In His Own Words: Desmin Borges Explains What It's Like to Play a Veteran With PTSD on ‘You’re the Worst’

ESSAY: Why Desmin Borges’s ‘You’re The Worst’ Character is One of the Best on TV
Splash News

In the latest golden era of television, it’s harder to standout than it is to find a sober Santa Claus at SantaCon. Yet, Desmin Borges has done just that with his endearing portrayal of Edgar Quintero, a veteran dealing with PTSD, in FXX’s stellar dark comedy, You’re the Worst.

Here, in his own words, Borges lets us know what went into creating one of 2016’s finest acting performances.

MORE: You're the Worst's Kether Donohue is a Millenial Lucille Ball

“First and foremost, as a storyteller, the thing that draws me as an artist is my need to give voice to the voiceless. I feel like we’re getting to do that twofold here with Edgar. Not only am I showing little brown kids and people of all sizes and ages that anyone who look like me, who look like us, can do more than just be the drug dealer or gardener. We can tell full layered stories with well-rounded characters, who also happen to be Latino or people of color. That’s the really exciting about portraying Edgar. Secondly, we’ve never seen a vet like him on television before. He has a very modern point of view on what it means to be a vet and transition in to civilian hood, especially during this social climate we’re in. He has a darker sense of humor, he’s a little warped in that sense. At the same time, he’s a regular person and a hopeless romantic who really loves cooking. He tries to be there for his friends and is really loyal to the people around him.

These are all strong, great qualities that are never seen when someone is portraying a brown person or vet.  A lot of the vets I speak to graciously tell me their stories, and I’m just like a sponge, I soak it all up. While they are not broken people per say, there are things about them that are broken. The majority of vets dealing with issues, like Combat PTSD, are so desperately trying to get back to the person that they were before their traumatic experience, or experiences. Statistically speaking, we know they will never 100 percent be that person again, but we owe it to them and they owe it to themselves to go down every avenue and discover every path in order to make their lives as easy as possible during their transition. Back to trying to do the things that they would normally do every day.

A lot of the stuff that we wrapped this season has to do with each four of the couples’ stories. In the first season, we saw Edgar on a positive path with his PTSD, even though he was a butler. He was happy to no longer be homeless, or shooting heroin. In the second season, we find that he’s stumbled in to improve comedy, finds a girl, and is doing great. But, inevitably with PTSD, there’s going to be downfalls. Unfortunately with this one, Jimmy wasn’t the type of friend that’s going to help him out of it. I think he realized that really early. Part of his thing when it comes to finding confidence within himself is saying, screw you if you if you’re not going to help me out, I’m going to do it my way. He’s kind of taking a turn from Jimmy that’s’ probably necessary for their relationship. As we’ve seen during this political time frame, people don’t like to be bullied or put into boxes. Jimmy sort of signifies things in our society that are incorrect in regard to how people treat others solely based on who they are, the color on their skin, or the status in which people view them. We don’t resolve it at the end of the season, but I do think next season progressively moves the relationship between the two of them forward.  There is love at the heart of it, there is going to be real conflict at some point, so Edgar can finally stand up to Jimmy. Hopefully, Jimmy will see him in an actual real light.”