THE ROOKIE: Jon Huertas Breaks Down the Fun Challenges of Directing 'Crossfire' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE ROOKIE: Jon Huertas Breaks Down the Fun Challenges of Directing ‘Crossfire’

November 8, 2022 by  

The Rookie Crossfire

Credit: Diana Ragland

Though Jon Huertas had a couple of episodic directing credits under his belt, when he stepped behind the camera for the Sunday, November 6 episode of THE ROOKIE, he had a new-to-him hurdle to deal with—the constant location shoots.

“We were on location six of [the nine] days [of filming],” he recalls to Give Me My Remote. “You usually have this studio that you live at, these stages that have all of your equipment in it and everything is already built and set. When you go on location, you have an art department that has to change whatever location you’re in to make it look and feel like what you’re trying to film. If you’re shooting in someone’s house, you’re moving all of their stuff out of the house and moving all of your stuff in [and then reversing the process].”

“For me, that was more stress of thinking about the homeowner, our crew that’s working so hard to get it done, are there enough hours in the day, are they getting enough rest?” he continues. “I’m the director, so that’s the only thing that might tug at me a little bit. Other than that, though, I think this went better than than I could have ever expected.”

Huertas was able to sprinkle a little of himself into the episode, adding his own “sensibility” to the hour. “What I was able to do was always bringing a little bit of levity to a stressful moment,” he notes. “In a lot of the scenes between Nolan and Bailey’s characters, with how she feels about living in his house, that was definitely something that I put a lot of my sensibility on.”

He also suggested a couple of guest stars—Jacqueline Obradors and Brianna Brown—for the episode, knowing “they’re just really super talented actresses and they were going to make me look good as a director.”

“You always hire people that are smarter than you, more talented than you,” he says. “And then you look like the talented, smart one.”

The Rookie crossfire

Credit: Screenshot/ABC

As for the episode itself, Huertas points to Lucy (Melissa O’Neil) embedding herself in the undercover world as a memorable sequence to film. “It was a very big scene, with a lot of moving parts on location,” he recalls. “And, of course, I want to play with toys, so we have drones and I’m super action-oriented, if you remember from CASTLE—I was always the guy kicking in doors. So we’ve got a fight scene in there. We’ve got a car stunt. We’ve got all these moving parts, and only have one day to shoot this thing.”

“So it was just—mechanically and logistically—going to be a monster,” he continues. “But the cast, including our amazing guest cast, they came ready, prepared, open to ideas. As a team, the crew was just tremendous. I mean, what they have to do to move everything into this little pocket of Los Angeles to kind of set up this giant kind of set piece. We were running out of time at the end of the day, people just gave so much. In the end, I think that scene turned out amazing. Intense, intention filled, fun. But it was a beast.”

Helping facilitate things? Huertas’ easy collaboration with “Crossfire” writer Glen Mazzara.

“Glen was an amazing partner on this show,” Huertas gushes. “First of all, his script was so good. And, luckily, I worked with Glen years ago on THE SHIELD—he had written the episode where I was introduced, so we have a tiny bit of history; but it’s been a long time.”

“But even that small little bit of history creates this camaraderie,” he continues. “I think you’ll get through any discussions and problems much faster as a team, problem-solving. He’s a fantastic writer. What’s beautiful about him is his way of collaborating. He really lets the director direct, and he’s really there when the director needs him. And if I had ideas, he was just so open to hearing them. Sometimes certain writers on other shows, they might say, ‘No, I wrote it this way. We’re gonna do it this way, even if it’s not 100 percent working.’ Because you have gotten approval from a network, from a studio, and you don’t want to buck the system if you’re a writer. But Glen is like, ‘Hey, man, I want this to be the best thing on screen. So whatever we need to do to make it work, let’s do it.'”

The duo hit it off so much, they’re already looking for more things to work on together—including possibly another episode of THE ROOKIE.

THE ROOKIE, Sundays, 10/9c, ABC


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