Our very own Justine Browning was on the red carpet at the Roxy Hotel in New York City to talk to the cast of the new TNT series Good Behavior.
Good Behavior tells the story of Letty Raines (Dockery), a thief and con artist whose life is always one wrong turn or one bad decision from implosion. Fresh out of prison, Letty tries to stay afloat; reunite with her 10-year-old son who is currently being raised by her mother Estelle (Strus); and show up for the mandatory check-ins with her parole officer Christian (Kinney), who carries his own demons which cause him to relate to Letty in a way that threatens his ability to do his job. Chaos returns to Letty’s life when she overhears a hitman (Botto) being hired to kill a man’s wife, and sets out to derail the job. She soon finds herself on a collision course with the killer, entangling both of them in a dangerously captivating relationship.
Check out our interview with with Good Behavior Cast and Producers Michelle Dockery, Juan Diego Botto, Terry Kinney, Lusia Strus, Blake Crouch and Chad Hodge.
J. Browning: I think we haven’t seen a character like Letty on TV before, or really anywhere. How would you say she’s incredibly unique?
M. Dockery: She is. There are lots of great female roles being written at the moment, but they’re not just strong women, they’re women with many sides to them. Smart women, funny women, vulnerable women, mothers, daughters, I mean it feels like there is more and more being written, and Letty is a fabulous character to play. For me, it just was such a joy to dive into. Yeah.
J. Browning: The creators have spoken about the fact that they’ve drawn inspiration from noir. The show’s being categorized as poetic noir. I’d love to know more about where you drew your inspiration for such an incredible character.
M. Dockery: Well, for me it always starts with the writing, but then I watched shows, like Nurse Jackie, were really useful, I’m such a fan of Edie Falco anyway, but that show was a great one to watch for some inspiration. We also watched a documentary called The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, which is a documentary about this thief. It really kind of tells you this fascinating life of this thief, which, she’s very much like Letty, and some of the references from the documentary were used in the show.
J. Browning: I would say I have never seen a character like this on TV before. How would you say he’s strikingly different than anything we’ve seen, just from an acting standpoint for you?
J. Diego Botto:Well, the biggest challenge with this character was that he’s a hit man, he kills people for money, that’s what he does. Other than that, he’s a very nice guy, which is impossible to understand, but, and it was difficult for me, but it’s true. He has a moral code, he follows the rules, he’s caring, he’s emphatic, but has that little thing that he kills people. So, that’s what makes Javier so different and so peculiar.
J. Browning: Well, I think what’s unique is the dynamic between Michelle Dockery’s character, Letty, and yours is that she’s fallen off the deep end and somehow this hit man is going to restore a bit of order in her life. Can you talk about those scenes?
J. Diego Botto: Yeah, that’s the fun of the show. These are two outcasts somehow. These are two that really are trying desperately to find their place in the world because they don’t fit in. Somehow, and unexpectedly, they’re becoming each others own redemption. That is, I think, what I’ve really loved about this show when I first read it. It was that you don’t expect these two characters, she being a thief, con-artist, drug issues, me being a hit man, not just to have a positive side, because that’s for the audience to decide, but to get involved in this complicated but fascinating dynamic that makes the show, I mean, I think makes the show so special.
J. Browning: What’s great is that you bring an element of humanity to this character. You’re drawn in by him. He has this charisma. Can you speak to developing that aspect of him? Balancing those two elements?
J. Diego Botto: Well, that was one of the things because … Beforehand, this is the first time I do TV, so when you do theater, when you do film, you have the script, and in a script you have the beginning, the middle and the end. You know where the character is going to land and you know all the background. It’s all there. In TV, in this case, you don’t. So I had asked Chad Hodge, the creator of the show, a thousand-million questions beforehand, trying to understand, and he gave me a lot of information that was so useful. He’s an extremely talented man. That information, I mean, there’s a depth to Javier. There’s a burden that he has that I try to, you have to just give little pieces. You can’t give all the information in the pilot. You have to just give little tiny little details.
J. Browning: He answered your questions for you, but did he let you fill in some aspects of the character? Maybe his past at all bring your own elements as well?
J. Diego Botto: Well, there was a funny thing. I was born in Argentina. I live in Spain. I live in Madrid. When we shot the pilot there was this scene that I’m on the phone and I speak Spanish, and when we shot it, I spoke in my Spanish accent from Madrid. Then, during the shooting, we talked with Chad a lot. I told him about my past. My background in Argentina. Then when I came back to actually do the actual series, the rest of the episodes, he told me, “You know what? Now the character is Argentinian,” and so I went, “Okay.” So, actually, we did that scene, the phone scene, again with … Because I told him, well the accent in Argentina and Spain, it’s very very different.
J. Browning: Of course. Yes. Argentina has such a unique culture, a unique history to it, of course. What would you say that making the character Argentine actually brings to the character, changes it?
J. Diego Botto: It changed it a lot. To me it was special because it’s very easy for me to understand that background and he comes from a place that I really can understand and I know Argentine history very very well. So that gave me a completely new perspective, when I was able to bring my own personal thing to it.