JJ Soria Explains Sinister Air Hostess Character Esteban Diaz

Spoiler alert. Proceed with caution if you haven’t watched episodes three and four of the second season of “The Flight Attendant.”

Four episodes into season two of “The Flight Attendant,” and viewers will likely have plenty of questions. Among the greatest: Who are Esteban and Gabrielle Diaz and what is their story?

“That’s the big question, isn’t it?” I think all of our scenes just lead you further down this hole of asking yourself… Who are these people? What are they doing? What is their story ? JJ Soria told TODAY via Zoom about his and Callie Hernandez’s elusive characters. “We are definitely a big mystery.”

Fans first meet the Diaz duo in the Season 2 premiere when they meet Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) at a Berlin hotel, where she’s on a mission for the CIA (her new team fusses after the chaotic events of last season).

While at first glance Esteban and Gabrielle appear to be a chatty couple, thanking Cassie for the in-flight services, viewers then see Esteban put his phone near Cassie’s purse and clone the data onto her mobile device.

“The first word that comes to mind is ‘intense’,” JJ Soria said of the Diazes. Pictured: JJ Soria, Callie Hernandez, Kaley Cuoco in ‘The Flight Attendant’ season two. Jennifer Rose Clasen / HBO Max

It only gets more complicated when, in episode two, Esteban tries to break into Cassie’s house in Los Angeles and gets caught by Ani (Zosia Mamet) and Max (Deniz Akdeniz). He makes a joke about walking into the wrong Airbnb, only for viewers to find out that he and Gabrielle have tied up the owners and put them in the closet. These neighbors, it seems, are not the friendly kind.

“The first word that comes to mind is ‘intense’. The Diaze, Gabrielle and Esteban, they kind of roll with each other. They are always together. And I think Gabrielle is actually more intense, fiery, if you will, (wise) personality,” Soria said. “Esteban tries to be the more balanced of the two.”

And while Esteban tries to “pull the reins” when they might get in trouble, Soria joked “it doesn’t seem to be having as much success, which leads to a fun story.”

Audiences see this dynamic play out in episode four, after Esteban and Gabrielle knock out Ani and Max and interrogate them about Cassie’s whereabouts.

“You are psychopaths,” Max says, his nose bloody after being beaten by the two, to Gabrielle. She replies, “No, we are perfectly sane. We care more about money than your comfort. In fact, we don’t care about you at all.

Deniz Akdeniz and Zosia Mament in Season 2 of "The stewardess."
Deniz Akdeniz and Zosia Mament in the second season of “The Flight Attendant”.Jennifer Rose Clasen / HBO Max

” That’s all. We don’t care about any other characters, but we love each other and we’re there for each other,” Soria said, describing the two as “little lovebirds in their own psychotic little world.”

“That’s it. We don’t care about any other characters, but we love each other and we’re here for each other.”

JJ Soria on his “Flight Attendant” character

We soon discover that it is not Cassie that Gabrielle and Esteban are looking for. Instead, they search for Megan (Rosie Perez), Cassie’s flight attendant friend in hiding. Last season, it was revealed that she was selling information about her husband’s business to North Korea. Now there’s a $500,000 bounty for anyone who turns her into a North Korean.

This leads to a significant clue as to who the Diazes are.

“We’re bounty hunters and we’re after Megan because she’s wanted by the North Koreans. We want the bounty that’s on her head,” Soria explained. that’s why you see us like this (dressed). We like to flaunt it. We live a good life, so to speak, as you can see with our wardrobe – and I really felt that the wardrobe was a big part of the character.

“I think we show up in our scenes because, one, from our wardrobe and general appearance…(And two), we’re in our own little world in this world of Cassie,” Soria said.

Thanks to costume designer Mari-An Ceo and her team, the actor said the fashion-forward styles — which include matching leather ensembles and Soria’s Hawaiian-print shirt for his time in Los Angeles — l helped to fully embody Esteban. “Putting on the costumes, it kind of gave me a feeling,” he said, explaining that he behaved differently.

JJ Soria as Esteban Diaz on "The stewardess."
JJ Soria bleached his hair to play Esteban Diaz in ‘The Flight Attendant’.Jennifer Rose Clasen / HBO Max

Soria was so attached to the role that he decided to bleach his hair for the part as well. In the hair dye scene, he looks sleek in a yellow Versace dress. “It was a nice outfit,” he recalled of her outfit, before sharing this do not coloring her hair “didn’t feel right to me.” He joked, “Anything less would be uncivilized.”

“It was either fully commit or have this fake thing on your head. And for me, I felt like it would take me out of the scene,” he explained, adding that he didn’t want to think about playing with a wig or getting into a scene too much and getting too much. pull out hair.

It was, after all, Esteban and Gabrielle’s chameleon-like features, as well as their flashy ways of going incognito, that drew Soria into the story – so he committed to the process.

Soria also loved how the couple affects every character he meets.

“What they do can have a domino effect on their whole life. As you see in episode four, you already see how Max and Ani are involved and they’re not after them – but (now) they’re already in the mix,” he said, explaining how Esteban and Gabrielle immediately stoked Max and Ani’s relationship is unhappy.

Esteban and Gabrielle remain determined to find Megan. “As soon as we tip, we welcome Cassie to the hotel in Berlin. So we’ll do whatever it takes to get to Megan and that makes us a bit of a wildcard and you don’t know where we’re going to get next,” he said.

With that in mind, Soria said to “expect the unexpected” in future episodes of “The Flight Attendant,” which premieres May 26.

“There are a lot of twists and turns in this show. And you really don’t know what to expect. I think (that’s) what keeps people coming back,” he said.

Soria suspects people will get more invested in all the character storylines this season, just like he did.

“As I was reading the scripts, I found myself not waiting for my next scene, not the next time I was going to see Esteban,” he continued. “I was really invested in the reading and invested in these other characters because it’s so well written. And I was interested to see where they were going… So that’s proof of the writing.

“The Flight Attendant” airs Thursdays on HBO Max.

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