Lifetime’s telenovela-style hit series Devious Maids, from executive producers Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria, returns June 1 in a brand new time slot on Monday nights. Season 3 will feature a handful of familiar faces in intriguing new Devious roles including Naya Rivera (Glee), John O’Hurley (General Hospital) and — amping up the show’s already sky-high heat factor — Nathan Owens (Days of Our Lives) and Chilean hunk Cristián de la Fuente.
While it’s been long rumored that de la Fuente’s character will be Rosie’s long-lost first husband Ernesto, he couldn’t confirm the rumors. However he did express his excitement at being cast on Devious, because “first of all, because it’s a show about Latinas, it talks about our culture and our sense of humor and our story, so that’s great. Second of all, I’m working with a great cast.”
While de la Fuente couldn’t confirm any juicy details about how and when he’ll make his first appearance, he was still able to talk with us about what this gig means to him, what it’s like being the newcomer on the set and why so many fans are proud members of the Devious Army.
Channel Guide Magazine: If you’re playing the guy the rumor mill says you’re playing, your character has a very mysterious back story. Is there any way you can tell me more about that?
Cristián de la Fuente: I don’t want them to kill me — literally — because, you know, a lot of people die in Devious Maids and I don’t want to be the next one. What I know for sure is that this season has a lot of twists. I watched both previous seasons and this one is just to the next level. This is the evolution of everybody. The cast has been working together for two seasons and the writers know the characters, so it’s just like everything that comes in Version 3.0. It’s better. I’m sure people are going to enjoy it more.
CGM: You’ve been working on Spanish-language telenovelas for a long time now. Can you talk a bit about what this show and shows like Jane the Virgin have done to bring this incredibly entertaining style of storytelling to American prime time?
CF: I think novelas in the Spanish market — and not only in the Spanish market, because a novela that you shoot in Mexico airs here in the states on Univision and then it airs all over the world in more than 52 countries — they’re a phenomenon out there and people like them. They enjoy them for a reason. That’s why they’re popular. I think that translated to English in Devious Maids. It’s not an exactly similar style but it has the flavor of it — and having that Latino flavor on American TV, I think that’s great.
CGM: You mentioned a particularly Latin type of humor. And these characters are maids — a Latina stereotype. But this isn’t just a Latina/Latino story. Why do you think so many people who aren’t part of this heritage relate to this story?
CF: They can relate because at the end of the day, the story of them being maids is the scenario just to launch the story. You don’t need to be in a different century to relate to the Cinderella story or to be a princess to relate to Cinderella. It’s a story base and they put in scenarios and they create characters — but at the end of the day, you’re telling stories about human beings. People love Cinderella, and not everybody’s a princess, but they relate to falling in love. They relate to having the dream of being the princess or the princess’ relative. Everybody has their own princess story and this show happens to be the same.
You have maids because that’s the scenario that they chose to make this show work, but at the end of the day, you have one maid that wants to be a star. There’s a lot of people that want to be a star. There’s a lot of people that want to be like Carmen Luna. There is another maid that her family’s important, that is falling in love for the second time after having her marriage end. A lot of people go through that. There’s another one that was a widow and then she suffers and then she wants to be in love. A lot of people go through that.
They can relate maybe not because they’re maids, but they relate to the human stories that are between the characters.
CGM: On a show like Jane the Virgin, the characters speak a lot of Spanish for an American prime time show. Will your character or any of the others be bringing more Spanish to the show this season?
CF: Yes! This season they’re bringing in a lot more Spanish. There’s a lot of characters that they always have [speaking] Spanish, especially Roselyn’s and Dania’s, and my character’s going to do that, too. For sure, because I speak a lot in Spanish with other characters, and I think that’s the state of America today. One out of seven people living in America is Latino, so I think that’s a reality that has to be portrayed on television.
What is the environment like on set?
It’s great. It’s a lot of fun. I just go to work and have fun, and it’s a great environment. The girls are good friends among each other and that helps. If we had three girls fighting for who’s the biggest diva, then it would be horrible — but you have girls that are all friends and they’re nice to each other. They’re have one mission: Make the best show that they can make and just entertain people.
CGM: What was it like to be a newcomer on the set with such a tight-knit group? Did you have an instant bond with anybody in particular?
CF: I worked with Roselyn before, so I knew her a lot. I know Gilles Marini also, and knowing those two helped me get to know the other ones. I worked with Ana Ortiz in Ugly Betty. So I wasn’t a complete stranger, and I think that also helps to break the ice. At the end of the day, you spend so many hours together that you will start building relationships regardless.
CGM: What has been the best part of playing your character, and have you been able to take something away from playing this role?
CF: The complexity of the character, like all the layers that he has that it’s sad that I cannot tell them, but people are going to be able to understand me when they watch the show. He has secrets. He has stories behind the stories and that’s great. He’s a complex personality and that’s way more interesting than just to play the straight guy!
Devious Maids returns Monday, June 1 at 9/8CT on Lifetime.
Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney