Awards Daily talks to actor Nestor Carbonell about why AppleTV+’s The Morning Show is the only television show that isn’t afraid to “go there” when it comes to tackling taboo issues.
In Season 1 of The Morning Show on AppleTV+, they tackled #MeToo. In Season 2, cancel culture. Is there another show on TV as ballsy as this sophomore drama when covering topical issues?
“I don’t know of another scripted series that’s doing it to the extent that this show is doing it,” says Carbonell. “I love that. It explores all the gray areas. We know all the black and white issues. The gray areas are the interesting ones.”
Nestor Carbonell’s character, Yanko Flores, is having a rough time in Season 2, six months after a break-up with Claire (Bel Powley) that has him feeling a bit rudderless.
“He’s deeply affected by it. It’s been some months, and he still hasn’t gotten over her. He’s lost this true soulmate he thought he found in Claire. He’s now wading in waters that don’t feel as exciting to him. He always feels he has to prove himself at work.”
As prominent LA weatherman Fritz Coleman told him, meteorologists are essentially “an accordion of time” on air, as they are asked to stretch or contract to fill the space. This plays into Yanko’s feelings within his personal life and role on the morning program.
“He feels that his position is deemed archaic now, when you can get the 10-day forecast on your phone—although Yanko would argue that it’s not as factual as the weather service. He’s fighting for relevance.”
Then he really steps in it.
After he uses the phrase “spirit animal” on Groundhog Day, the weatherman is pretty much canceled online for using the offensive term.
“I love what Kerry Ehrin and the writers did there. They took something seemingly innocuous to drive home the dangers of cancel culture. It’s fair game, it’s free speech. If you want to criticize someone, of course, have at it. That’s what our country was founded on. But it’s one thing to be offended and another thing to launch a campaign to destroy someone. I loved that they wanted to drive the point home by delineating the fact that the person offended isn’t even Native American. It takes one person to find offense and the goal posts keep moving in terms of apologies.”
New Amsterdam returned from nearly two months of break with an episode that started with fun karaoke shenanigans and ended with the lives of no fewer than five key characters in question. Helen, Wilder, Casey, Trevor, and Dr. Castries are all seemingly down for the count, and the doctor of holistic medicine was not in good shape the last time that viewers saw her. The next episode will reveal all of their fates, but director (and former Lost star) Nestor Carbonell broke down the cliffhanger for Dr. Castries, and shared with CinemaBlend why it was “insane.”
Unlike Helen and Dr. Wilder, Dr. Mia Castries wasn’t at home when whatever happened started to affect her. She rode her bike to a pier after getting what seemed to be some distressing news about a relationship, and was looking over the edge… dangerously close to the railing on a very cold night. When I spoke with Nestor Carbonell about his work on the spring premiere, he explained what went into filming Dr. Castries’ ambiguous ending in the episode:
That was the coldest day I think I’ve ever spent on a set. And God bless Genevieve [Angelson] and God bless the crew because they were extraordinary. It was certainly below freezing. I want to say it was 12 degrees. It was insane. And as you see, she’s not wearing too much. You know, she’s wearing pants, but it was a thin jacket. I’m thinking ‘Oh my God, how is she [going to do this]? And she’s gonna get emotional.’ So we found this phenomenal location, which is overlooking the water. And the challenge was that this is not a suicide. She’s not committing suicide, so we had to come up with ‘Okay, this has to be an accident.’
Actress Genevieve Angelson – whose character initially didn’t get the warmest of welcome from the doctors who thought she was a plant by Veronica Fuentes – wasn’t exactly bundled into layer after layer of thermal gear for her scene on the water in New York. So, as the director noted, she was very cold while also playing Castries slowly succumbing to the same ailment that had Helen passed out cold at the end of “All Night Long.”
“With more than three decades of acting experience under his belt, Néstor Carbonell (best known for roles on LOST, BATES MOTEL, and THE MORNING SHOW) has broadened out his creative endeavors to directing in recent years. (In addition to stepping behind the camera on BATES, he’s also helmed episodes of THE GOOD DOCTOR and RISE.)
After directing “Seed Money,” a season 4 episode of NEW AMSTERDAM, Carbonell was invited to return to the show—and was assigned the wildly ambitious “All Night Long.” (In the episode, the storytelling tracked individual characters, piecing together a very bad night, as a number of the doctors seemingly hit rock bottom and went MIA.)
Here, Carbonell talks about directing the hour and collaborating with the cast…
How did you come to direct this specific episode?
I had such a great time working on the first episode. I went into it not knowing anyone, but it was just such an extraordinary experience to work on the show. Every department—the cast, the writers, the entire crew. They’re not only just incredibly professional and talented, but they’re truly a joy to work with. Every show should run like this, in my mind, because it really was such a phenomenal experience. [Laughs.]
The episodes are ambitious, but I had such a good time and, thankfully, there was room in the back nine, at that time, for I think one or two slots. They were kind enough to give me a slot and it happened to be this particular episode, the first of the two-parter.
I didn’t realize how ambitious it was going to be, but I’m always up for for a crazy challenge, and it certainly proved to be that. You’ve seen the episode: there’s a lot of set pieces, a lot of locations, stunts, and things that I thought, “Hm, not sure how I’m going to shoot that, but I guess I’ll figure it out when I get there.” There’s a lot of these intangibles. I knew I had to do quite a bit of CGI, which I hadn’t done much of. It was going to be a phenomenal opportunity to learn, as well, which it always is. Any opportunity, particularly more so as a director now, for me it is an opportunity just to continue to grow. So I was just thrilled when I got the call.
e are the kinds of fun and crazy challenges we had. But everybody was so dialed in that, thankfully, we’re able to execute everything.”
“New Amsterdam is finally on the verge of returning to the 2022 TV schedule after nearly two months of a break for NBC to air Renée Zellweger’s The Thing About Pam, and all signs point toward an episode that could be very rewarding for the Dam Fam after such a long wait. Called “All Night Long,” it will deliver a night of karaoke and drinking for the characters… and then the consequences the day after. TV veteran Nestor Carbonell stepped behind the camera to direct “All Night Long,” and shed some light on what fans can expect when the doctors let loose.
Nestor Carbonell – who TV fans will recognize from Bates Motel, The Morning Show, and of course Lost – returned to New Amsterdam as a director after helming an episode earlier in Season 4 that was a big deal for Helen ahead of the move back to London. He spoke with CinemaBlend about how “All Night Long” stands out from the typical episode of the show, including “a lot [more] exteriors than in other episodes” that really served to “showcase Manhattan.”
Carbonell also chose the karaoke bar that will be essential to the episode. When he spoke with CinemaBlend, he weighed in on what it was like to film karaoke scenes in a drama usually set within the hospital walls:
First of all, I read it, I go ‘There’s a lot here. There’s so much here.’ We’re playing with time. There’s a lot to shoot, but it was also an incredible opportunity to see these guys – you’re absolutely right – in a space we’d never seen them. Like, we rarely see them as a group outside of New Amsterdam, certainly in a sort of social gathering like this, where they’re just letting loose. And so it really was an opportunity to take a big swing and just see their personalities in a venue we’ve never seen them in before, and see them sing, which is a really vulnerable thing for anyone to do. Even though these guys are all phenomenal singers, you know, they were still vulnerable. All of them were like, ‘Oh God, I don’t know about singing this.’ Some of them who had solos asked to see if they could do duets, and I was like, ‘Come on, guys! You guys are all phenomenal singers.’ But it was a great opportunity to really show, A – the relationships, and B– just a different side of their personas.”
Nestor Carbonell may not know what’s coming up in The Morning Show Season 3, but he does know what he wants for his character and the trajectory of the show after what we’ve seen so far.
“I hope I get in a world of trouble, selfishly, because I always have fun being in the middle of a storm,” the actor, who plays weatherman Yanko Flores, told TV Insider recently while discussing his second turn in the director’s chair for New Amsterdam.
In general, he hopes to see more of the show tackling topical issues, as it has in the past. “Kerry Ehrin in the first two seasons did such a phenomenal job of exploring the gray areas of controversial issues and not necessarily commenting on them or excusing them, but certainly giving them a voice so that the audience can sort of make up their own mind,” he said of the former showrunner, who will continue to work on the Apple TV+ drama as a consultant, while Charlotte Stoudt takes over.
Carbonell acknowledged that he doesn’t know what’s coming up thematically, but reminded us, “Kerry in that second season had to rewrite the entire season after the pandemic hit because she couldn’t ignore obviously what was going on in the world and given that the show is so topical. Charlotte is our new showrunner this year. I hope she continues — and I’m sure she will — in that vein, exploring very topical issues.”
Could he step behind the camera for The Morning Show or for New Amsterdam again? “Nothing would make me happier than to direct on both shows,” Carbonell, who has also directed episodes of The Good Doctor, Rise, and Bates Motel, said.
“It’s been such a joy to direct on New Amsterdam. The cast is so, so talented, but also so kind, as is the crew, phenomenal crew, and the writers. It is a dream job to work on, and it was a dream job the first time I got to do it and certainly the second, and I hope there is a third time for me because it’s just such a beautiful experience to work on with such a collaborative and such a genial and kind group,” he continued. “And I feel the same way about The Morning Show. I hope I get that opportunity, but yeah, certainly grateful for having the opportunities on New Amsterdam so far.”
“Nestor Carbonell (The Morning Show, Lost) stops by New Amsterdam for the second time in Season 4 to direct, but this time, it’s a very different type of medical drama episode.
In “All Night Long,” the team goes out for a night of karaoke and drinking … and then must face the consequences. While it is a departure, we do see them at work, like Dr. Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine) helping a patient confront a past trauma, and dealing with personal problems, like Dr. Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims) and Dr. Lyn Malvo (Frances Turner) discussing their future.
Carbonell takes us inside directing the hour.
You directed an episode earlier in the season, but that one was a bit more straightforward. This one is a bit of a departure from the typical medical drama episode. Preview what we’ll see from the doctors.
Nestor Carbonell: You’re absolutely right. It definitely was a departure from the norm. Like you mentioned, I’d shot one episode, “Seed Money,” in the summer, and there were some fun exteriors there that were sort of atypical as well of the show, but nothing to the extent of what we did on this episode. It was so much fun to get to sort of explore all of the characters — our main characters and also some of our supporting casts, like Gladys [Megan Byrne] — in a way that we hadn’t seen them before and in an environment we hadn’t seen them before, doing things like karaoke that we had never seen them do and really letting loose and then dealing with the repercussions of that the next day. So that was really fun sort of to get out of the hospital in such a big way and to do so many great locations in and around New York, some in Brooklyn, a lot of them in Midtown Manhattan.”
Carbonell told us that, personally, he had no knowledge “whatsoever” that the term Yanko uses could be offensive, saying he thinks The Morning Show’s writers are “trying to come up with something as innocent as possible to drive the point home.”
That point, Carbonell says, is that “cancel culture has run amok,” saying “You can insult one person and it can mean that they would start a campaign to not just criticize you, but to destroy you.”
While Carbonell acknowledges that there’s “absolutely a validity in criticizing someone for something they might say that might be offensive,” he thinks “this notion of dragging [someone] through the mud, through a campaign of destruction is another thing altogether.”
No surprise that Nestor is #TeamYanko during his Season 2 cancel culture storyline!
“He also talks about what fans would be surprised to learn about the making of the series.
With The Morning Show now streaming new episodes on Apple TV+, I recently spoke with Nestor Carbonell about what fans can look forward to on Season 2 of the Emmy-winning drama series. During the interview, he talked about the many things Season 2 deals with, how his character (Yanko Flores) is the subject of cancel culture, if he views Billy Crudup’s character (Cory Ellison) as a good or bad person, or does it depend on the day of the week, what fans would be surprised to learn about the making of the series, and more.”
The Morning Show star Néstor Carbonell teases his weatherman character Yanko Flores spiraling into his dark side in Season 2.
As Apple TV+ continues to explore the dark side of television news media in Season 2 of its acclaimed drama series The Morning Show, things are poised to get even rockier for UBA news’s weatherman, Yanko Flores. Portrayed by Néstor Carbonell (The Dark Knight), Yanko has gone through the emotional wringer — from a recent breakup to a professional incident that will send him into a spiral while UBA faces both internal and external pressures.
In an exclusive interview with CBR, Carbonell discussed the joys of delving into his character’s emotional struggle, reflected on his character’s darkly tinged monologue closing out Season 1, and teased what viewers can expect for his character in The Morning Show Season 2.
When we last saw Yanko at the end of Season 1, even apart from the catastrophic events at UBA, he was at a personal crossroads going through a big breakup and facing an existential crisis. How was it picking that back up going into Season 2?
Néstor Carbonell: It was six months in the timeline between Season 1 and Season 2 when we find everybody and we still find Yanko a mess. He still hasn’t recovered from Claire breaking up with him and he’s sort of in a puddle of sadness only for things to get worse for him when he unwittingly says something that offends someone in one of his weather broadcasts. And now he’s embroiled in potentially being canceled from his work. Things only get worse for Yanko in the best possible way for me as an actor. [laughs] His misery is my joy because, as an actor, that’s all you wish for, conflict and high stakes.
The Morning Show
as… Yanko Flores
STATUS: Renewed For Season 3
Site Name: Néstor Carbonell Central
Opened: December 1, 2020
Merged With Nestor Carbonell Fans: July 2021