FX’s hit vampire drama The Strain continues to bring plenty of thrills and chills to the small screen on Sunday nights, and star Miguel Gomez is definitely one of the key contributors – probably because his character, Gus, played a key role in allowing The Master to infect New York City.
An ex-con struggling to survive, every decision Gus makes is about taking care of himself and his loved ones. But now that his family has been taken away from him, Gus has a new motivation: revenge. Earlier this week in a conference call with journalists, Miguel Gomez discussed the change in Gus’s attitude, and what it means for the future of his character. Enjoy the highlights below.
Last week, Gus asked the Master what he wanted from him, and didn’t really get an answer. Will we see that play out over the rest of the season, where he’ll come back into contact with The Master, or will that have any bearing on his relationship with the Ancients?
I think Gus is really just stumbling through everything trying to figure out what’s going on. I’m just as confused as you are about what they want from Gus, you know? But yes, for some reason they keep seeking him out and I think he’s completely confused about it too. He’s just trying to do his best with the circumstances that he’s in.
The conversation between Gus and The Master is one of the creepiest scenes in the history of the show. What was it like to shoot that scene?
Super creepy, because Adriana Barraza, the lady that plays Gus’s mom, she’s such a wonderful lady. She’s such a beautiful person, and to see her in that makeup and then to hear her speak those words to me… to see her completely change, no longer Gus’s mom, just pure evil at that moment… yes, it was really scary and creepy.
Do you think Gus is still trying to atone for being the one that drove The Master into New York and unleashed this without really realizing what he had been set up to do?
Yes, I think that’s what really drives him. I think he feels that he lost his mom, and his brother, and his best friend because of his mistakes, and I think his nature is to be protective of the people he cares about and the people that care about him. So yes, I think that’s what’s driving him, that revenge and that redemption, and I think he has one goal now, and that’s to seek out whoever caused all these things to happen to his family and get revenge on it.
A lot of fans were saddened by the loss of Vaun in the last episode. Gus only knew Vaun for a short amount of time, but do you think he was able to learn anything from that relationship?
Well, I think it’s important to remember that Gus, he’s there against his will. They kidnapped Gus. Gus has no loyalty to these monsters. These are just people that have taken him, and they’re holding him, and they’re basically forcing him into working for them. So, there’s no loyalty to them. He wants to get away as quick as possible. He doesn’t want to be anywhere near these monsters, and especially after seeing what they did to this innocent man, the Ancients, they basically tore him apart.
The good that came from it was that he got some really good training, and I think he’s really equipped now to fight these vampires, and he learned a new way to actually kill them, and he knows how to fight, and he knows how to engage in combat with these monsters. So, yes, he definitely learned the skills. But I think his thing was he needed to get away from them as soon as possible.
It definitely seems like you’ve been given a lot of stunts and action scenes this season. What has the experience been like filming some of those?
I have a lot of fun with the action, getting in there and doing it for real. I try my best not to use any stunt doubles or anything like that, because to me, it just feels more authentic when I do it myself. There’s been a few times where I’ve gotten some bumps and bruises, but I think it’s all worth it, and I think it all shows in the final product.
What do you think it is about The Strain that has turned it into such a fan favorite so quickly?
I think The Strain is not trying just to scare you. There’s a political message, there’s a spiritual message that goes along with the show I think. And even deeper than that, it brings people from different walks of life together, because in order to defeat this thing you need people from different walks of life. Nobody’s more important than anybody else. The billionaire needs the guy from the street, and the guy from the street needs the scientist, and the scientist needs his son.
If you really look at what’s happening – it’s love. Everybody needs to be together as one. I think it’s very important. It’s an incredible message for us as humanity. We need to all be together. Why does it take something like a sickness or an alien attack for us to realize that we’re just one? We’re all one and we all need each other. I think that’s what people connect to. They realize that we need each other. We’re all human beings, and ultimately what’s going to save us is love.
Last year, you went to Comic-Con when the show was just coming out. What was the experience like coming back a year later after the show has become a hit?
Last year, we were explaining what the show was about, and this year fans have come up to me and tell me more things about my character than I knew. They knew more about the character than me, and just them giving us a chance. And certain fans have come up and said, “I really thank you for showing this character and showing him in a different light, and giving him some good things, and some good qualities,” which comes from the writing, which comes from Chuck Hogan, and it comes from Guillermo del Toro also.
But for the fans to see that and connect to that, and hopefully motivate or inspire someone that comes from rough circumstances to try to be the best that you can and not be a victim of your circumstances – to me, that’s the thing that’s really rewarding and inspiring to me in playing a character like that. It’s really an honor.
The Strain airs on Sundays at 10pm, exclusively on FX.