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

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