The train scene is very close to something that happened to
me in my early 20s on the uptown 2 train in New York City between the 42nd Street
and 72nd Street stops. It was a chance meeting with someone from a totally
different world that changed the course of my life.
It’s a simple scene but Jonathan and Raúl nail every moment.
I love the way Richie drenches Patrick in charm and Patrick tries to be cool
but just can’t. I think that became a defining scene as we were trying to
figure out what the show would be and who those characters were. It was the
first time we saw Jonathan and Raúl together on camera, and seeing their
chemistry together that day was a huge relief and very exciting. It also had a
simplicity and an emotionality that helped us figure out where the show would
live in terms of style and atmosphere.
The actors all brought so many different things that
affected their characters -- their own experiences, wit and interests. Raúl
definitely brought a swagger to Richie that we loved. Richie was always going
to be a cool customer, compared to Patrick, but Raúl just gives these looks to
Patrick in that scene that are so confident in the sexiest way. I remember
watching the monitor and exchanging a look with [director] Andrew Haigh like, “Jesus
Christ, those eyes!” Jonathan has such command over his craft that he doesn’t
really seem to have any craft at all. He's incredibly smart and extremely
natural at the same time. In that scene he figured out how to balance Patrick’s
frustrating behavior and his adorable qualities in a way that makes me want to
hug Patrick and shake him at the same time.