Juan Diego Botto Acts Up in Good Behavior

by | November 11, 2016 | Comments

Good Behavior stars Juan Diego Botto, Michelle Dockery (TNT)

When we first spy Juan Diego Botto’s character Javier in new TNT drama Good Behavior, it’s through the slats of a closet door. He is obscured, his face cast in shadow, or his back turned.

That’s not by mistake.

There’s a mystery and complexity to the devilishly alluring hitman Botto brings to the screen. As the audience — along with con-artist parolee Letty Raines (Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery) — tries to discern his intentions, we can’t help but fall in love. And just like Letty, we’re not entirely sure if we should.

Botto chatted with us about his complex role, his “wonderful” costar Dockery, and the how the Argentinean-Spanish actor relates to the American TV biz.

Good Behavior star Michelle Dockery (TNT)

L.A. Ross for Rotten Tomatoes: We spend a lot of the first episode of Good Behavior meeting Letty. She’s a con artist, but she has this moment of moral clarity. Then Javier comes in from left field, and he seems to be pretty irredeemably bad. Is Javier the villain that everybody loves to hate, or do we start rooting for him?

Juan Diego Botto: Well, he is and he’s not. You see what he does — he’s a hitman. He kills people for money. There’s no moral justification in the world for that, but other than that, he’s a nice guy. And that was a challenge.

These are two very complicated, complex characters. She’s good — you can tell that she’s a good person, though she has drug issues and she steals and she’s a con artist. So you have these two characters that are very, very morally shady. You’re going to travel with them, you’re going to [take] a journey with these two. They’re good and bad.

RT: What about this character attracted you to the role of Javier?

Botto: First of all, this story, it’s basically a very twisted love story. These two characters are going to like each other, dislike each other, hate each other, want to be together, don’t want to be together, and that kind of thing.

But somehow I think it’s a story of second chances. These are two outcasts who are trying to find a way to fit in. And they finally meet someone that gets them, and through [their relationship], they may find redemption. That’s what’s fascinating to me about the story

And of course, that’s deep inside. It’s a love story, it’s a thriller, it’s a drama, it’s a comedy. And I think it’s a lot of fun.

For my character, the challenge was to make the hitman attractive, how to combine the fact that he kills people for money with the fact that he is adorable in other aspects of his life. He is caring; he cares for Letty, and he’s going to fall for her. And how to combine those two things and create a real human being — that was a challenge, and that was fascinating for me.

Good Behavior stars Juan Diego Botto, Michelle Dockery (TNT)

RT: What do you think makes people want to watch characters like that? Why is this story right now?

Botto: Well I’m not a sociologist (laughs), but I think when you see fiction, you take things to the extreme, and it’s a metaphor for simplistic things.

We all need some kind of redemption, we all need a second chance, we all screwed up somehow, and we all want to be better, or we’re all trying to be better, and that is something that I think everyone can relate to.

Of course when you see it in an extreme — like Javier who kills people, that’s very bad, but maybe you can relate to that. Maybe what you’ve done is not that bad, definitely not as bad! But you can relate to that. Sometimes when you take things to the extreme, you see the metaphor clearly. And that’s, I think, the game of the show. Maybe you don’t know why you want this bad guy to succeed, but it’s do to with that part of you that wants to be forgiven.

Who doesn’t want a second chance?

RT: You’ve been acting your whole life, and you’ve spent most of your career acting in Argentinian and Spanish films and television. What’s different about shooting a drama for American television?

Botto: I haven’t done much TV. You know, I’ve done a lot of films and theater, but not much TV. So first, what’s different is every nine days, you get 60 new pages to learn and a whole new story. Every nine days. Which is very challenging, especially when you’re not working in your first language.

But also, I think it’s very rare — and of course you’re going to think I’m saying this because I’m promoting the show, but I’m being honest — it’s very rare to read something new every nine days and like it, and to be in a project that you really, really like, and you think that you’re doing something good. And that is great. It’s not usual to do it every nine days and think, “Wow, this is good. I want to do this, I want to tell this story.” And that was very, very cool about this job.

But the basic difference — from action to cut, there’s no difference whatsoever, whether you’re working in Spain, Argentina, Italy, Germany, or wherever, from action to cut. But the rest of it, the main difference that I found [working in the U.S.] is just money. The production has more trucks, you have more technicians, more crew, more time for the writers to write, more time for directors to prepare, for the actors to rehearse.

You guys here have a really, really good industry. And you do things very, very well, and that’s the truth (laughs). You invest what needs to be invested.

RT: There are a lot of people in the industry who are going to be excited to hear that!

Botto: (Laughs) Well, I’m talking from experience. There’s something cool — the director of the pilot was from Denmark. I live in Madrid, Spain. Michelle’s from London. And we’re all here. There’s something about bringing the talent on from wherever the talent is that, well, it’s something that you do very well.

And the money — it’s to do with time. And not to rush things. In theater, too, when you have that extra week, that extra 10 days, you have to be able to make mistakes, you need the time to make mistakes.

Good Behavior star Michelle Dockery (TNT)

RT: Speaking of bringing in talent from around the world, your costar, Michelle Dockery, like you mentioned is British. But she’s in a very different role here than what most American audiences are used to seeing her play (as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey). What has it been like working with Michelle?

Botto: She’s a wonderful actress, and she’s a wonderful actress to work with. She likes to rehearse, she loves her job. She’s always having new ideas and new approaches to a scene, and that is wonderful.

I think we both understand our job in the same way, and we both enjoy to try to bring new things to the table every time. And I’m having a great time working with her. And also she’s a wonderful person! She’s a lot of fun.

Seriously, if I could choose one kind of actor to work with for the rest of my life, it would be the kind of actor that she is.

RT: I know we’re looking forward to seeing what you both bring to the screen. What do you hope people take away from Good Behavior?

Botto: I think it’s a very interesting show. It’s thrilling, but it’s a drama, it’s a comedy. And I think Michelle, Lusia Strus, Terry Kinney, and all the other actors deliver wonderful performances. So I think the audience is going to have fun watching this.

Good Behavior premieres Tuesday, November 15 at 9 p.m. on TNT

Watch the series premiere — available online for a limited time:

Tag Cloud

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