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This Isn’t Your Average Vampire Show

From Dusk Till Dawn‘s Zane Holtz details what went into filming the explosive second season

It’s been quite a night. From Dusk Till Dawn, the El Rey Network series that follows brothers Seth and Richie Gecko as they steal and shoot their way from Texas to Mexico, is ending its second season and things are getting really complicated. The brothers—played by D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz—have gone their separate ways and come back together, and the vampires they’ve been tangling with have gotten a whole lot closer than anyone anticipated. Here, Holtz dishes on why being a bloodsucker isn’t all that bad.

We’ve reached the end of the show’s second season! How has this one treated Richie?

The entire arc for my character this season has been about trying to see how he can survive without his brother, and how the brothers are separate versus them being together. I think anyone who watches the show will know that at this point we’ve reconciled out of necessity and are working together again. By the finale there will be a more definitive version of that relationship.

Obviously the character has been through quite a bit since the first season, but how has playing him changed for you? 

I feel like I have a better handle on the character now that I’ve played him for 20 episodes and I’ve had another year to kind of sit with him. Of course, now that Richie has [spoiler alert!] become a vampire, people think he needs to be played differently. Our writers were able to keep the quirks and interesting parts of Richie’s personality as a human and make sure that didn’t get erased when he became a vampire. So I’m still Richie, I’m just dealing with these new physical components. It’s almost like a disease, like he’s still the man that he always was, he still loves movies and all the things he used to, but he can’t go outside when it’s sunny out and occasionally he has to feed on a fallen enemy.

You guys film at Robert Rodriguez’s own studio in Texas. How is that different than working on a more traditional set?

The most important part about being able to work at Troublemaker Studios, and what makes this experience feel different from anything else you do for TV, is the exclusivity that comes with working with Robert and working at Troublemaker. We were the first show on the network, so we were the first TV series to be shot at Troublemaker. We were the first TV series that Robert worked on, so we’re making a TV show in a filmmaker’s studio in a place where amazing films have been shot before we got the opportunity to be there.

The show is on El Rey in the States, but is a Netflix series in other countries. Does that earn you fans in unexpected places? 

The beauty of being a Netflix series is that immediate worldwide outreach. I mean, we’re available in every Netflix territory 24 hours after it airs in the States, so the audience has this global feel to it and everybody gets to feel like they’re kind of caught up on the show at the same time as the fans in the U.S., which I think is really cool.

Richie’s a complicated character. He’s violent and unstable and now undead. What made you want to play him? 

When the show first came about, I didn’t have a lot to go off on other than I’d heard of the title before and I was a huge fan of Robert’s. And the opportunity that I saw there was the ability to work with him. I had always thought that if I my career took off, maybe I would have the opportunity to work with him. So, to be able to have the chance to work with him and to have my first lead on a TV show, everything just kind of lined up in a way that I couldn’t have ever seen happening. I was just so grateful for the opportunity to take that chance.

The show definitely trades on Rodriguez’s theatrical taste for horror.  Has there ever been anything that made you feel a bit queasy?

Yes for sure. I was really hesitant to do the whole scene with the [fake dog’s blood] in season one. I think that’s understandable for anybody to be kind of grossed out by that. But I got over it and was able to make it work in the scene. But that 100% is the worst thing that I’ve had to do on the show.