It's safe to say that Miles Gaston Villanueva knows a thing or two about crime and drama, considering he spent three years playing The Young and the Restless' bad boy Luca Santori. But his latest project, Law & Order: True Crime, feels much darker, considering he and actor Gus Halpern are bringing real-world convicted killers Lyle and Erik Menendez to life.
In fact, the actor admits that the subject matter was very tough to dig into. After all, the brothers he and Halpern are portraying were found guilty of murdering their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in the mid-90s.
“Our showrunner Rene [Balcer] did a lot of research years before we started shooting the series. The scripts are all based on resource material, corroborating evidence and facts,” Villanueva tells Latina. “We trust the script completely and it has everything we need in it to tell the story we are telling. There's also our own imagination and interpretation as humans to try and portray these guys who are very complex. They're vulnerable. It's been a process and it's been different day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month and certainly with each episode. As we've gone through this process, we've certainly gotten darker and deeper with each character. It's been really intimidating and scary at times.”
Thankfully Halpern has helped keep Villanueva strong during the dark filming process of the series that premiered on September 26 on NBC.
“The fact that Gus and I have bonded so well and so immediately has made the process easier to get through because we can lean on each other,” he says. “If he had a bad day or a difficult day, he'll talk to me and vice versa.... Being able to talk things out and expressing our frustrations and our worries has been the biggest factor in remaining, for lack of a better word, sane.”
Check out a teaser trailer for Law & Order: True Crime below.
What do you think about Villanueva’s experience filming Law & Order: True Life? How do you feel about the actor taking on the role of Lyle Menendez? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.