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D.J. Cotrona had less than two weeks to prepare for reinterpreting one of his favorite film roles in Robert Rodriguez’s TV adaptation of his 1996 film “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

“We just got thrown in very quickly,” he says over his second cup of coffee at the Algonquin Hotel’s Blue Bar in Midtown Manhattan. “Robert shoots very fast. Everything is very fast, so you learn on your feet; it’s definitely run and gun…. But I prefer it.”

It’s an apt description for the “From Dusk Till Dawn” world, first brought to life by Quentin Tarantino (also the screenwriter) and George Clooney as the Gecko brothers, two small-time crooks on the run who enlist a Bible-thumping family of hostages to sneak them across the Mexican border.

What moved “Dusk” beyond the run-of-the-mill crime saga into indie film history was not only Tarantino’s “verbose” script and Rodriguez’s seamless integration of spaghetti Western and kung fu film influences, but the radically sudden switch from heightened realism to the dark fantasy of a full-on vampire horror flick.

That shift was more drawn out in the TV adaptation’s first season, starring Cotrona as fast-talking Seth and Zane Holtz as mentally unstable Richie. Now, Season 2 moves beyond the cult classic’s original telling, expanding on the universe. The first two episodes bring a welcome change for Richie and a newfound low for Seth, who finds himself lost without his partner in crime.

“It’s funny because my career as an actor has been extremely up and down,” Cotrona says of the similarities between Seth and himself. “I’ve had a lot of big opportunities that have not come to fruition for myriad reasons, and it’s weird but I think that really informed my experience with my character.”

In 2007, Cotrona was cast in George Miller’s “Justice League: Mortal” as Superman, a potentially career–making role, but the project fell through. It wasn’t until 2010’s “Dear John,” in which he played Noodle, the Army bud to Channing Tatum’s titular character, followed by 2012’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” that audiences saw him on the big screen again.

“You think about it and [actors are] constantly just rushing to grab one job real quick and get away with it, and then that job brings us to the next job. You feel like you’re always on the road to snatch a role or snatch a bag of money, just enough to continue to the next one.”

But it’s the “obsession” with the chase and the process, and rarely the job itself, that both entices and serves as the driving force behind Cotrona’s acting career, Seth’s criminal one, and “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

Luring fans back into the groundbreaking film’s hazy world of sex, Satan, blood, and bank robberies hinged on creative support from Rodriguez. The Texas native brought his atypical style to the TV series, making it the first original from his cable network, El Rey, a move that ensured complete creative control in front of and behind the camera.

The project was daunting, but Cotrona says being selected by Rodriguez pushed him to trust his acting instincts, as well as lean into taking agency over his choices. There was no space for self-doubt.

“[Robert’s] always saying, ‘Keep creating. Keep moving forward. Don’t second-guess anything. Take the first instinct and just go.’

“ ‘There are no mistakes’ is a big thing with him,” says Cotrona.
Read more at Backstage

TheWrap has released their exclusive portraits of the cast of From Dusk Till Dawn. I have added the 2 portraits of D.J. into the gallery.

Paste Magazine: Congratulations! How does it feel to have a second season?
DJ Cotrona: Thank you. It feels great. I’m really proud of the project, and I love our whole cast and crew—Robert and everybody on our creative team. I’m very happy to get to keep working with these guys, and I’m excited for the fans to see what we’ve been up to.

Paste: Have you thought about long this show might last?
Cotrona: That is up to Robert. I know Robert and our showrunner [Carlos Coto] have some big plans to go five seasons, but again, there are a lot of factors involved in those type of decisions. I hope we get to continue for a long time to come, we’re having a great time.

Paste: From what I hear, the cast and crew have a collaborative rapport and you’re like family. What’s a typical day on set like?
Cotrona: It’s very much like a family. That’s the best way I can put it. In all the best ways, in all the frustrating ways, but I think we really benefit, creatively, from a having such a tight-knit group. First and foremost, that’s a testament to Robert and the environment of his studio that he created down in Austin. We’re far away from Hollywood, we’re not near New York or any of the filming hubs. It’s just known from different actors, and throughout the years, anyone that’s had the opportunity to work with Robert—he’s just this touchstone for getting your creative juices flowing again. Any actors I spoke to when I was considering this project, they told me to ‘Go. It doesn’t matter what the role is, it doesn’t matter if it’s a show or movie, just go to Austin and shoot with Robert and you’ll get invigorated, creatively.’

That bleeds into our relationships. The fact that we’re down there [together]—it’s the same crew that Robert uses for the majority of his career; they’re all very familiar with each other and work really quickly as a tight-knit group. The same goes for the cast. For the first two seasons, we all lived in the same place in Austin while shooting. We truly are lucky in a sense that we all do really get along and have a great time.

Paste: You and Zane Holtz seem to have a great relationship.
Cotrona: I love Zane to death and we get along great. We’re very fortunate to get along off camera, and we love working together. I think we have a similar approach to our work and a similar attitude about this industry and about being actors. We realize how lucky we are and appreciate this opportunity. I really mean it, regardless if you’re working on a big film, or you’re working on a television series, it’s very, very rare to get the amount of creative freedom we are afforded by Robert and our showrunner, Carlos. Especially when you’re dealing with such iconic characters that Robert and Quentin [Tarantino] created. When you get to work on characters so beloved and well-known, you expect to get the minimum amount of creative control, but it’s truly the opposite of it. We’re in the trenches everyday trying to do the best we can.

Read more at source

I have put up new layouts here on the main site and in the gallery! The site has been using the first layout for over a year now, so I thought it was time for a change. I wanted the site to have a new look before the Season 2 premiere, and I’m glad I made it in time. I kept the style of the sidebar and the posts because I still love the way they look, I only altered the colours. Hope you all like it!

A set of character cards were released for the second season of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series. Here’s the one featuring D.J./Seth: