Josh McKenzie and Rohan Mirchandaney, who star as Lucas and Scott on La Brea, discussed Tuesday night’s newest episode.
In particular, the duo were on hand to discuss an emotional moment taking place in the fifth episode of the second season, “The Heist.” Their characters have an important role to play. But more importantly, it’s a bigger moment for Scott as we get to learn more about why he has so much anxiety. I’m curious to see how tonight’s episode will impact his character going forward.
The second season of La Brea is currently airing on NBC. All episodes are available to stream the next day on Peacock.
It’s so nice to meet you.
Rohan Mirchandaney: Yeah, likewise.
Josh McKenzie: How are you doing?
Rohan Mirchandaney: Nice to meet you, Danielle.
I’m doing well. I’m just patiently waiting for the next episode of La Brea to hit the screener app. (Note: I was referring to 2×06, not 2×05, which just aired tonight!)
Rohan Mirchandaney: I feel you. This next episode is my favorite so far.
Josh McKenzie: Same here, absolutely.
That was just a phenomenal episode when it comes to Scott’s character growth.
Rohan Mirchandaney: Episode Five?
Rohan Mirchandaney: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. We found out a lot more about Scott’s past, why he is the way he is, explains a bit more about his characteristics. It was really fun playing around with that and learning about Scott in that way. I’m sure the audience will really get around it.
Yeah, I mean, La Brea has become one of those series where I can’t wait to watch the next episode. Is it the same on your end when it comes to receiving the newest script?
Josh McKenzie: Yeah. We hound the showrunner and the producers for scripts. I’m ringing up David Applebaum trying to get spoilers for the next episodes are here just so I can prepare myself. Because honestly, whatever can happen, will happen. They’ll just throw it at you, which I think is what makes it one of the more exciting shows on TV at the moment. They don’t worry about exhausting plot points. There’s no drawn out storyline. They just kind of throw things at you. So that’s it, yeah. It’s very exciting when we get a new script.
Rohan Mirchandaney: They do a really good job at leaving each episode on a really powerful cliffhanger and really (inaudible) a bit.
Yeah, I know. I just watched episode five last night. I need the next episode to get here. What’s in that tower?!?
Josh McKenzie: Yeah. With the doors? Oh, it’s great.
I feel like streaming has screwed me so much with that whole binge model as broadcast is still week by week.
Josh McKenzie: Yeah, absolutely. But it also makes it kind of exciting. It makes you appreciate it when the episodes come out, which is another thing that we have going for us, which is nice, kind of more traditional TV storytelling.
Rohan Mirchandaney: Yeah, it allows the episodes to breathe a bit more and give people opportunity to have a discussion and have some theories.
Josh McKenzie: Yeah, I love the theories when people are throwing out theories between episodes. The amount of stuff that comes out on Reddit and Twitter that you kind of bump into when you’re doomscrolling is always quite interesting.
How did you respond when you first found out about the series?
Rohan Mirchandaney: When found out that I got the series, I was over the moon. I knew that it would be really difficult for a lot of my friends to accept but I was absolutely elated. I’ve been wanting this for a long time. I found myself really connected to this character—even back in 2020, when they cast it originally and they started shooting in Canada. But yeah, I was so happy. I auditioned for this with my brother, actually. I sent in a self-tape. My younger brother was reading the role of Riley and to book it through that was just so funny. If you knew my brother, you just know how funny that is. But it was a dream. It was a dream come true.
Josh McKenzie: It’s nice—all of the actors on this show have their own kind of unconventional story about booking this job. I mean, the job itself is so unconventional. We’re shooting in the middle of Australia so far from everyone’s home. I’m from New Zealand so I’ve come back to Melbourne where I was shooting another TV series before this, which was awesome to come back after Covid, after all of this year that we have in 2020. Everyone has this unconventional story for this unconventional production and this completely unconventional TV series, which is really cool. I mean, for me, it was—I’ve been working in New Zealand and Australia for the last 15 years just grinding away kind of underground. And then this came along and I did about eight different castings because I think they cast the net pretty wide for Lucas. I was doing this in my mom’s bedroom. I’d just come back from Melbourne and living in lockdown for six months, basically, over here and out of my mom’s bedroom because it had the best lighting. I kept getting told off because there was her calendar in the background and stuff like that, and it was distracting. I had to move a bed out of the way. I had to do that eight times over the course of a month and a half, basically auditioning to a little box and a zoom screen with 13 different people on the stream and I can see myself as I’m acting out these scenes—it was crazy. But to get it after that long period was something I’ll never forget. It’s one of those moments where it just feels like this massive weight is lifted off and you’re like, far out, man, it was all worth it.
Do you have any input with the writers when it comes to your character arcs?
Josh McKenzie: In terms of the macro arc, not a hell of a lot. I mean, this series keeps you guessing. I kind of leave that up. (Laughs) They know what they’re doing with that. But when it comes to kind of the smaller details, in the first season, I found David Applebaum, the showrunner, extremely approachable and so collaborative, especially with a character like Lucas, who kind of was somewhat of an afterthought, the son of Marybeth, who comes in to shake things up. David and the other executive producers and directors and I struck up a really good relationship. When it came to kind of me looking for that emotional journey of the character and trying to keep integrity and character in a show that has so many characters in such a big plot, you can kind of get lost—having that relationship was amazing. We’d be kind of discussing scenes and I’d be like, what if we say this instead of that and this massive network show was responding and being like, yeah, and then the next day, you get a rewrite and it’s in the script, what you said. You’re like, far out, I wrote that line. You know what I mean? It’s the little moments like that. So for me, it’s been very collaborative.
Rohan Mirchandaney: Making Scott Australian was something that came about through the casting of myself. We were able to kind of make a couple of cultural changes and some ideas that I had about—as an Australian, probably wouldn’t play them this way so we kind of made some adjustments on that as well. And yeah, it’s been fun.
La Brea airs Tuesday at 9 PM ET on NBC.
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