I had the privilege of speaking with the “From Dusk Till Dawn” cast back in June at ATX Festival. In this article, D.J. Cotrona (Seth Gecko) and Madison Davenport (Kate Fuller) discuss their characters new partnership in season two. “From Dusk Till Dawn” season two airs August 25 on El Rey Network.
Examiner: I’m really looking forward to Seth and Kate’s partnership. It’s not something I would have expected from Kate in season one. How is Kate dealing with this new change, and what does Seth think of Kate as far as a new partner goes?
Madison Davenport: I think the reason Kate went with Seth at the end of the season was the need to be with someone. Imagine, she’s been in her whole life as this family person, and then to find yourself alone in the dessert, standing outside. You don’t know if anyone is going to come out of there, anyone is going to walk out the door, and then she’s like, “Okay, well I’m going to wait five more minutes,” and then Seth comes out the door. And so she goes with him.
Davenport continued: I think, honestly, they are two sides of the same coin. They are two people that have been through very similar things. They’ve both lost their fathers; I mean in different ways, I killed mine. Richie killed theirs. I think when people go through similar tragedies, they tend to latch on to each other, and in this season, you’re going to see how differently we handle that. How our upbringing maybe causes us to turn to different emotions or different substances to deal with the emotions, and the pain, and the regret, and everything that went down in the Titty Twister. This season is all about choices we make.
D.J. Cotrona: Or choices that make us.
Davenport: Choices that make, wow that was very…
Cotrona: I don’t even know what that means! Write that down!
Davenport: Prophetic stuff.
Cotrona: I was very excited about all of the SethKate stuff because you take two polar opposite people with polar opposite life experiences and you shove them together. You’ve got a career criminal, villain, guy that, robbing, killing against his will sometimes. He has a shred of morality. You know, he has a shred code in the way he operates, but this is not a good guy. Classic anti-hero. And then you have a very young, innocent, church-going girl with her family, and they literally go through hell together.
Cotrona continued: And after all of the madness that happens through the first season, you take these two people, and they have more in common towards the end than anyone else. They were both ripped out of the worlds that they operated in best, and their support systems and the people they worked with and cared about were torn away from them by forces that they cannot comprehend or understand. And they are left, at the end of it, they’re survivors. They’re fighters, but they are stripped down. They’re raw. They’re bare, and they’re at the bottom of where they were. They have no one to lean on and nowhere to go.
Davenport: Except for each other.
Cotrona: Except for each other, and you have that moment where they walk out of this madness, and they’re just standing there. Kate’s standing, and Seth walks out, and they just look at each other. They have more in common there than whatever makes sense in any other situation, so they go together.
Cotrona continued: I always felt throughout the first season, you know, Kate was like Seth’s conscious. You know what I mean? Whatever shred of innocence or morality that this guy had or respect for innocence, and you know, you see it a lot, these small glimpses of an instinct to protect or to right a wrong or a slight, even stupid one liners by Sex Machine, Seth will step in or anytime she’s in danger, he’ll step in. He’s always checking Richie to make sure that she’s protected. He doesn’t know her from anyone when he meets her, but in my mind, she was his, the angel on his shoulder, you know the thing that ignited the better part of Seth.
Davenport: Well I mean when we come into season two, we’re three months in, so maybe that angel kinda wore off a little bit.
Cotrona: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s where we leave it, and then you see…
Carlos Coto [Showrunner/EP]: He’s got a devil.
Davenport: Or his devil just won over because there’s only so much, when a person has this will to do wrong or this need to self-destruct, you can help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
Cotrona: Exactly, they have to do it themselves.
Davenport: I think that’s where Kate and Seth are at.
Cotrona: A 100%. And you see that. The test of a character is how they act, and how they react in the hardest of times.
Davenport: And that’s what I meant by like Kate and Seth have been through the same things. It just shows how they were brought up by how they react to it.
Cotrona: Exactly. It’s funny. It’s a Freudian dissection of childhood.
Coto: I can tell you guys too that from our perspective that moment, their pairing kind of came organically out of our process in season one, watching them working together and the way the story took us. To confess, I did not know exactly how everyone was going to pair off at the end of the first season, nor did I want to know that. I wanted to kind of let it go itself. I had a sort of rail I had to stay on with the movie, right?
Coto continued: But there was a moment that D.J. and Madison played in episode four last year when they’re in the motel and they’ve sent Richie down to the RV, and he looks at her and says, “Stick with me.” You know, she’s obviously, “You’re a killer and you’re a monster,” but he looks at her, “Stick with me and you won’t get any bumps and bruises, no scrapes. I promise that.” And it’s this tiny, tiny moment of humanity, and when I saw the dailies on that I said, “Okay, now I understand where these characters are going.”
Davenport: It’s destiny!
Coto: It’s destiny. Sometimes the show tells you what it is, and that’s a combination of organic storytelling and them bringing something.
I have to say my favorite character moment for Seth was when Sex Machine made a comment towards Kate, and Seth was instantly on him along with the rest of Kate’s family.
Cotrona: Yeah, and we get that with the pairing. There’s a lot of cool elements, the obvious stuff, the fact that you have a grown man with a much younger girl sort of plays some of those weird tensions. The stuff that they’ve been through it has the feel of the Professional almost, if you’ve seen that. There’s a lot of unspoken elements that go into that pairing, and it was very fun to play.
Davenport: Well Seth has really only had sexual, romantic relationships.
Davenport: He didn’t really have a mother.
Cotrona: His relationships with women were really, you know, he hasn’t had a good relationship with a woman that hasn’t been illicit.
Davenport: Fiery, sexual. And Seth and Kate is not that.
Davenport: Fanfiction. No.
Cotrona: Weirdness. Yeah. But it’s definitely, there’s a lot there unspoken that we got to play with, and we’re very proud of. I think you’ll enjoy it.
What did you think of the interview? Leave me your thoughts and hopes for season two in a comment below.
Additional reporting by Brooke Nichols.