Wilmer Valderrama & Eiza Gonzalez Talk 'From Dusk Till Dawn' TV Series

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Eiza, tell us about your role. 

Eiza Gonzalez: I’m super happy and super blessed that I get to be Santanico Pandemonium, it’s such an iconic role that Salma [Hayek] did – now 20 years later we have this chance to revamp ourselves with this story. Robert did an awesome job but he’s grown so much during these last 20 years, he has this great script that he wrote and now he had so many creative ideas that he couldn’t put in the script for the movie so our characters get to develop way more. You get to see this side of Santanico of not just this beautiful woman who dances and has this power over men but you get to see this queen behind it – she’s a show runner. We get to work a lot together and I feel blessed because it’s a typical Mayan-Aztec story and me being Mexican, I feel very connected to it. Robert truly is a career launcher and you can tell – he’s done it one behind the other. Now, what he’s doing with us is like what he did with George Clooney, he believed in him and as a Latina, you appreciate that Robert always channels a lot of our culture. It’s all mixed with these guys, killers and having good robberies and then, it goes to this sexy, creepy, supernatural story. So you get to see each story and it just flows so naturally – it doesn’t feel forced at all. It’s a new thing every single day we’re on set, we get to be beautiful and go through heavy makeup for 4 hours to get these transformed monsters that you’ll get to meet in the future. It’s amazing. 

WV: There’s one thing she won’t say about herself, I really truly believe, and so does Robert, that Eiza has redefined what that moment [Salma Hayek's snake dance] in time was for that generation. So we’re very blessed, every character has gotten a chance to put their flag on their territory and create a landscape that I think we’ll be able to live for quite a while now. 

We grew up with you by watching your novellas. With Wilmer's transformation from comedy to this, how has that transformation into the horror genre been for you?

EG: It’s crazy because I started doing stuff for kids and I grew up working with Nickelodeon in Latin America, and then I started doing soap operas and for me – this a dream come true. This is just me having a voice and speaking for people in my culture and see that we have so much talent. It was awesome for me to break the boundaries from soap operas. That’s why I’m so blessed because I connected with Robert and he fought for me and truly believed in me even though I was coming from soap operas. We’re in a time and place in Hollywood that people are really loving to see all this culture and he did it first. Back in the day with Desperado and Antonio [Banderas] being all sexy and now he’s doing it again and I went from being this good girl to this evil, man-eater. It feels awesome to go into the set and be like “Move!” 

WV: I will also tell you this about her, we’ve known each other for a long time and we were in Mexico and we say “Hey, we gotta do something – we gotta figure out something fantastic.” And she said, “I’m going to come to Los Angeles, and I’m going to try my luck and leave everything I know and try to cross over in Hollywood.” I said, “Whatever you need, I believe in you – I think you definitely have what it takes” And she came out here and this is one thing I really want you to know about her; she was going to do it with or without the help of any of us. Her conviction, her drive was going to get her here and she’s a legit actress, she’s been around for a very long time. 

Watch From Dusk Till Dawn's series premiere on El Rey Network at 9 p.m. EST tonight. 

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About this author

Irina Gonzalez,

An NYC-based journalist, web editor, and food writer, she started her career with an internship at Latina magazine while receiving her bachelor’s at New York University. Her work has appeared in Time Out New York, MamasLatinas.com, FamilyCircle.com, TheFrisky.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, and more. When she’s not checking out the latest taco restaurant in New York City, scouring for the best tapas in Barcelona, or dreaming of visiting Alex Atala’s restaurant in Brazil, she’s blogging about her favorite recipes, healthy eating tips and maintaining her 100 pound weight loss on HealthyLatinFood.com. You can always find her on Twitter (@msirinagonzalez) & Instagram (@msirinagonzalez) talking about her latest delicious meal.

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