IT was a busy week for Hollywood actors Zane Holtz and DJ Cotrona: they were in Mauritius for another DStv media event before making their way to South Africa.

Cotrona says, “Yeah, we are a little bit jetlagged. But it was the first real night of good sleep.”

Holtz nods in agreement.

These two have ingratiated themselves into the hearts of fans with Robert Rodriguez’s TV series adaptation of the From Dusk Till Dawn cult movie franchise, which he did with Quentin Tarantino.

While shorter in person, Cotrona is every bit as dashing as he looks on camera; as is the lankier Holtz. In fact, both are distractingly attractive. Cotrona is the more talkative of the two and Holtz has a more intense disposition.

On being selected to inhabit the roles of the Gecko brothers, Cotrona says, “As far as getting involved, it was a quick process for both of us. Robert Rodriguez, our director and creator, is pretty well-known for working fast in all aspects. He shoots fast and he casts fast. I got a phone call from Robert at the very last minute and I had always been a giant fan of his. So I jumped at the chance. About a week after that, I started reading with some of the other actors, doing chemistry tests to find the right combination for the brothers.”

It has become standard practice for successful films to be turned into TV shows – especially of the superhero ilk. Cotrona notes, “It is becoming very common in the market place these days. Anytime you have iconic property or characters, you are seeing them revisited more and more. What’s great in our case is that Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s characters are just as iconic, if not more so. The problem is that no one else has access to them, except those two guys. The thing that gives us confidence – and what we are very lucky to have – is that we are doing it with the original director and creator.”

Holtz reveals, “I had come off a couple of small independent films when I met with the casting director and Robert. I read to play Seth. It worked in the sense that Robert liked me, but it didn’t work out for the part.”

He was then asked to audition for Richie. That was followed by a reading with Cotrona.

Cotrona laughs, “We had never seen each other before that. When Zane came in, I didn’t like him instantly. Something about him rubbed me up the wrong way. Then he sat down and we started to do the scene and he just crushed it. He was good and intimidating and I saw Robert’s eyes light up.”

While Holtz clearly had the role in the bag, he continued to hover around, much to Cotrona’s annoyance.

“He was still trying to seal the job and kept asking questions. I kept thinking, please shut up, you got the job,” laughs Cotrona.

Holtz retorts, “Nah, it wasn’t fan questions. He brought up some car…”

In the first season, Don Johnson made an appearance. The second instalment sees Rodriguez’s mascot join, as well as a few others.

“We have great new actors,” says Cotrona. “Obviously, the big one is Danny Trejo, who plays The Regulator. Basically, Robert’s Terminator. He has been in every one of the Dusk Till Dawn movies. And there is Esai Morales as Lord Amancio Malvado – the antagonist.”

On the brothers finding themselves on different journeys, which is poles apart from where they started out in season one, Holtz says, “Being able to show the two brothers apart is a logical step.”

Cotrona expands, “Rodriguez has had a long time to think about. He came up with a lot of ideas that he didn’t get to shoot on the original film and has found different ways to tap into that. We have always known Seth and Richie to be this co-dependent crime duo. But you get left with this desire to also see these characters in different scenarios. That was the allure of this. Richie becomes a different person when he transforms and gains more power. We also see what happens to Seth when he stops becoming the confident mouthpiece and he has found a new vice – cocaine – to cope.”

Holtz adds, “Everything has flipped. Seth is lost and doesn’t know what to do with himself whereas Richie is taking the opportunity to see if he can do this on his own and maybe earn Seth’s respect.”

From Dusk Till Dawn is the kind of action-packed TV series that sometimes feels like an old school gangster crime drama and then meanders into grind house/horror territory.

One thing is for certain – this show lives up to the cult legacy of its movie franchise, and then some.

From Dusk Till Dawn airs on M-Net Edge on Mondays at 9pm.

Source: Independent Online

This season has been amazing, so far! I have updated the gallery with 279 high-resolution screencaps from the recent episode of From Dusk Till Dawn.

I have added 302 high-resolution screencaps of D.J. in the recent episode of From Dusk Till Dawn to the gallery.

On the eve of From Dusk Till Dawn’s second season’s premiere — on August 25th at 9:00 pm on Rodriguez’s El Rey Network — Cotrona and Holtz took a stake to Playboy’s Lucky 7 questions.

What was your first encounter with Playboy?
D.J.: I was lookout while some friends stole a few copies when we were kids. I owe your company 12 bucks.
Zane: I don’t recall my first encounter with the magazine, but I will always remember my first time going to the Mansion. I got to see Three Six Mafia perform there the year they won the Oscar for Hustle and Flow and swam in the Grotto. Unforgettable.

What movie scared you the most as a kid?
D.J.:The Exorcist. When I hear that music I revert. Freaks me out.
Zane:The Fly. The scene where he throws up on the other guy’s arm and it dissolved really bothered me. It’s funny because now [David] Cronenberg is one of my favorite directors.

What’s your pop-culture blind spot?
Zane: I read an article on “YouTubers” recently. I didn’t know people made money doing that.
D.J.: Pop music.

Let’s pretend you’re on death row — what’s your last meal?
Zane: A cheeseburger and a Manhattan.
D.J.: 10 pounds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Who was your first celebrity crush?
D.J.:Cindy Crawford.
Zane: Sarah Michelle Gellar. I loved Buffy. One Christmas, my mom signed a couple of my gifts as if they were from her.

If you could commit one consequence-free crime, what would it be?
Zane: After playing Richie Gecko for 20 episodes, I would say robbery. I love to gamble so it would be a casino heist. I might even go full Elvis, 3,000 Miles to Graceland style.
D.J.: Bank robbery. Customers are insured. Everybody wins!

What’s the biggest lie you ever told?
Zane: As an actor I lie professionally as it is, so I try to be as honest and real as possible in my daily life.
D.J.: “I have never told a lie.”

Source: Playboy

I have updated the gallery with 283 high-resolution screencaps of D.J. in the season premiere of From Dusk Till Dawn. Check them out by clicking any of the thumbnails below.

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