From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series Exclusive – Zane Holtz on the New Ritchie


Zane Holtz as Richie in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series

Zane Holtz as Richie in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series

Last night on the season premiere of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series you got to see the new Richie. Slicked back, on the road with Santanico Pandemonium (Eiza Gonzalez), Richie and Santanico took on Culebra gangsters and Richie gave a speech on Burt Lancaster that would make Tarantino proud.

This is all what was promised by the first season of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series in which both characters outlived their movie counterparts, and have a mission for the future. I got to speak with Zane Holtz, who plays Richie, when the cast of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series came to L.A. for a Television Critics Association panel. From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series airs Tuesday nights at 9PM on El Rey.

Nerd Report: How great was the Burt Lancaster speech?

Zane Holtz: It was awesome, man. It’s fun to be able to have those moments where, if you get a great monologue, actors enjoy it. I do at least. I think it’s one of those funny things with Richie, and I think this applies to the Seth character as well is that I’m going off on this long, long rambling story about something that makes sense to me, and I’m trying to use to explain who I am to these two young hoodlums, and it goes right over their heads. That’s the whole point. It doesn’t matter. I’m trying to tell them who I am and they don’t hear it. For an actor, it’s great to be able to play. I actually had never seen the film, so I had to look it up and watch a little bit on YouTube. One of the clips that comes up is that final scene. You hear me say it verbatim, “He picks up the MP4 and he sprays and lays ‘em down.” That whole clip is the one that’s on YouTube so I was able to watch that. The funniest thing was I was like okay, Burt Lancaster. Then I started looking up some other Burt Lancaster stuff. I can’t remember what the film was but there’s a movie that he did where he is literally wearing a black suit, a white shirt, no tie and the glasses. I was like, “What the hell?” I didn’t know if Carlos maybe made that connection as well too. I just thought it was really funny that we were able to bring that back and use it in the second season.

Nerd Report: Do you enjoy the more slicked back look for Richie this year?

Zane Holtz: Yeah, I’m pretty smooth this season I think. I went Culebra, got a little handsome, you know, got some money in my pocket. Yeah, it’s fun, man. You get to see Richie in his element of what would he be when he’s out from underneath his brother’s shadow. Give him immortality, keep the ambition that he had from before, where is that going to go? We’ll see this season.

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, for El Rey Network and Miramax. L to R; Eiza Gonzalez as Santánico Pandemonium and Zane Holtz as Richie Gecko.

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, for El Rey Network and Miramax. L to R; Eiza Gonzalez as Santánico Pandemonium and Zane Holtz as Richie Gecko.

Nerd Report: Is season two about Santanico and Richie together? 

Zane Holtz: Yeah, I mean, at the end of season one, you see us leaving the Titty Twister and taking off back to the U.S. So season two picks up with us in Houston, living on the outskirts, living by the skin of our teeth, pulling down jobs, trying to make a way of it in the world. Also you’ll find out a bigger goal, which is revenge for Santanico. But immediately in the first couple episodes, you’re going to see, I call it the end of the honeymoon. Everything in season one was: okay, this girl is calling out to me and I can save her and I can do these great things. We pick up in season two and you see reality has kind of kicked in and they’re living as a normal couple and dealing with this high pressure situation and how that affects their relationship and who they are as people.

Nerd Report: Are they in over their heads? I was surprised they got knocked out.

Zane Holtz: You’ve got to remember, obviously these are two powerful people being that they’re both Culebras and they have these powers and Richie was a lifelong criminal. But still, you go up against another Culebra, it’s anybody’s game. You’re not guaranteed to beat every opponent so you’ll see in that first episode there is a guy. He’s humongous and he’s also a Culebra too and he kind of kicks our asses for a minute. I like it when our characters don’ seem invincible. When we can get beat up a little bit and then win the fight in the last few moments, or by the end of the episode, or maybe they don’t. I mean, it wouldn’t be fun if we were just walking around like terminators and taking everything out without having some sort of faults to ourselves and allowing ourselves to lose every now and again.

Nerd Report: Does it feel like uncharted territory being past the movie?

Zane Holtz: I think the whole goal of the show from the get go was to use the first season to retell the story of these characters so that we could be in season two. Not that going beyond the movie is the end game. The end game is being true to the characters that were created by Robert and Quentin and telling these stories with them. Really, that’s what we’re all excited about for people to see this new season. It’s not about trying to get past the movie. It’s about honoring the movie and then honoring these characters and seeing how many stories we can tell.

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series Exclusive – Eiza Gonzalez on Santanico Pandemonium’s Bondage Outfit

Eiza Gonzalez as Santanico Pandemonium in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series

Eiza Gonzalez as Santanico Pandemonium in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series

Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network brought From Dusk Till Dawn back last year as a TV series. While reintroducing the world to the Gecko Brothers from his movie, he also introduced America to Eiza Gonzalez. In the role of Santanico Pandemonium, Gonzalez expanded on Salma Hayek’s cameo in the film. At the end of the season, she broke free from the Titty Twister with Richie (Zane Holtz).

When we pick up From Dusk Till Dawn season two, Santanico and Richie are on their own facing off against vampire mobsters. Gonzalez was in Los Angeles for the Television Critics Association summer press tour and I got to sit down with her to talk about From Dusk Till Dawn. Season two premieres Tuesday, August 25 at 9PM on El Rey.

Nerd Report: Is Santanico actually in over her head this year?

Eiza Gonzalez: I don’t think so. I think the dynamic between Richard and Santanico is a very interesting dynamic. You will get to see, as you saw in the first season, the dynamic between Kate Fuller and Seth, Santanico and Richie, the two basic powers of the story get divided and branch out. When Richie and Santanico get together, it’s a very weird connection because this is a guy that has never been in the supernatural world getting introduced to a new world, and this is a vampire who has never been in the real world getting introduced to the real world. So it’s two different extreme version of what they’ve lived getting mixed together. So they’re learning from each other, but at the end of the day, I think the characters still have their egos and their character and their personality very established. You’re dealing with a queen in a way, a queen vampire and just this criminal. So it’s very interesting, the mixture and the powers get divided. So I think it’s been an interesting mixture throughout the whole season. It really gives it diversity for the second season and it really takes people by surprise.

I think that the really cool thing that Robert does with his characters, if you notice in the series especially, there’s a lot of recurring things to the family, which really talks about Robert also. He likes to keep those bonds together. He shows these two criminals but there’s also a love/hate kind of relationship. There’s always a bond with their family which is really interesting. You get to see it throughout this season too so I love that from Robert. This is something that I notice a lot too and that’s a cultural thing too. That’s a very Mexican thing to do. We are very bonded with our family, very connected and I notice that in a lot of his projects, he does that. Versus other projects you would see like crime shows, it’s more about heists and all these things. Robert mixes up a little bit of all the subjects throughout the whole show. He touches those subjects. He touches not the stereotypical things that people would expect from criminals.

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, for El Rey Network and Miramax. L to R; Zane Holtz as Richie Gecko and Eiza Gonzalez as Santánico Pandemonium.

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, for El Rey Network and Miramax. L to R; Zane Holtz as Richie Gecko and Eiza Gonzalez as Santánico Pandemonium.

Nerd Report: Season one was all in one day in the Titty Twister so you were stuck in that same outfit the whole time. Do you like your new costumes this season?

Eiza Gonzalez: I love it. I’m so excited. I’m very excited about that for sure, but mostly I’m excited to be able to develop this character in an environment that she is completely disconnected to. She doesn’t know this real world. She’s been stuck in this place for 300 years, so it’s really interesting to see she’s like a little lion that has been in a cage and getting back to a glimpse of who she is, learning things. It has a lot of comedy moments which is really funny. She has a scene in the car and he’s talking about Belushi, she’s like, “Who’s Belushi?” She doesn’t have any idea and he’s so used to it, and he’s so smart that it’s really interesting to see the mixture of those two personalities together. So it was really fun. Nina [Proctor], she’s amazing, our wardrobe head. She’s worked with Robert for so long. She’s done Sin City, so many things. She has such an iconic, amazing style so we got to develop [costumes]. You’ve seen nothing. There’s so many cool outfits. You’ll see eventually, there’s this bondage outfit that they had to use for me and it was insane. The work she did was so special. All the outfits, people are going to be really impressed. It looks expensive. It looks crazy. It looks very like how it looks in Robert’s world and it’s really interesting to see how they come back and forth with all this. Especially the suits for the guys. You’ll see it, it’s very cool.

Nerd Report: So like a dominatrix outfit, and does Santanico even know what that is?

Eiza Gonzalez: She has no idea, and the way she gets embroiled in it is really interesting. People are going to love it. In this season, different from the last season, everything is slower in the first season because it’s all in one day. This is a lot of things happening, constant, constant, constant, days, days, days. So the beat of the show starts slow and it starts grabbing such an amazing pace that every episode something interesting is happening. So all this season, I think people are going to love it because of that. It’s just rich in how it looks. It’s so appealing. It’s so beautiful. The DPs did an amazing job. It’s so beautifully done, and on top of it, the story’s darker than ever. I can tell you that, the stories are getting darker and darker and darker and darker and it really makes you judge the characters and their morals, but at the same time you get so pulled into the show that you indulge in that part of it. There’s no morals. Those lines get blurred out and it really starts taking you into a dark world that’s what we look for as a public. We want to be taken captive in a new world, in a new story so I think people are going to love it. I think separating us from being part of the job and part of this cast, people are really going to like it. I’m very excited for second season.

Nerd Report: Is season two really uncharted territory since it’s beyond the movie?

Eiza Gonzalez: We’re far away from what it was before. For each character, at least for mine, I think when we say all hell has broken loose, it really does. All bets are off our second season. What I feel people are going to be really hooked on is who’s a good guy? Who’s the bad one? What are the journeys of each character and what are the purposes? While watching the show it’s unclear, so you have that feeling of wanting to know what is the point of every character. How it takes you by surprise throughout the whole season is really fun. You get to see what I loved from other characters that I got to see is how they have so many different, while keeping the Quentin Tarantino/Robert development of each character which is iconic and we respect it throughout the whole season, you get to see so much more. You get to see [Richie] out of his comfort zone with Seth and vice versa. You get to discover those sides. You get to see my character in the real world. You get to see Freddie Gonzalez in a world of learning PTSD, trying to figure the way out. And the Fullers, you get to see so much and a lot of characters come in, like Danny Trejo, so we’re excited for what is coming for sure.