Laz Alonso is gearing up for the return of his hit NBC show “The Mysteries of Laura” and the veteran actor spoke to rolling out about the new season and some of the changes for his Det. Billy Soto character and the rest of the cast. While not giving everything away, Alonso made it clear that the show is going to be a bit more than a procedural this year. The show follows the cases of Det. Laura Diamond (Debra Messing) and her partner Soto, and the second season of “The Mysteries of Laura” promises to sex things up quite a bit.
“Last year, the show was pretty much, more than anything, a cop show,” says Alonso. “It was strictly about the cases and figuring them out. This year will be a sexier show. The characters are established and everybody’s working together, naturally you’re going to have some office romances developing. I can’t tell you who’s gonna be with who — but expect all of our characters to discover that we have more things in common than just being cops.”
Starring on a hit series means that an actor has to find new facets of a character to explore every season. The writing on “The Mysteries of Laura” gives Alonzo the space to continue to push forward.
“I’m happy that we have this romantic thing that’s evolved this season. It gives you something new to play with,” he says. “If every year, your character has a new challenge and objective, he has 22 episodes to get to this goal. Your character has to have somewhere to go. It gives people something to root for. Those are the shows we feel most invested in, when the character is going somewhere. This season, our characters are going in a romantic direction. But at the same time, you’ve got family, you’ve got religion, you’ve got conflicting things at work that could get you kicked off the precinct. All of these nuances are coming into play this season; it gives us other stuff to play with as actors.”
Alonso has spent the last decade building a reputation in a variety of roles; ranging from films like the romantic comedy Why Did I Get Married? to sci-fi epics like Avatar and television shows like Breakout Kings and Deception. He’s come to understand that an actor can’t allow one “dream role” to become their focus.
“The hardest lesson to learn is that this is a marathon. It’s not a sprint,” he explains. “As a young actor, you always think ‘this is it, this is the job that’s going to break me. This is the job that’s going to take my career to the next level’ or ‘This is the audition’ or if you don’t get it ‘That should’ve been me.’ But it’s not one job that makes or breaks your career. It’s a body of work. People develop an impression of your skill and your talent. So you have to trust that your body of work will speak for you as opposed to thinking that this one role is ‘I gotta do it or else.’ You trust the process and don’t trip over this one particular job. You start to see people make mistakes and pick roles for the wrong reasons”
And for Alonso, it’s about balancing a successful career with a healthy personal life. For that reason, he’s adamant about keeping snakes out of his circle.
“My work is my work, and I’ve found a way to keep a balance. All of my friends, for the most part, are friends that I’ve had since before I was acting. The people that you see in pictures on Instagram and Twitter, the majority of those people I’ve had in my life since before my career. They don’t see me as an actor. They see me as a friend. These are people that I consider mentors or confidants or friends or business associates. They’ve been with me through my ups and downs and many different facets of my life.
“New people are going to see you from the lens they meet you in. And the new people I meet, I try my best to have a very discerning mindset regarding who’s who. You get fooled sometimes but that usually comes to light fairly quickly. But for the most part, I’ve found that I can keep my life normal as long as I keep my circle of friends true from Day One. My Day Ones are always with me.”