'On My Block' season 2: Julio Macias says there isn't much that Oscar wouldn't do for his brother Cesar
'On My Block', one of the most successful Netflix shows of recent times will return with season 2 on Friday, April 29, and we can hardly wait. Narrating the story of four best friends – Monse, Cesar, Jamal and Ruby – growing up in a rough LA neighborhood, 'On My Block' has managed to become a quick fan-favorite, thanks to the novel plot, relatable characters, brilliant writing and exceptional acting.
One of the standout characters of the show is Oscar, Cesar’s older brother and a high-ranking hardened member of the notorious Santos gang. Portrayed by the exceptionally talented Julio Macias, Oscar aka Spooky is one of the most compelling and charismatic characters on the show, whose hard exterior covers his deeply buried loving, caring heart.
"It's very hard for me to think of Oscar completely negatively. I don't think of him as a villain, as much as an anti-hero," Macias tells MEA WorldWide (MEAWW).
He adds, "What I love about the way that Lauren [Iungerich], Eddie [Gonzalez], and Jeremy [Haft] brought this character to life is that these types of families — like Oscar and Cesar — are prevalent and that happens throughout the world. This one happens to be Chicanos and because of the circumstances that he grew up in."
Macias believes that no matter what Oscar does, he does out of love for his brother Cesar (portrayed by Diego Tinoco) and the need to protect him. "Even his most terrible decision doesn’t come out of a kingpin mentality. He wants to survive and he wants to keep his territory, but he doesn't want to become a drug lord. He just wants his brother to make it through," he says.
"I think he is willing to lay down his life and take whoever he needs to take out with him. It's extreme... I do think that it is scary to think of what he wouldn't do for his brother. He is not walking around picking fights or pushing intimidation, but if push came to shove, there is not much that Oscar wouldn't do for Cesar," he relates.
Oscar is part of a community that is very misunderstood, says Macias, adding his knowing people like Oscar and other members of Santos was very beneficial in giving life to the character, "I knew that even though people were in a gang, sometimes you could call that gang a club. Even though it is affiliated with drugs and violence, not every single person in that life is necessarily bad," he says, adding, "It’s just a sense of belonging — a sense of community that they have within these communities. It's actually pushed out, on the edges of Los Angeles, even though they are the beating heart of the city sometimes."
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"By no means are these people someone that you should be scared of, or run across the street from, because of the clothes they were and they've got a shaved head. Now, they might be sarcastic and tougher on you once you first start talking to them, it’s just how they speak and once you get that sarcasm you'll realize, 'Oh, this guy's not that bad, he's fine'," he elaborates.
In season 2, we will see a lot more of the complexity of Oscar a human being, and the range of his emotions beyond the anger we expect out of him.
"You almost see him not wanting to be so angry all the time, but he still is, because of the circumstances and the situations, because he feels like he has been robbed of life. So, he is robbing a little bit of life back," laughs Macias.
What Spooky's various emotions look and feel like is definitely something we are looking forward to seeing, come Friday, March 29.