Mary McCormack and Cristian de la Fuente
For those who miss seeing Cristian de la Fuente waltzing around Dancing with the Stars, fret not! De la Fuente returns as Mary McCormick's on-again-off-again boyfriend, Rafael, in the second season of USA's In Plain Sight (which premieres Sunday, April 19, 10 pm/ET). TVGuide.com spoke to De la Fuente about why Raf stays with Mary, when he might actually pop the question again and who he thinks should go home with the mirrorball trophy on Dancing with the Stars.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think Rafael sticks around when Mary clearly has so many issues?
Cristian de la Fuente: Well, maybe it's because of that. We all have this idea that we can help our loved ones solve their issues. Most of the time you fall in love with somebody who is not 100 percent perfect for you, but all those imperfections make that person perfect at the end. So then, you know, it's like a constant battle. When you're in love, you see more good than bad, and then when you're out of love, you see only bad and no good.
TVGuide.com: She makes his life pretty interesting...
De la Fuente: That's what I think Raf sees in Mary. He sees all the good and all the potential. We all have issues and Mary definitely has issues, but if she's able to deal with them, then they could be really, really happy.
TVGuide.com: Last season, Raf stepped up to protect Mary's sister, Brandi. Does Mary appreciate it?
De la Fuente: It shows Raf's personality and his values. I'm so happy to be able to play Raf in this show for many reasons. First, I think we made history on TV and film because this is the first time you see a Latino with that amount of drugs, and he's not dealing them. On the other side, he's not your typical Latin lover with 20 girlfriends on the side, he's a really nice guy and he's really in love with Mary. He had the opportunity to cheat on Mary with her sister, but he didn't. It's good that on TV we can show [Latinos] as positive role models.
TVGuide.com: Speaking of Brandi, will there be any more romantic tension between you two this season?
De la Fuente: There's the old saying: It isn't over until it's over. We haven't finished filming the season yet, but so far, Brandi has a boyfriend. But you never know. ... What makes the show brilliant is the creator and writer David Maples. He surprises us every episode. That's the good thing about this show. It's a little bit like life. We have a plan on what we're going to do tomorrow and how life is going to be in the future, but then life ends up surprising you and everything is different.
TVGuide.com: Will Raf ever get up the courage to propose to Mary again or is he too gun-shy now?
De la Fuente: In the second season, he's going to try it again.
TVGuide.com: Excellent! They are such a fun couple to watch.
De la Fuente: I think that too, but Mary's a tough one, so hopefully it will work out.
TVGuide.com: Will Raf ever become involved in any of Mary's cases?
De la Fuente: He does a little bit. He gets involved, but on a personal level and not a professional level. He's not working on the case, but he gets involved by accident with a witness that Mary is protecting.
TVGuide.com: Let's talk Dancing with the Stars. This season has been plagued with injuries and you were one of the first dancers to suffer a major injury two seasons back. Do you think they're pushing the dancers too hard?
De la Fuente: I don't want to be responsible for being the first of any injured dancers. It'll look like I started a bad thing. [Laughs] I think we really rehearse a lot. Sometimes, it's too much, you know, because you go from never dancing in your life, or doing it one a week or once a month when you go to a party, to doing it seven or eight hours a day. Plus, all the pressure that you have to not get humiliated on national television by being kicked off. ... Everyone that gets into the competition is there because they want to win or make it all the way to the end. ... I think it gets to a point where you try too hard.
TVGuide.com: Do you have a favorite or someone you think is the front-runner this season?
De la Fuente: Well, I think this season is not as clear as my season. In my season, everyone knew that Kristi [Yamaguchi] was going to win. She was way better than any of us. This season Lil' Kim is doing very well, and Cheryl with Gilles are doing well too, and Tony and Melissa also. And everyone loves Melissa, so I think that helps her. I personally think Tony is a wonderful choreographer and he has somebody that can go to his level. That's going to be in his favor in the end. When he danced with Stacy Keibler, he went all the way to the end, and now I'm pretty sure he's going to take Melissa all the way to the finals, and hopefully win. I really like him and he's a really nice guy. On the other hand, I also really want Cheryl to win because if not, she's going to kill me. I wanted her to win with me, not with another guy. I'm kind of, like, jealous. It's like seeing your wife with another guy!