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Guillermo Diaz is going from drug kingpin on Showtime’s Weeds to a mysterious ex-CIA good guy with a dark past on ABC’s Scandal.
On Shonda Rhimes‘ Washington, D.C.-set political thriller, Diaz plays Huck, the silent weapon in Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) firm of fixers. Often tasked with impossible to understand jobs, Huck is more than a hacker who can find a client using technology from a kid’s video game device. The multitalented good guy with a knack for on-point one-liners — he tells newcomer Quinn (Katie Lowes) point black “You’re weird. Weird is good” — will be thrust into the spotlight when he’s tasked with finding out what happened to Amanda Tanner after the team learns of her fate during Thursday’s hour.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Diaz to get the skinny on Huck and his mysterious past and just how deep his loyalty to Olivia runs.
The Hollywood Reporter: Huck tells Quinn in the pilot that everyone at Olivia’s needs fixing and is a stray dog of some sort. What part of Huck needed/needs fixing?
Guillermo Diaz: Huck has a really hard time being around other people; he’s a bit of an emotional cripple and doesn’t know how to socialize. You find out Thursday where he came from and what he went through that put him in this messed up emotional place that he’s in right now. He’s not your run-of-the-mill ex-CIA tough guy. He’s tough but he has so many other layers, he’s complex. He’s got so much stuff that he needs fixed. Working for Olivia and her bringing him in to work for her helps him heal and keep his mind off what all the stuff he’s been through and is going through. Focusing on Olivia and the firm keeps him grounded and focused.
We know he’s ex-CIA, but what brings him to Olivia?
Huck has a past in the military and CIA and Olivia has been involved in politics and heard of Huck and that he’s really good at what he does. There’s a time where everything went wrong in his life and it spiraled out of control and Olivia never forgot where he came from, who he was, how smart he is and how good he is at what he does. She finds Huck and rescues him after he went through this horrible time with the CIA. She tries to bring him back and get him to do what he’s good at doing — for her. In Episode 6, we flash back to our past and you’ll see where Huck was when Olivia took him under her wing.
Does he have a family?
You’ll find out Thursday when he talks about his family and what that situation is. He does have a family but he hasn’t seen them in a long time and he doesn’t know if he will ever be able to again. For my audition, Shonda wrote a two-page monologue with Huck’s whole back story, which you’ll see parts of tonight. As far as Huck knows, he can’t ever see them again. I don’t know if the writers will do that at some point but that’d be interesting I think he hasn’t seen them in a long time.
How does Huck compare to Guillermo on Showtime’s Weeds?
Huck makes him look like a puppy dog (laughs). Huck would skin Guillermo from Weeds alive. I think of Huck like a ninja. He’s a silent, powerful guy and you don’t really know what he’s been trained so well to do and what he’s really good at, which makes him even scarier. He looks like a sweet, sad guy then you’ll see Thursday that he does this stuff that blows your mind that he’s capable of doing this. His silent focus on what he knows he can do is the scariest thing about him. Little by little with each episode and hopefully if we get picked up, you’ll find out more about what he’s good at doing and what some of those other scary other things are.
Is there anything he won’t do for Olivia?
No, even in last week’s episode when she’s asking each of us to go over a cliff with her as Abby says in the episode, Huck is the only one that answers yes right away. He didn’t even think about it. I don’t think there’s anything he wouldn’t do for Olivia. You’re going to start to see — and this scares Olivia — that he’s not afraid to go above the law and do stuff that’s illegal. There’s nothing he’s afraid to do for Olivia and the firm, illegal or otherwise.
Considering Huck’s resourcefulness, how much does he know about everyone else’s back story?
Part of me thinks that Huck knows everyone’s back story. He’s a silent investigator and hacker. I think he knows everyone’s story and where they came from. At the same time, like he tells Quinn in the pilot, he knows we’re all stray dogs and need fixing and doesn’t judge anyone. He’s the main one that people would judge the most based on what he’s done and what he does tonight.
Are you looking forward to learning more about Huck? Scandal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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