Talking Raphael with Cristian de la Fuente   

Cristian de la Fuente stars as Raphael on IN PLAIN SIGHT, the new series premiering Sunday, June 1, at 10/9c on USA.In Plain Sight is the all new crime drama premiering this Sunday, June 1, on the USA Network at 10/9c. It stars Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon, a U.S. Marshal attached to the highly secretive Federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC). While Mary loves her job, she knows better than anyone that it’s not easy leading a double life—especially since getting shot at on a regular basis is all in a day’s work.

We here at RTVW got to speak to a few of the cast members of the show and the first was Cristian de la Fuente who plays Raphael, Mary’s on-again, off-again boyfriend. Raphael plays baseball for a local minor-league team and volunteers at a youth center and he’s got real feels for Mary. Unfortunately she prefers to think of their relationship as more the kind that involves sex and the occasional favor—or at least but, like everything else in Mary’s life, nothing ever goes as planned and their relationship is no exception.

Here’s what Cristian had to say about the show and his role in it:

Could you start by telling us in your own words what the show is about, what the plot setup is and about your character, Raphael, and your relationship to Mary?

The show is about Mary’s life, a beautiful role played by Mary McCormack. She’s an agent from the Witness Protection Service. The show tells the story of how she deals with her personal life, where nobody knows what she does for a living, and her professional life, where she has to protect a witness every episode. Pretty much, that’s what the show is about.

In the interviews on the USA website, Mary mentions that she really feels a strong connection to her character and feels like she’s a lot like her. How do you feel about your character, are a lot of similarities or not as many?

I think every TV show or every movie it is very important, the casting process. That’s why executives, they don’t create a character, they sign actors that have some connection to the character. I think they did a great job here because Mary really feels like her character, Mary also. In my case, Raphael is pretty much like me. The only difference is I’m an actor; he’s a baseball player. The way we see life, the sense of humor that we have, how we approach relationships and how we approach life is very similar. Plus, Raphael and me, we’re both immigrants in this country and we both have an accent, so it’s really funny.

Raphael and Mary sound like pretty different people and they have pretty different professions. How did they met and how do they get along so far in your experience?

The characters of Mary and Raphael are, as you say, completely opposite. Not only in their jobs, Witness Protection Service and baseball player, but the backgrounds, the ethnicities, the language, the way they approach relationships, everything is completely different. They have this on-and-off relationship where Raphael wants to get really serious. As a good Latino, he wants to have his girlfriend or his wife; he wants a name to the relationship. Mary tries to avoid it because she can’t commit; because of the nature of her job, she can’t really commit to a relationship. Even though we’re completely opposite and completely different, that would prove the rule that opposites attract.

Can you tell us a little about Brandi and how she plays into your role on the show?

Brandi is Mary’s sister. She’s a very troubled girl that doesn’t get along very well with her sister. She has a problem in her life that nobody knows about. Because I start getting close to her, Mary suspects that we’re having an affair, but at the end of the day we’re really trying to help each other and be there for each other as friends.

What drew you to the role of Raphael?

You know, when I read the script and I saw the sense of humor, the way Raphael was written and his personality, it was really appealing to the way I see life. Also, I’m very proud to be a Latino in this country and to play positive role models on television. There are enough drug dealers and killers and thieves played by Latinos. It’s great being able to play a successful baseball player on a television show.

Do you have any favorite parts that you’ve played or favorite roles from the various things that you’ve been doing lately?

Well, I think acting is like life in a way and like relationships, you know? I’m never going to forget my first movie because it was kind of my first love. It’s like your first girlfriend, your first movie or your first big project. That was the movie that I did with Stallone, Driven.

Then, as life also, then your favorite one is your last one because it’s the one that you have more recently done and the one that you were able to put everything that you learned in life to play. My favorite will be Driven because it my first and then In Plain Sight now because I’m very happy that I was able to be part of this show.

How different is this character from other characters that you’ve played?

Well, this character has something very special that is very different from other characters. I think here is where David Maples, who is the Writer and Executive Producer of the show, did a really great job and took a chance that I’m always going to be thankful for. Many times, in roles that I’ve played, the character is already written and then I have to play that character. Here, this character, started with an idea that David had in mind and then he started writing the character with my personality. I didn’t have to hide my accent, I didn’t have to change my sense of humor, I didn’t have to change anything. The character has a lot to do with myself.

I was very happy that I didn’t have to fight my accent or the fact that English is not my first language. He was able to introduce that in the show, and be part of my character. Sometimes I get misunderstood and Mary doesn’t understand me or I try to say something and it comes across the wrong way, which are things that happen to me in real life. I’m very happy that happens also to my character.

How different is it working on a comedy, like Ugly Betty, versus more the drama-driven shows you’ve done in the past?

I’ve tried to always put a little comedy in drama. The good thing about Ugly Betty is it was 100% comedy. I had a lot of fun. I think I have a way of looking at life that is with a sense of humor. Even the worst things in life, always when you look at them, after weeks or months, there is some humor in them. It was always good to do comedy. That’s why I really like, also, In Plain Sight because even though it’s a drama, it has a lot of humor in it.

Don’t forget to check out In Plain Sight Sunday, June 1, at 10/9c on USA!

2 Responses to “Talking Raphael with Cristian de la Fuente”

  1. 1

    [...] now on to our next Q&A! Since we started with Mary’s “partner” away from work, I figured we should move on to her partner at work, Marshall Mann played by Fred Weller. Marshall [...]

  2. 2

    [...] Cristian de la Fuente – He plays Mary McCormack’s sometimes boyfriend on USA’s In Plain Sight. RTVW has an interview with him about why he took the role, some other recent projects and more. In Plain Sight debuts tomorrow, June 1st on USA. [...]