THE BRIDGE - "Yankee" - Episode 1 (Airs, Wednesday, July 9, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: Demian Bechir as Marco Ruiz. CR: Byron Cohen/FX Network

Munya Vomo

FANS OF The Bridge must be excited that the second season is now upon us. We know for sure that the first season took us by surprise because we hadn’t anticipated that it would be that successful.

The fact that the show was an adaptation of a Swedish series with the same name made it easy to speculate that it would fail. It’s like some of those Law & Order spin-offs that no one cares about, they do not make it because everyone is hung up on the original stuff.

This is what Demián Bichir (pictured) had in mind when he signed onto the show as a lead character. For the show to be a hit sensation, Bichir tried as much as possible not to watch the original show so that he could inject a fresh feel into his character.

“I didn’t want to see it at all because I didn’t want to bring anything from that show into my character. Being such different geographies, it changes everything, especially because I heard such good things about the show I just didn’t want to see any of it,” said Bichir.

“I will, after we’re done here, after season 18, I will take a look at it,” he said.

While that abstinence worked for him on the first season, with Bichir offering an amazing portrayal as homicide detective Detective Marco Ruiz, he still feels there is more that could be done to help him have better delivery.

“TV, unlike movies, is more drastic because we don’t get to see the episodes until they write them. We know some kind of an arc to the stories and the characters but otherwise we don’t know anything, so everything is fresh every week and that’s a big challenge. I like to see what’s going to happen in advance so I can prepare and know exactly where to go,” he pointed out.

So with no idea of what the original show was like and no idea of the direction in which the general script is going, Bichir surprisingly still gets it right by giving a memorable performance.

“It’s almost like a kamikaze style way of working and doing drama, but it’s okay because we adapt. It makes the whole thing even more exciting. There’s a certain vertigo to it when you don’t know what’s going to happen. Many times scripts keep changing and scenes keep changing and evolving and dialogues change constantly even when we are doing it. And that’s good. It keeps you alert,” said the thespian.

The Bridge is set on the US/Mexican border where law agents of both countries team up to hunt down a serial killer on the loose. Bichir stars alongside Diane Kruger who plays US detective Sonya Cross. The cast and crew have had to depend on Bichir when it comes to authenticity and the actor explained why.

“Well, I’m Mexican. That’s one thing I know. Spanish is my first language and I also know the accents,” he said.

He also helps with other things other than the language just to help the crew get a correct feel for the Mexican way of life.

“In Hollywood, if it’s Mexican it has to be filthy and really bad and really ugly and maybe a rat walking by, that’s too much. So we are careful not to fall into those clichés and stereotypes. We try to make it real as much as we can,” he explained.

With all the improvements that come with his help, Bichir felt that season two was something worth looking out for.

“We want to think it’s better. We want to think that it’s going in a better direction, in every aspect. I think it’s darker, the drama is deeper, that’s what I feel,” he said.

Having Mexican origins, The Bridge cuts very close to Bichir’s home and draws on similarities from real life.

“The funny thing about Mexico is that the darker side of society is the politicians and the rich. Cartels, organised crime, poverty, all that exists because these guys haven’t been able to do a decent job at commanding this ship that we call Mexico. Corruption and impunity has been killing our country for generations,” he explained.

The Bridge, Sunday on Fox Crime (DStv channel 126) at 9.25pm.