Tonight is the series premiere of Matador, the latest action spy series from Fringe and Sleepy Hollow co-creator Roberto Orci, and Nerdist has brought you an exclusive behind the scenes look at the series covering the details of the show, what it’s like to be on a Robert Rodriguez set and what audiences can expect when they turn on the El Rey network. Last week it was announced that Matador has already been renewed for a second season before the series even airs. “I read it on Twitter!” announces Alfred Molina when I congratulate him at the El Rey TCA presentation last week. The renewal seems like a vote of confidence that is exciting for everyone, including co-star Nicky Whelan, who shared what it was like to get the good news, saying, “Everyone wants to be there and you can see that energy through the work on screen. People want to be there… and knowing that we’re going into a second season all together it’s like going to work with all your friends.”
After the season premiere airing tonight on El Rey, what can viewers look forward to from the rest of the season? Emmy nominated actor Alfred Molina explains the appeal of Matador, saying, “They can look forward to a very fresh and original take on what could be seen as a well tried TV format, which is the spy story. There’s been lots of spy stories on TV and in movies and there’s a real history, and honorable one, of great work that’s been done in the genre, but I think here there’s something very fresh and new to it. The notion of the undercover spy, a leading man who is doubling as a professional soccer star and that gives it a kind of sexiness that maybe we haven’t seen before. ”
After Matador premieres and audiences get a taste of the two seasons to come, what else does Rodriguez want the audience to know about El Rey? Says the network co-founder, “The feedback I’ve gotten, people say they turn it on and don’t turn it off. It’s just everything they normally are searching and surfing around to find is all there. It’s just that cool curated content, things they haven’t been exposed to before or even if it’s something they’ve seen before, it’s something they get to see again in our setting and its just presented in a way with a lot of affection for it, and it’s an interesting comparison.”
Matador co-star Alfred Molina echoes that sentiment saying, “What I like about it is that the network, and to a certain extent, our show, is a wonderful reflection of Robert’s own sensibilities and tastes and his enthusiasms and that means that the network has a real personal point of view and that’s what makes it so attractive. It’s not cookie-cutter, it’s not bland, it’s not like trying to please everybody. It’s saying, ‘No, this is what we dig, this is what we’re into, this is what we love and we’re offering it to you. Hopefully you’ll love it as well.'”
Might we look forward to appearances by frequent Rodriguez collaborators like Antonio Banderas or Jessica Alba on the network? While he didn’t get specific, Rodriguez confirmed that a lot is in the works, saying, “I can’t announce anything right now but for sure. People, all kinds of people I’ve worked with before and new people, are very interested in the network since the beginning, since I told them about it and they are enjoying it. We’ll figure out ways to get people involved. It’s here! We’re open for business and it’s a beast that must constantly be fed because it’s always on.”
Matador, created by Roberto Orci, Dan Dworkin, Jay Beattie and Andrew Orci and starring Gabriel Luna, Alfred Molina, Nicky Whelan, Tanc Sade and Neil Hopkins, premieres on the El Rey Network tonight with the first episode being directed by network founder Robert Rodriguez.