The character of Johnny Tuturro on “Graceland” has come a long way since audiences first met him in season one. Manny Montana, the actor who plays the fun-loving agent on the USA Network series says, “he is becoming a man but he still has a lot more growing up to do.”
Xfinity Latino caught up with the California native to talk about the evolution of his character, how Johnny is gaining respect from his fellow agents, and the season finale set to air on September 10th at 10pm.
It’s been a different journey for Johnny in season two after taking on the Solano case. How has he evolved since the series began?
“I loved him first season, with all the laughing and joking and how he liked to keep things light. He would try to get everyone in the house involved while keeping cool. I like how he has evolved and now he’s doing his own casework. He’s been in the middle of some crazy shit this season!
No matter how much he changes, I always want Johnny to have heart and for the audience to relate to him in that way.”
Do you feel that Johnny has grown as an agent as well?
“Most definitely it’s helped him grow as an agent. I mean, he has to because his back is against the wall. I don’t think even he knew he could make it out of these situations and he’s doing it well. I’m proud of that. I love how the writers are writing for him this season. It’s still Johnny and it’s fun to see a character like him who is always laughing and joking now with his back against the wall. It’s like a coming-of-age story—- a kid who grew up on the streets and now he has to become a man.”
“It’s all going to come full circle. He’s still in the middle of his casework out there in Mexico right now but he’s going to be coming home soon. The audience is going to think that he’s kind of going to resolve the case but it’s just going to get worse.”
After speaking to Jamie Gray Hyder who plays your love interest Lucia, we’ve lost hope that they’ll have a happy ending. What can you tell us about Johnny and Lucia?
“I don’t think things are going to go the way the audience thinks it’s going to go. Even though I had a say as to how I wanted it to go, the writers had a different idea. I really liked their idea better. Without giving away too much, a lot is going to get resolved during the finale but it may carry over into the new season.”
Can Johnny protect Lucia without blowing the case?
“He can’t. Johnny is just getting deeper and deeper and he thinks he can balance it all but he’s not Briggs (Daniel Sunjata) or Mike (Aaron Tveit). He’s trying to be like them, but it’s all going to blow up in his face in one way or another. I really can’t give away too much from the finale, just know there can’t really be a happily ever after.”
Will the finale give us a resolution or will there be a cliffhanger?
“It’s funny because it will be both a cliffhanger and you’ll get some resolution. Gosh, you’re asking all these great questions but I really can’t tell you more. A lot is going to get resolved, some things are not and it’ll carry over into next season. Some people are going to come back, some people aren’t.”
There’s been a lot of shady things going on with all the agents in Graceland.
“Yeah and it all comes to a head at the end, and the audience is going to be blown away. I’m not sure if they’re going to do the finale as a two part or a “to be continued” but it’s going to be a great finale.”
Your mom made a guest appearance on the show recently. Is she wanting to become an actor now as well?
“Yeah right! [laughs] It was cool. I got to fly her out and it kind of worked out that on that day [of shooting] we had that family dinner scene. Dolly, the makeup artist on set, asked me why don’t I have my mom be in the scene? We all kind of looked at each other and laughed and I said, ‘Yeah, why don’t we?’ So we snuck her right in and she was great! She got to see the mundaneness of the business. How one scene could take all day to shoot. But she loved it. She hung in there like a trooper. She had fun getting her makeup done and going through wardrobe.”
“No one prints pictures anymore, but the photos we got from that day I’m going to have framed. It was the highlight of my career. My father also came out to the set a few weeks before her. He got to sit in video village to watch us do our takes. So he also now understand how long it takes to shoot everything and how mundane it can be but he likes it. I actually think he could have done well in the business as a crew member.”
It’s never to late!
“Yeah, that’s what I told him too.”
You’re going from playing an agent to being a criminal in the film, “Blackhat.” What can you share about your role?
“Yeah, you know it’s a small part but I’m still excited about it. I don’t want the audience to assume that I’m going to play a major part in this movie. But when Michael Mann comes knocking, you don’t turn him down. So I was willing to do whatever just so that I could have a part in the movie. I’m curious to see what the final cut looks like because I haven’t seen it myself.”
The script for the film has been kept pretty hush hush so not much is known about it. Are you playing a criminal?
“Yeah I am playing a criminal.”
Is that all you can say about it?
“Yeah. That’s pretty much it. [laughs]”
Tune in tonight for an all new episode of “Graceland” at 10pm on USA Network. Below, you can catch up on last weeks episode entitled, “The Head of the Pig.”