USA’s new series Queen of the South premires tonight at 10/9c. It’s based on the best-selling novel “La Reina Del Sur”. While at ATX we spoke with star Jon-Michael Ecker who is best known for his roles on Popland!, Gossip Girl: Acapulco, Cantinflas, Major Crimes and Narcos. Read our interview below where we discuss his role, the La Reina del Sur series and his favorite podcasts!
Can you tell us a little bit about your role as Guero on Queen of the South?
I play the love interest of Teresa Mendoza played by Alice Braga. I’m a drug trafficker who falls in love with her. We fall in love, we make sacrifices and that kind of gets the whole ball rolling, the whole story going. We’re basically the love story happening in the middle of all this drug violence.
That is awesome. Have you read the book?
I did. I’m a fan of the book.
Did you originally audition for this role? Or did you come in for another part?
I did come in for this role. I hadn’t read the book when I auditioned. I just moved to LA, but I lived in Mexico when the original series was on Telemundo. I have a bunch of friends on the series so I knew of the story. I thought it was kind of funny because I was really good friends with the guy (Rafael Amaya) who played my role on the Spanish version. (laughs). It was kind of funny because I don’t really see a lot of similarities between me and him, but I hadn’t read the book. After I did the audition process I ended up reading the book.
Has he helped you prepare for this role at all?
No. I mean I didn’t really ask and I haven’t seen the original version. We just think it’s funny that we ended up doing the same role. It’s a small world. (laughs).
Do you have a favorite scene that you’re excited for fans to see?
You know I don’t. I mean, I have scenes that I liked when I read it but I haven’t seen the pilot so I don’t know how everything turned out in the end. ATX was our third time screening it for people and I’ve never actually stayed to watch it. I enjoy finding the bar, hiding out, and showing up for the Q&A afterwards. (laughs).
So are you one of those actors who doesn’t enjoy watching yourself on the screen?
No. (laughs). Especially in a theater full of people. I’m from San Marcos, Texas so I had friends come and I didn’t want to be sitting there next to them while they watched.
Are you a big TV watcher?
I am, but I have, like a lot of young people, I have my Apple TV. I like to binge. I like to watch my show until I finish it and then start the next show so I don’t really know what is on the air. (laughs). I just know what I’m watching at the moment.
What have you been binging recently?
Well, obviously I’m keeping up with Game of Thrones. I’m finishing up Vinyl so I can watch the second season of Bloodline. I was a really big fan of the first season of Bloodline.
I watch more TV than movies. I don’t know if that is the best thing to say but it’s the way it is.
Our site is called Talk Nerdy With Us. So what do you talk nerd out about or what makes you a nerd?
I’m not a nerd in the sense that I’m not as articulate as I’d like to be, but I love listening to StarTalk by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I really enjoy the Astrophysics stuff. I can’t relay it. I can’t repeat it. I love listening to the podcasts on it and it makes me feel smart, but as soon as I start talking about it I’m like ‘no. That’s not right.’
Do you have a favorite podcast?
The one I listen to every day is Democracy Now for News. Like I said I love Star Talk. Six months ago was when I got into the whole podcast thing. It is kind of intimidating, the amount of them that are out there. I’m afraid to go searching for more stuff because I’m going to end up liking it all. (laughs).
Have you heard Serial yet?
No, but I’ve heard it’s really good so I’ve been avoiding listening to it because then my whole day would be gone. I’m also a big music fan and I’ve listened to a third of the amount of music I used to because I’m listening to podcasts.
Who are your favorite artists or musicians?
(laughs). Damn that’s hard. It changes every day. I’m a big Led Zepplin fan and the classic rock stuff. It depends on my mood. Whether I’m at the gym or at home. It just depends, I like a little bit of everything.