Andy Garcia's daughter, Dominik, shines with her own "Magic"
Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars as Ike Evans, the owner of the newest and finest hotel, the Miramar Playa, who had to basically sell his soul to terrifying mobster "The Butcher" Diamond (John Huston) to achieve his long-time dream.
Co-starring in 'Magic City' are former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, as Vera, Ike's second wife and former Havana Tropicana showgirl and Christian Cooke as Danny, Ike's younger son and law school student. Dominik Garcia-Lorido plays Mercedes Lazaro, long-time friend of the Evans family who takes the job as part-time housekeeper, as her relationship with Danny evolves into something more. Yet, she has dreams of her own and her own mother is caught in the chaos of Fidel Castro's revolution.
'Magic City' has already been green-lighted a 10-episode second season run, showing confidence on the talent and quality of the show, and we spoke with Dominik about this week's series premiere.
What attracted you the most about your character, Mercedes?
I liked how modern Mercedes was for her time. She's a young 21-year-old girl who grew up in Miami Beach, when most girls her age would be settling down, getting married and having kids. This girl wants to travel the world, she wants to be a PanAm stewardess. She doesn't want to be defined by a man, she wants to live an independent life. I really like that about her. But then she gets caught off guard by love, so her story deals with falling in love and how she deals with that, when she has her own plans.
Can you share a bit more about that romance?
I don't know how much I'm allowed to give away, but in the first episode, you meet Danny [played by Christian Cooke] and Mercedes when he's asking her to be his date to New Year's - the pilot takes place in 1959 New Year's Eve. And since they grew up together, it deals with how it's weird to cross that friendship barrier. And now they're starting to look at each other differently, so it's a matter of: 'Are we going to ruin this relationship by doing that or not?' But it's undeniable that there's something going on with them.
Do you get to interact with the entire cast troughout the season?
I have a couple of scenes with Olga Kurylenko. A couple more with Yul Vazquez, who plays my dad, but not as many. There are a lot of group scenes, when they're all there and they interact with each other saying one or two lines, but most of my scenes are with Christian Cooke, Danny; it's like 90% of my work on the show. It's all about their relationship.
It must be fun to relive all that era in Miami Beach with the designs and costumes...
Oh yeah! Although there's nothing like really Cuban-influenced in our costumes, and it's Miami pre-Revolution, before the Cuban invasion - that hasn't happened yet. Our family in the show has been living in Miami Beach in the 40s and 50s, pre-Revolution, which you never really see. We always see everything through the perspective of Cubans living in Miami. Having said that, our family in the show has other relatives in Cuba and we start the story with my mom away visiting her relatives in Cuba. They would do that all the time, so it's a kind of a different thing. She also grew up with this Jewish family, so she's always been surrounded by a lot of Americans, so we don't use any accents. Every Cuban I know in real life speaks English with an American accent and then we speak Spanish normally, and that was something [writer and creator] Mitch Glazer wanted as well for the show.
Tell me more about your Latin roots. What do you like about being Latina?
I don't communicate in Spanish with my family, we all speak English with each other. I grew up in L.A. with a lot of American friends, but in my household there is always Cuban music playing. I've always known my history very, very well. It was always taught to me and my dad has always been very involved with that. He's produced a lot of Cuban music and he's been in a Cuban jazz band, so I was always very exposed to the music, and the culture, and the food, and it's a huge, huge part of me, even though I grew up in L.A. with no Cuban friends around me in school, for example. In Miami all my friends are Latin or Cuban, and my cousins and grandparents are there. I think if I lived there and I was communicating with them in Spanish on a daily basis, my Spanish would be really much better, since you use it a lot more in Miami. In my daily life in L.A. I never get to use it, so I've lost a lot of it, unfortunately. But if I'm in a Spanish-speaking country, it kind of gets back to me.
Did you always know you wanted to follow your dad's steps and be involved in entertainment?
It was always a huge part of our lives and I'm lucky it was something already there for me. I know that when someone tries to start an artistry route, it can sometimes worry your parents. "Can you make a career out of this? Will you be OK?" I know friends of mine who are also actors that had to deal with that, but being second-generation there's a little bit more faith with my parents, that this is a legit path you can pursue. You can pursue acting, singing, painting, dancing... Just as long as you love what you do, and it makes you happy and you work hard at it... It wasn't going to come easy because you gotta work hard at your craft, but I love that I grew up in an artistic household because it's a huge part of who I am, being exposed to all of that. And I have such love and appreciation for the arts because of both of my parents.
How would you invite all the Latino audience to see the show?
I think that it shows Cubans in a very classy and honest way. This is an upper-class Cuban family, pre-Revolution in Miami Beach, which I've never seen before in TV. The first episode takes place in New Year's Eve 1958-1959 and you see how the revolution affects the Lázaro family, and as the show progresses and specially during season 2, that's really gonna evolve: how the Revolution affects the family and Miami. You already see how it's financially affecting it, with people having investments in Casinos and stuff like that down there and how a lot of them lost money by giving it to Castro in Cuba. It doesn't go as deep in the first season as I think it might on the second, because of the timeline. It all starts in 1960 and I think that will be very interesting.
'MAGIC CITY' PREMIERES ON THE STARZ NETWORK THIS FRIDAY, APRIL THE 6TH.
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