EXCLUSIVE | ‘Tiny Pretty Things’: Is Ramon Costa alive or dead? Bayardo De Murguia spills the beans on Season 2
In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, the actor sheds light on his role in the Netflix series and talks about the possibility of a new season
Spoilers for ‘Tiny Pretty Things’
Bayardo De Murguia could make you go weak in the knees with just one look. Best known for his roles in 'CSI' and 'NCIS', the handsome hunk is all set to steal hearts with his portrayal of Ramon Costa in Netflix's new glossy ballet drama ‘Tiny Pretty Things’. Based on the novel of the same name by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, the series features 10 one-hour episodes and charts the rise and fall of young adults.
A first-generation Mexican American actor and voiceover artist, Murguia moved from Tijuana to LA to pursue the American Dream. Recalling old childhood memories, he told Voyage LA, “My mom would play the guitar and sing Rancheras while my dad would be reading and reciting works from Pablo Neruda, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Gabriela Mistral. As a football player at the University of San Diego, I took their inspiration and fell in love with drama.”
In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, the actor sheds light on his role in the Netflix series and talks about the possibility of a new season. He also talks in-depth about stepping into the shoes of his character Ramon Costa who is dubbed as “a lean god with a deep baritone, the bad boy dancer-turned-visionary choreographer who uses non-traditional methods for teaching.” Said to be dating the muse of the moment, Delia, Ramon is not big on criticism, especially from students at the Archer School of Ballet.
Here are the excerpts:
How did you come on board for ‘Tiny Pretty Things’?
I can happily say that the audition process for me was very smooth and streamlined. They were holding auditions for the show in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto. The cast was picked from different cities around the world and then they all came together. Some of the important aspects for the younger cast were their dancing talent, training, ballet, and, of course, their acting skills. I auditioned in Los Angeles and I actually didn't know what the show was about or the fact that it was a Netflix series. All I knew was the description of my role and a logline about the show.
Once I got a little bit further into the audition process, I met the creative team in Los Angeles and it was super quick from there. I got to know a lot more about the show and that it was based on an existing young adult book. It was a blessing to be a part of the show because our cast became a huge family.
Did you read the novel ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ before getting on with your character once you found out the show is inspired by the book?
Yeah, I did read the novel. I haven't read ‘Shiny Broken Pieces’, which is the sequel, but I did read the original ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ to get a little bit of overview and understand why the world was created. Ramon doesn't exist within the novel and there are a few name changes and character changes. But it was a really nice introduction to the world of ballet and what these students go through.
And then basically what our showrunner Michael MacLennan did was he adapted it based on the book but added a few changes to up the stakes and introduced a lot of timely themes. But I think it's a great adaptation. What we did with the show is that we took the world in that book and introduced several intricate plots and timely issues.
What is the one thing about your character that attracted you when you first got the script? What do you think about Ramon's grey shades and is he really the ‘bad boy’?
My character touches on many things like competition, racism, jealousy, and eating disorders. The beauty comes with watching the ballet on the show and I saw the juxtaposition that comes out of the final product when you see everyone dance and then the darkness that happens prior to that.
One of the things that I connected with Ramon is his brutal honesty and passion. Ballet is so classical and it has a sense of elitism to it. Ramon is the kind of person who wants to push all those boundaries and challenge you. His methods of teaching the students are basically unorthodox. He doesn't use conventional ways to teach ballet class, he wants to get everything out of you, whether it's good or bad. That was one of the things that attracted me while playing him, apart from his fiery honesty.
Ramon says a lot of things that you might think, but would never dare to say, I'm the type of person who will say it. There was always a sense of purpose and manipulation with Ramon in how he would take action or say certain things. It was very calculated and dark... and it was so much fun to do those scenes.
Right at the beginning of the show, Cassie Shore is pushed off the roof and throughout the 10 episodes, everyone's wondering who did it. Is Ramon a huge suspect and did he have a hand in it?
As you watch the show, you get to see all of the relationships that Cassie had with all the students, including faculty like myself. The beauty about our show is that you start to find out the different motives and perspectives of all these characters, including Ramon. It's really up to the audience to make that decision about who pushed Cassie. The wonderful thing about the process that we had as we were filming is that no one knew except the person that did it. And so it was really fascinating because as we were acting, we didn't know a lot of information and you'll get to see that because everyone has secrets on the show.
Ramon can easily be considered a villainous character. Whether he is a suspect is what you'll find out on the way. In the show, we try to show why each character is presented as who they are. So if you do think that that person might have pushed Cassie, you will also find out the reasons behind it. I am a fan of the show, just because the writing and the story it creates and the world is so compelling. And then, in addition to that, I think it's going to appeal to a very broad audience.
Another interesting aspect of the show is Ramon's relationship with Delia. How will it shape up through the 10 episodes?
When you first get introduced to Ramon and his girlfriend, Delia — who is a graduate of the Archer School of Ballet — she is viewed as the star ballerina. With the renowned choreographer tag, Ramon can be super fierce in the classroom, and super intense at times. But there were a couple of scenes I had with Delia where you would just see them a couple. They care for each other, they really know each other, and in a way, also know each other's dark secrets.
I just think it's really beautiful that you have certain scenes that you will see where you can see the couple just enjoying each other. In those scenes, you take away the whole, mask of trying to be, in this elite world of ballet and prima ballerina and this intense choreographer, and then you see them at home cooking, talking about their school. And I think it's really beautiful. It's something that we — myself and Tori Trowbridge — always tried to work. And it's different from Ramon when you see him in the classroom where he is super intense and passionate. I really enjoyed it.
At the end of season one, there is a huge cliffhanger. So, is there a chance to see Ramon back for season two? And what are the possibilities of another season?
As we go through season one, it is like a narration and Cassie guides you through the world of ballet. The viewers then try to figure out who pushed her. As we go into the second half of the season, all of these little easter eggs are being planted that go up to the final cliffhanger at the end of the season. And so basically, in season two, if we get to season two, which I hope we will, we'll get to explore why that happened, and how it happened and what that all means.
But is Ramon alive or dead and is he going to be in Season 2?
I can't confirm or deny it. We don't know. We don't know yet. (Laughs) There's a lot to discuss. And, the writers are working on that storyline. But yeah, we don't know. That's why it's a cliffhanger. Our show gets compared to a lot like ‘Pretty Little Liars’ because it has that suspense and mystery element. As season one ends, you get to see all these different types of motives. We will dive into season two to see how it happened.
So, are the talks are already going on for season two? And will it be along the lines of the book sequel? Or will your show will have a unique element to it?
After the show ends, Netflix usually takes a month or so to see and make their decision based on that. After the trailer dropped, we've had so much interest, especially with the fan following the book has in the dance community. Right now, there are high hopes for season two renewal, but nothing is official. We just have to wait and see what Netflix does. If we get the opportunity to have a season two, the writers and the cast are already ready to continue the show. If we get the opportunity to do season two, I think will be amazing. In the end, we love to continue telling the stories. Hopefully, by New Year, we'll have some good news.
Wondering how to binge-watch the series? Catch all episodes on Netflix once it drops on December 14 at 3.01 am EST.