CLARICE: Lucca de Oliveira on Clarice and Esquivel's Bond, Being a New Addition to the Thomas Harris World - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CLARICE: Lucca de Oliveira on Clarice and Esquivel’s Bond, Being a New Addition to the Thomas Harris World

March 4, 2021 by  

Lucca De Oliveira interview

“You Can’t Rule Me” – Following the assassination of a suspect, Clarice and VICAP are investigated by Krendler’s rival at the Bureau, SA Anthony Herman (David Hewlett). When Ardelia is recruited to assist him, it causes friction between the two friends, on CLARICE, March 4 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Pictured Lucca De Oliveira as Tomas Esquivel
Photo: Brooke Palmer ©2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

VICAP is put under the spotlight when a suspect is killed on their watch on the Thursday, March 4 episode of CLARICE.

Struggling with it is Esquivel (Lucca de Oliveira)—who was utilized to help get into the man’s mind—and Clarice (Rebecca Breeds), who has a personal tie to the investigation.

de Oliveira, whose Esquivel is a newbie to the Thomas Harris/SILENCE OF THE LAMBS franchise, talks about Clarice and Esquivel’s newfound bond and getting to dive into the iconic universe.

What initially drew you to the project?
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS—how do you not just drop your jaw at that? To see that they’re bringing it back and looking at this world again—I saw it as a tremendous opportunity. So I jumped at the chance to be a part of this.

On top of this, I’m a huge fan of [executive producers] Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet from what they’ve done in the past. To be able to like work with them and talk to them, it’s been such a dream for me. So there was no way I wasn’t going to take this opportunity if it was given to me.

As you’re in the midst of filming the first season, what has the collaboration process been like? Did they give you a rundown of who your character is and where he’s going from the start or has it been something you discovered weekly as the scripts come in?
It’s been such such a learning process for me. I’m the young buck of the crew right now. I love being a student; I love learning and listening to everybody.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to have as much interaction with the team as I do. We have such a good flow of communication, if I ever need anything I just reach out and ask the questions I have. And we’ve had a lot of conversation about Esquivel, because I had concerns that …because he’s a new character to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, he’s a new character to this world, I wanted to make sure he felt right and true to the story and true to [author] Thomas Harris. Being able to speak with my producer and my showrunner and the writers so freely about the character has been so rewarding and just such an incredible experience. I never thought that I’d really be in this position, but it’s very open; it’s a good good flow of communication.

And the episodes, I normally like to keep myself in a little bit of mystery with the episodes. We get episodes in advance, but I normally wait to read them when we do our virtual table reads, because we all get together and read the episodes, as a cast and team via Zoom. So I normally wait until that day to do the first read, just to kind of keep that element of surprise. And now that we’re coming up on our finale, everything’s a little quiet right now, because they got big plans and we’re really excited for it–but no one knows anything yet, you know. And most of the time, no one really knows much, but we know our characters very well. And we all have such good relationships with our creatives, to where we can really speak freely about how we feel about these characters and how we feel about the words are given.

Given he is new to this universe, what has surprised you the most about your season 1 journey?
I wouldn’t say surprising, I would say more so satisfying: I’d love to see where the characters are going to go and I’d love to see what they have in store. I like never knowing; I like not knowing exactly where he’s gonna go. I find what’s more important for me is where he’s coming from and what his past looks like. I leave it to them to pick and choose like his journey. If I ever have ideas I always relay [them], but there hasn’t been anything yet this season that really kind of caught me off guard. But more so got me really, really excited for the future of the character, and for the future of his relationship with the people that he works with.

On that note, there has been a fascinating relationship developing with Clarice. What has been your biggest priority in establishing that bond?
Working with Rebecca is incredible. We get along so well and it really comes through in our performance. As the season progresses, we’re going to start to see these characters get a little more comfortable with each other. We find that they can really use each other for the better of the case.

There’s an empathy that I think Esquivel brings to the work that he does that Clarice resonates with. And sees that, really, Esquivel isn’t just some cold-hearted killer. He’s actually warm and he’s carrying guilt and he’s complex. He’s always trying to better himself and better understand the world that he lives in. Seeing Clarice be there for him, and seeing Esquivel be there for her, is just so fun and so satisfying to watch.

We’re doing it very slowly and very carefully, because it’s not the type of show where we’re going to see a montage of Clarice and Esquivel out together. But we’re working together, we spend time together we’re going through things together. We have to be honest with one another. And it’s hard to do that when you don’t trust people, let alone a man. To really come in and show her out the gate that I see her, and she can trust me, is really fun to play and I think really opens the character up to so many good things.

She’s had issues with other members of the team. While there have been good moments, as things ebb and flow throughout the season, how will he react to others mistreating her?
I don’t think he likes it at all. In another world, he would be much quicker to silence those that mistreat her very quickly. I think he sees a lot of his family in Clarice. When he looks at her, he sees some of his mother, some of his sister. He’s a Latin man, he’s raised to respect women and support women, in any opportunity he can. And he sees that she’s valuable. She’s really good at what she does. She can contribute tremendously to the team. I think he only wants to work for the greater good, despite what other men in the bureau might think, he is going to go against the grain at all costs to serve the greater good. And if that means befriending Clarice, Ardelia, and Tripathi, the minorities of the Bureau, that’s what he’s gonna do. He’s gonna stick with what he knows. And I think it also opens it up to a great relationship, and a great bonding.

Is there anything else you’re really excited for fans to see?
Well I think it’s just, it’s one of those things where I just want everyone to just turn the lights off and watch it, you know? We have so many beautiful details and so many beautiful stories—these characters are dense. They’re all dealing with so much. We’re going to discover more and more about them throughout the season like we’re really only just scratching the surface with these characters, and the closer we can watch every episode, the more we’re going to care for each and every one of these characters, both the ones that we’re familiar with from the Thomas Harris world, and the ones that are new to this world. Coming at it with a fresh eye, digging deeper into this world that Thomas Harris created, it’s so dense and so beautiful and visceral. And the style of the show is one that is supposed to make you kind of get the chills, supposed to make you feel like you got ants up your leg, and supposed to make you jittery. It’s something really beautiful. Honestly, the episodes just get better and better.

CLARICE, Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS


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