Interview: Mark Consuelos

From the interview archives.

You’ll be joining Riverdale as Hiram Lodge who, up until this point, has been working through his prison sentence. Is it intimidating playing such a highly anticipated and important character that was talked about so much in Season 1 but never seen?

Intimidating, no. Exciting, yes. Although you didn’t see Hiram, he was very much present in season one.  I have never had a character teed up so perfectly for me. I definitely like what they’ve given me so far, and I hope the fans will feel the same way.

Is Hiram feeling any remorse for what he’s done to himself and his family?

It depends. I’m not sure that sociopaths feel remorse. 

We’ve seen on Instagram that you’ve spent a lot of time working out with the cast. What has that been like, and what else have you done to prepare for this role?

I’ve worked out next to the cast. We never worked out together, just took a picture… like a better before and after photo. As far as preparation, the writing has been so good, along with the production design of my office and my wardrobe, it’s been a seamless transition.

When you were cast on the show, it was up in the air if you would be able to join the cast as you also had Pitch and The Night Shift at the same time. How did it feel when even though Pitch was cancelled, it allowed you to join the show?

It was bitter sweet. I really enjoyed my time on Pitch. I’ve been lucky to work with some really great people the last few years. Pitch was a continuation of that. Although I was fortunate to have jobs lined up after Pitch I still have a soft spot in my heart for that show and that character.

On that note, between filming in Albuquerque, Vancouver, LA and your family living in New York, what has it been like to juggle each of these projects?

I feel like I’ve been doing that for the past 2-3 years and sometimes you have to refocus on exactly which character you’re playing. It just means you have to concentrate more and remember that each project deserves its own discipline and focus.  Plane rides are really good for that refocus and I’ve had a lot of those. I realize that when I wrap Riverdale that I’ve been working consistently for 15 months straight.

Your recent roles have included a US Senator on Alpha House, a professional sports General Manager on Pitch, a doctor on The Night Shift, and now a powerful businessman on Riverdale. As a Latino actor, how does it feel to play these types of elevated characters that are not the stereotypical ones often written for Latinos?

Regardless if they’re Latino or white, these characters I’ve been playing have been tremendous for me.  Full fleshed out characters with great writing. I’ve realized that the Latino roles I’m playing are elevated and it makes me proud that I can represent Latinos in those positions, because they exist in real life.

A recent episode of The Night Shift where you play Cain Diaz was written, directed and performed by veterans. Do you feel this production choice enhanced the episode? Why was it important for the show to experiment this way?

It’s a show about veterans who have come home from service. And the EPs Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah put their money where their mouth is. They felt it an obligation to have veterans who have served be part of our crew, cast, writers… everything. They were smart by doing that because I think it lends a certain authenticity to the fabric of the show.

What was it like to have to learn all of the proper medical terms and lingo you had to use on The Night Shift? Did you ever actually know what you were saying? 

I learned it for the day and, like a physics exam I took in high school, I forgot it the next minute. They had great technical advisors that walked us through it to make sure we were as authentic as possible. I’m pretty sure I can deliver a baby now.

In the season finale of The Night Shift, your character splits town really abruptly. Was there a reason for this, and do you think it’s possible Cain might come back in another season?

They shot two endings. One where I didn’t live, and one where I did. They ran the one where I did so fingers crossed. I’d love to come back.

In addition to acting, is there anything else you are working on?

We have a very busy production company called Milojo that’s now in its 10th year. We have a script in development at ABC, a new show at HGTV, and several other projects across scripted, non-scripted and digital.

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