September 18, 2020

Interview with Frankie J Alvarez (Agustin) LOOKING

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HBO_Looking_Frankie J Alvarez 1LOOKING SEASON 2 HBO (completed in London, December 2014)

Q: Some critics felt that Looking took a while to really get going…

A: [Laughs] Yes, we did get a lot of people saying the first few episodes felt too slow and
boring…

Q: Do you think those criticisms are redundant now we enter the second season?

A: A big part of the criticism came because there were so many comparisons to other shows. So people were saying it’s a gay Sex And The City or it’s the gay Girls – it was being looked at through a prism of very different shows. LOOKING Season 2 Episode 02 Day 02And [the show’s creators] Andrew [Haigh] and Michael [Lannan] took time to set the world and the relationships up so it wasn’t really until Patrick and Richie’s date in episode five that the action really started to build. I really think we hit our stride in those last episodes and this season just picks up where we left off.

Q: Are there big changes in tone?

LOOKING Season 2 Episode 02 Day 02A: It’s still a subtle show but I think the plot moves more quickly this season; there are a lot more events, some of which are very emotional. I’ve seen the first five episodes and I think they’re really stellar: beautifully shot, funny, bright and exciting.

Q: At the end of the first season Agustin was in a pretty bad place. He’d lost his job,
his boyfriend and had nowhere to live – how do things pick up in season two?

A: The opening episode takes place six to eight weeks after the events of the finale and Agustin has pretty much spent that time partying. He’s been taking drugs, drinking and staying out late hooking up with random guys. He’s still got his friends, thank God, but he’s just completely lost and LOOKING Season 2 Episode 02 Day 01directionless and jumbled up.

Q: So then what happens?

A: Dom invites Agustin and Patrick up to his cabin two and a half hours north of San Francisco. Dom and Patrick both have their own reasons for wanting to go away for a weekend but it’s also a bit of a quasi-­‐intervention for Agustin because they care about him and want to help.

Q: Does it work?

A: Well, I can’t give too much of the plot away but there’s some great interactions with other characters, some of which have a profound affect on Agustin. Long-­‐term habits die hard, but in season two he’s doing a better job of picking himself up when he stumbles.

Q: But does he still remain the same arrogant Agustin underneath it all?

A: [Laughs] Well, I don’t think the writers have thrown the baby out with the bathwater
– he can still be judgemental and say the wrong thing at the wrong time but this year he’s more conscious of the effect he has in his relationships and how he can hurt people. When he does have relationships he’s making more of an effort to be a better boyfriend and working hard at turning over his life.

Q: A lot of viewers were very upset with the way Agustin treated Frank last season…

A: I’m going to defend Agustin here – I would say that Frank was actually a bit too nice, you know. In a good relationship you challenge each other and you say the hard things at the time, you don’t leave it too late. Frank can pretty passive-­‐aggressive and I think you can tell the relationship is doomed. They’re both as manipulative as each other but in different ways.

Q: Does Agustin’s attitude change in the second season?

A: It does. Season two is about him rediscovering who he actually is instead of putting on a show and giving the idea of who he thinks he is or rather who he thinks he should be. He has all these set backs – no boyfriend, no job, doesn’t even live with Patrick – and he becomes concerned about who he really is. It’s sort of ‘I’m not who I thought I was, I wasn’t really carrying any currency in the world so who am I?’ And his journey in this season is all about knocking the old structure down and trying to build back up, to find out who he really is.

Q: What can you tell us about Patrick and Dom?

A: We continue to explore the love triangle between Patrick, Richie and Kevin and all those complications. Doris gets a new love interest and that’s cool and Dom continues to explore his relationship with Lynn. We also get to see how both those relationships affect Doris and Dom’s friendship because they rely on each other a lot and now we begin to see if they might not have been leaning on each other too much, if their relationship might not be too co-­‐dependent.

Q: One of the greatest things about the show is the friendship between Patrick and
Agustin because it feels so real…

A: They’re like brothers – the show would jump the shark if they ever hooked up because what they have is more complex than attraction between two friends. The key to why it works is that they take care of each other, challenge each other and adore
each other. Between the two of them and Dom there’s a system of checks and balances, which helps them all try to be better men.

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