FIRE COUNTRY's Kevin Alejandro and Stephanie Arcila Preview 'Like Breathing Again' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FIRE COUNTRY’s Kevin Alejandro and Stephanie Arcila Preview ‘Like Breathing Again’

February 23, 2024 by  

FIRE COUNTRY Like Breathing Again

Alejandro directing “Like Breathing Again.” Credit: CBS

The Station 42 crew attempts a risky cave rescue on the Friday, February 23 episode of FIRE COUNTRY, with a familiar face behind the camera helming the hour: series star Kevin Alejandro.

“It was so damn hard,” Alejandro, who plays Manny, tells Give Me My Remote with a laugh, of contending with the hour’s challenges. “I thought the bridge puzzle [in season 1’s ‘Bad Guy’] was complicated, but this one was a lot more complicated. Everyone’s coming from all different directions. We had elements of rain and snow and wind and mud and slipping and falling—all of these things that we didn’t really have to act that much because we were all really going through it.”

One perk during his second time behind the camera at FIRE COUNTRY? “My wife, [Leslie,] who’s also my business partner through our production company Alejandro Films, she actually was approved to shadow me on this episode,” he reveals. “Leslie and I are a team. We direct together, we do our projects together, we develop together; we’re a genuine partnership. And having her there as my shadow wasn’t like having a shadow—it was like having my partner there.”

“We run ideas against each other, so we got to do a lot,” he continues. “A lot of what you’re gonna see on-screen is not just me, it’s a collaboration of all of our filmmakers, but also through the advice of my wife…She’s connected to our show as well. She’s seen every episode, shadowed other directors; I’m hoping to get her to be able to direct one next season…So it was really a different experience, this time around, because I had a different kind of support system.”

 FIRE COUNTRY Like Breathing Again

“Like Breathing Again” – While breaking up a bonfire party, the station 42 crew is called to complete a dangerous and highly complex cave rescue, on FIRE COUNTRY, Friday, Feb. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Episode directed by series star Kevin Alejandro. Pictured: Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela Perez. Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In the hour, Gabriela (Stephanie Arcila) goes to extreme lengths to try and help save someone—something Arcila relished being able to work on with Alejandro.

“My goodness, I have such a special connection with him,” she gushes. “He truly has taken on the role of a father and a friend in real life. And he has my back. He’s like my dad in Vancouver. Working with him is always special because we just understand each other. So there’ll be moments where he was directing and he’ll come up to tell me something and I’m like [she mimics points at him] and he’s like [she mimics pointing back], and we go, ‘Yeah, got it.’ And we don’t say anything, but we know exactly what we want.”

“So that it’s just been really special and just finding those tiny connections between our characters that in real life people have; even off-set, we have a special handshake,” she continues. “And on-set Gabriella and Manny have little special cues that only they know, where we say goodbye in a certain way or we joke around. He’s so talented. As a director, as an actor, producer, everything. Working with Kevin is a dream…He’s very much an actor’s director.”

The hour required Arcila to do water stunts, too: “I got to get my divers certification,” she shares. “So I learned a lot about diving and everything…I got the stunt crew’s approval and respect because I got to do all my stunts…I’m just like a big kid learning about all of these new departments. My brain is like, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

And doing those stunts with Alejandro, “he brings something [out] in all of us that is very special,” she says. “He knows how to push us and get us to moments that he knows can come out of us…because he knows we have it in us.”

Alejandro credits the series with taking things to a new level in its sophomore year. “I honestly feel that this season has raised the bar as far as scope and procedure and honesty between humans and the action itself,” he says. “Any other show that claims to be what we are has some giant shoes to fill, because I think we’re knocking it out of the park as a new way of filmmaking, and storytelling, specifically for networks; I think we set a really high bar and we do not shy away from it this season.”

FIRE COUNTRY, Fridays, 9/8c, CBS


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