proud of this one.
Prison Break: Season 2 comes to DVD September 4 from Fox Home Entertainment.