A New Passion Grows for Weeds' Leading Lady
Mary Louise Parker by Randy Tepper/Showtime and Demian Bichir courtesy Showtime
' Nancy Botwin (
) has been through a lot since her husband passed away, from having guns pointed at her to burning down her own home and fleeing town as a single mom. On Monday's episode, however, she'll finally meet a man to match her wits, work and passion. Her new fiery love interest, Esteban Reyes, is the Tijuana mayor, and played by Mexican superstar
. While fairly new to U.S.-specific audiences, Bichir's stint on
and upcoming film projects (including several for Steven Soderbergh) should place him firmly on the American map.
In the meantime, the actor spoke to TVGuide.com about how he came to join
, what we can expect from the Mayor and just how hot the passion will get between him and Nancy. Plus, Bichir dishes on the Mexican MTV Movie Awards category that specifically honors his prolific family of actors.
- Anna Dimond
TVGuide.com: As a veteran of Mexican cinema, how did you happen upon Weeds?
Growing up in Mexico, my background's in theater and films. You start trying to expand as much as you can. That's how me and my brothers got to do a lot of films in other countries - Spain, Colombia, Bolivia. And then over here, you have to try to get a good agency that going to back you up in the right way.
TVGuide.com: What can we expect from your character on Weeds?
His name is Esteban Rrrrreyes.
TVGuide.com: Well, I can't say it like that, but he's like a king, of sorts?
He's the mayor of Tijuana. He's a pretty powerful politician. But this type of politician that are well-educated. He went to Harvard, he drinks the best wine, he loves opera. He's very sophisticated. So that's the interesting [truth] about this type of character, because you could always go to a stereotype, you know? But this guy is like the devil: he's powerful and charming and dangerous, and hopefully sexy.
TVGuide.com: You say he's like the devil. So does he get involved in corrupt politics, does he endanger Nancy?
This guy is in many ways like Nancy Botwin. Because, it's not that you're going be a bad guy, it's just the way life turns you, and takes you toward a weird direction that you weren't planning, so it's someone that wants to do good for the people, but there are so many other underground activities. That's how these two human beings meet. They're pretty much alike. So that's the way love - uh, life is.
TVGuide.com: And maybe love, too?
Especially love. Because that's how you end up with someone, because there's so many things besides attraction that have to do with the way you are, the way you think, even the way you smell. And when you put all that together, then you have a really solid character to play with.
TVGuide.com: So you've been able to find some humanity, it sounds like, in Esteban?
. You need that. I don't believe in bad and good, I believe we are all a mix of both. We have a demon, we have an angel inside, within our souls, and you just play with it, and sometimes the evil part of you wins the battle, in a very important decision, or in a bedtime, with your lover. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
TVGuide.com: In this instance, it seems that Nancy and Esteban will be together for many episodes. Is there something, though, that will definitively tear them apart?
I wouldn't be surprised if that's the way it's played. But up until now, I can tell you that there's been a really intense kind of intense, passionate relationship, not only in terms of carnal, or sexuality, but also in the way two minds connect with each other. It's been a powerful relationship in many ways. I don't know exactly what direction the whole thing's going to take, but right now, it's much more than I had expected.
TVGuide.com: Are there any ways in which you identify with Esteban?
I think we have one thing in common, which is pretty obvious, and it's a passion for life. Whatever he's involved, he's not going to go halfway. He's going to go all the way, even if that means he's surrendering, even if he's going to lose. He's not afraid, he's willing to go all the way.
TVGuide.com: Is his counterpart, Nancy, willing to do the same?
[Laughs] As far as I've seen, that's the way she is. Oh man, she's a roller coaster herself, Montana Russa. Not a lot of people would get involved with a person like Esteban, but she's a little bit twisted.
TVGuide.com: In Mexico, I've heard that the MTV Movie Awards have a special award just for your family, called El Mejor Bichir en Una Pelicula [the best Bichir in a movie]. Is that a real category?
They came up with this category about three years ago for the best Bichir. My brothers and I have been around for a while. We are only three, but movies in the family are like a virus. We grew up in the theater, and have got a lot of stage work in our backgrounds. We've worked that past 20, 30 years, and have worked in a lot of projects together. So yeah, they made a special category for that. It was one time only and I won!