Executive producer of DMZ joined stars Freddy Miyares, Benjamin Bratt, and Hoon Lee at Deadline’s Studio at SXSW to discuss their HBO Max miniseries.
“This show assumes a second American civil war,” says Patino, “and it takes place in a demilitarized zone. Our demilitarized zone is Manhattan, which is an abandoned land.”
Based on the comics of the same name, DMZ follows Z (Rosario Dawson), an urgent care worker who travels into the DMZ, or demilitarized zone, to search for her son. Eight years ago, Z was separated from her son when she escaped Manhattan before it became a warzone. In her search, Z runs an old friend in Wilson (Lee) and must contend with an old enemy, Parco (Bratt), along with his muscle Skel (Miyares).
“Our show is set against war,” says Patino, “but it’s not a show about war. It’s really a show about this abandoned people reclaiming their identity, their territory. It’s about people coming together.”
“One thing you find immediately in the DMZ is that there is no organized form of government whatsoever,” says Bratt. “What clearly becomes something to deal with is there are different factions, or gangs if you will, that have broken off and are vying for control of the DMZ. I play Parco Delgado, who is a member of the Spanish Harlem Kings… his intent is really to create a seat at the table and vie for the governorship of the DMZ.”
“Wilson represents voices in the DMZ that have found opportunity in all of the mayhem,” says Lee. “When he vies for the governorship as well, he is really looking to build upon that idea that he only achieved success through this sort of intense amount of freedom/chaos.”
“[Parco and Wilson] are the leaders of their own individual faction,” says Miyares, “and where Wilson’s character dominates and monopolizes off of gold and the grid, Parco’s character uses power. One of the ways he reinforces that power is through Skel. I’m essentially his right-hand man, his confidant, and I do all of his dirty work.”
Click the video above to watch the full discussion.
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