8 Cool Things We Learned on the Set of Tonight's Matador

by | August 12, 2014 | Comments

Meet Tony Bravo, a DEA-agent-turned-CIA-operative. His mission? To take down the owner of a professional soccer team by posing as one of its star players. Not the most unassuming cover in the world, but somehow, by episode five of El Rey’s Matador, it appears to be working.In May, Rotten Tomatoes visited the set of Matador to see behind the scenes of tonight’s “Enter the Worm.” In episode five, Tony Bravo (Gabriel Luna), Peter Gadiot (Caesar), and Alec Holester (Tanc Sade) travel to Nicaragua on the private jet of team owner Andres Galan (Alfred Molina). We didn’t go to Nicaragua, but there’s still plenty of cool stuff to report from Simi Valley, CA, where the shoot took place.

1. Gabriel Luna knew he could be the “Latin James Bond.”

Nine months before Gabriel Luna’s first Matador meeting was a reality, he had a feeling about the show when he saw it in the trades. I was like, ‘Oh my God. That is me. That is me. I could do that.’ I knew it with every cell in my body that I could do it. All I knew was ‘Latin James Bond.'” Luna said. “Just the idea of someone with shades of melanin, holding himself together, being eloquent, and being a leading man, is something very rare.”

2. Tanc Sade is a record-breaking freediver.

When he’s not acting, Tanc Sade is a competitive freediver, which means he plunges into great depths of water without a breathing apparatus. “I grew up spearfishing, so I’ve always had a breath-hold,” Sade explained. “I was out here and I randomly met a girl in a bar who was on the U.S. National Team, and she said she was a freediver so I challenged her to a breath-hold at the bar. I won and then she said, ‘You should come train with us,’ and so I started training with her a few years ago.” Sade can hold his breath for about seven minutes and was the national champion last year.

3. Alfred Molina loves to binge-watch TV.

“The last thing I binge-watched was all the episodes of Justified. Wow,” Molina said. “Five, six episodes a day. You’re totally immersed in it. There’s no commercials. It’s worth every penny. Going out and buying the box set is worth it because you can go into a world if you’ve the time. I can’t remember the last time I watched a TV show at the moment it’s being transmitted. You know, DVR, it changes everything. I think that’s why the whole notion of what’s acceptable on TV has changed.”

4. You can buy tonight’s Matador set for a cool $49.5 million.

In order to achieve the look of tonight’s international episode, Matador shot “Enter the Worm” at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley, CA. Turns out the property is currently on the market with an asking price of $49,500,000. The hefty price tag includes a 13,000 square-foot Mediterranean-style mansion, 16 guest houses (for a total of 57 bedrooms and 40 baths), parking for over 300 cars, and an FAA-approved helipad — all on 123 acres.

5. Robert Rodriguez gets free drinks for life at The Four Seasons.

For one of his meetings with Matador executive producer Robert Rodriguez, Luna went to the Four Seasons, where Rodriguez gets free drinks for life because, “apparently, he ordered the millionth drink at the Four Seasons a few years back — like the millionth drink they’ve ever sold — and now he gets all the free drinks he wants,” Luna explained. “But he doesn’t drink. He gets iced teas. So here we are, two Texas boys, over iced tea, talking about music.” A pretty cool moment for the Austin-born Luna who referred to Rodriguez as “one of the godfathers of film.”

6. Roberto Orci knows how to make an entrance.

Matador co-creator Roberto Orci (Sleepy Hollow, Star Trek) is super-fun to be around, according to Luna. “Bob is a like the court jester,” Luna said. “We were at a party the other night, and he’s introduced, and he does a somersault into the grass and pops up. He’s just really excited and gives you a lot of confidence. He gives you all the tools and the words to look really, really cool. And he’s a cool guy himself. I mean, he’s Bob Orci. What hasn’t he written in the last eight years?”

7. Sade has a soccer double, but hasn’t used him yet.

Sade, who plays the Beckham/Ronaldo-esque Alec Holester, has been training with a soccer coach to make sure he looks like a professional player. “It’s episode five and I haven’t used my soccer double yet, so I’m very, very proud of myself,” said Sade, who had never played soccer before Matador. “The [double] has had to cut all his hair off, dye his hair, shave his legs, and gets a fake tan every episode because he’s pale, and I’m not.”

8. Luna’s grandfather wanted him to work for Robert Rodriguez.

Sadly, Luna’s grandfather didn’t live to see his grandson cast in Matador, but he saw it coming. “Any time Robert did something, [my grandfather] would cut out the story from the Austin American-Statesman — all the stuff with Robert, you know — and I’d go visit him, and he’d be like, ‘This is the guy you should work with, Gabe,’ and I’m just like, ‘Yeah, I know, but things gotta happen.'” Eight years later, Luna met with Rodriguez on what would have been his grandfather’s birthday to talk about Matador. “I got my chance, so I think he’d be really happy.”

Episode five of Matador, “Enter the Worm,” airs tonight on El Rey at 9:00 p.m. See pictures for season one here.

Tag Cloud

canceled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina rotten doctor who TCA BBC OneApp Red Carpet 71st Emmy Awards Year in Review Country Photos television Academy Awards free movies toronto video Television Academy spain rotten movies we love Teen Discovery Channel SXSW Cartoon Network Amazon discovery monster movies reviews crime drama Syfy women comic Infographic Super Bowl binge blockbusters Video Games Esquire DGA Baby Yoda ABC Signature E3 Epix Disney VICE Nominations Amazon Studios Tarantino remakes trailers spinoff Summer a nightmare on elm street TNT Paramount Network American Society of Cinematographers cults Crunchyroll comics BBC America Television Critics Association NYCC Sundance TV vampires SundanceTV series 45 Grammys TBS boxing screen actors guild ratings 72 Emmy Awards Showtime 24 frames latino dark Set visit cancelled TV series fast and furious 2020 Peacock Creative Arts Emmys Writers Guild of America MSNBC anime kong Tubi YA cooking harry potter Lionsgate Starz TCA Winter 2020 2019 Fox Searchlight telelvision Columbia Pictures Pop Reality Comedy Trivia renewed TV shows composers historical drama indiana jones docuseries spanish language black emmy awards Turner GIFs FXX mockumentary IFC TCA 2017 Extras Holidays BAFTA king kong dogs anthology FOX asian-american Polls and Games films hollywood Fall TV south america crossover Spectrum Originals festival OWN halloween Podcast Certified Fresh Musical joker Awards Tour USA criterion miniseries 007 Nat Geo japanese Superheroes NBC documentary Apple TV Plus Bravo Cosplay nature Valentine's Day laika worst sag awards best Heroines The Purge Watching Series Marvel Studios slashers game show dceu Rocketman superman Reality Competition nfl WarnerMedia casting Quiz sequel Elton John Mindy Kaling Hallmark Sneak Peek Trailer razzies blaxploitation TCM TV One prank BBC One Film worst movies theme song technology social media spanish richard e. Grant SDCC teaser Paramount DC Comics FX on Hulu Brie Larson zero dark thirty hidden camera witnail Black History Month godzilla Marvel Television YouTube Premium Lucasfilm History TruTV thriller spider-man TV renewals Mary Poppins Returns PlayStation strong female leads boxoffice Food Network crime DirecTV Paramount Plus true crime Shudder comiccon period drama war Schedule E! police drama comedies diversity Mary Tyler Moore romance canceled TV shows CBS X-Men APB Animation Women's History Month disaster scorecard HBO Go Countdown toy story Rocky Legendary versus dragons GLAAD mission: impossible award winner australia satire ABC science fiction BET sequels all-time batman stoner Emmys TCA Awards 20th Century Fox streaming The Walt Disney Company BET Awards kids robots comic books cancelled television directors stand-up comedy The CW Exclusive Video movies screenings Netflix Christmas movies Ellie Kemper blockbuster christmas movies The Arrangement parents facebook independent Hear Us Out universal monsters YouTube Comics on TV Classic Film archives spy thriller CMT Music critics cinemax GoT 2016 Pride Month Trophy Talk Rock Avengers DC streaming service hispanic ESPN Amazon Prime animated tv talk finale Winter TV Western FX adaptation Sundance Adult Swim Musicals Walt Disney Pictures Sony Pictures zombies CW Seed Travel Channel children's TV cars Holiday cops ghosts Disney+ Disney Plus Calendar Comedy Central space game of thrones MCU Spike 2021 Broadway TV Land serial killer AMC Sci-Fi DC Universe Rom-Com child's play biography National Geographic Turner Classic Movies El Rey twilight Marathons Pet Sematary 2018 See It Skip It Martial Arts Tomatazos Logo First Look zombie VH1 CBS All Access Film Festival Oscars book reboot golden globe awards Endgame fresh TIFF CNN Captain marvel 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards A&E Crackle Dark Horse Comics deadpool Superheroe Song of Ice and Fire venice name the review Lifetime New York Comic Con HBO Max Comic Book Mary poppins Hallmark Christmas movies Masterpiece talk show revenge Alien superhero scary movies halloween tv indie elevated horror kaiju WGN Disney streaming service popular jurassic park Nickelodeon crime thriller Emmy Nominations classics IFC Films LGBTQ rom-coms foreign romantic comedy Fox News travel Interview italian mutant Kids & Family Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt festivals Lifetime Christmas movies french obituary TV VOD Pixar Shondaland 2017 Pop TV President First Reviews RT21 Christmas Winners Vudu transformers sports 2015 quibi Netflix james bond political drama concert unscripted Black Mirror Apple Disney Plus die hard cancelled Pirates YouTube Red werewolf medical drama stop motion Binge Guide 4/20 golden globes Mystery Acorn TV green book HBO LGBT Star Wars psychological thriller ID Stephen King Apple TV+ sitcom Marvel 99% documentaries nbcuniversal Mudbound Cannes The Walking Dead Toys pirates of the caribbean RT History Sundance Now Fantasy cats Box Office politics natural history news justice league Horror chucky Disney Channel Family dc Spring TV breaking bad ITV aliens Universal Tumblr A24 Character Guide psycho Star Trek adventure Drama football Ghostbusters Best and Worst Chernobyl jamie lee curtis franchise Opinion PaleyFest ViacomCBS hist cartoon docudrama Premiere Dates The Academy Election Anna Paquin PBS Britbox Biopics dramedy Warner Bros. San Diego Comic-Con Freeform Funimation Awards USA Network The Witch based on movie what to watch ABC Family TLC Action Thanksgiving supernatural Arrowverse movie video on demand cancelled TV shows Hulu Ovation 21st Century Fox Amazon Prime Video MTV rt archives singing competition