Demian Bichir Q&A: ‘The Bridge’
"[Marco Ruiz is] a cop that really wants to make a difference in a very difficult environment," said Demian Bichir during our recent webcam chat (watch below) about his role as a Mexican detective in FX's "The Bridge." And, he added, "he will need to deal with both demons and angels at the same time in order to get things done. That makes this character very, very interesting. It's almost Shakespearean in many ways."
Marco was put through the ringer during the first season, especially when he discovered that mistakes from his past led a serial killer to target his family, resulting in the death of his teenage son: "That is a very intense, emotional kind of state of mind that you go through over the course of those three weeks," Bichir said of filming the climactic episodes, "and it's a very intense and painful journey."
But the actor doesn't back down from a challenge: "I was born and raised in Mexico, and that's the way we play it. We play hardball there. So I'm ready for anything, for long days, short days, heavy stuff, easy stuff."
Bichir also looks at "The Bridge," which is set on the border between Mexico and the United States, as a metaphor for the complex relationship between the neighboring countries; he's partnered with Diane Kruger as Sonya, an autistic Texas detective with whom he struggles to connect, and "I think Marco and Sonya represent clearly how different we are, how different Mexico and the US are, and how much we need each other in order to solve our own issues, issues that affect both sides of the border."
"The Bridge" follows Bichir's big-screen breakthrough role in the independent drama "A Better Life," which was one of the Cinderella stories of the 2011 awards season, earning him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He considers every such achievement to be a stepping stone to future opportunities: "Many more people from the industry knew my name after the Independent Spirit Award nomination. And then more people knew about me after the Screen Actors Guild nomination, and then more people know your name after an Oscar nomination. I guess the trick here is to keep on working and hopefully a lot more people will know your name."