Played by Miguel Gomez (Southpaw), Augustin 'Gus' Elizalde has consistently been one of the most interesting characters on FX's The Strain, and Daily Dead recently took part in a conference call with Gomez, who discussed facing fear, seeking revenge, and the power of love in the vampiric world of The Strain.
Gomez discusses how Gus' guilt for unknowingly bringing The Master into New York City keeps him focused on revenge:
"Yes, I think that’s what really drives him. I think he feels that he lost his mom, and his brother, and his best friend because of his mistakes, and I think his nature is to be protective of the people he cares about and the people that care about him. So, yes, I think that’s what’s driving him, that revenge and that redemption, and I think he has one goal now and that’s to seek out whoever caused all these things to happen to his family and get revenge on it."
Gomez on how street-hardened Gus deals with the fear-inducing characters he frequently faces:
"He absolutely feels fear, and some of the things that he comes across are very scary. It’s not that he doesn’t feel that fear. But he comes from the streets, from really rough elements and circumstances, and he’s used to that survival mentality and conditioned to face death a lot. Because in the streets you can really die at any moment, especially if you’re involved with illegal activities, it’s always a possibility.
And it’s survival of the fittest. So, he knows how to mask that fear. Even with the clothes he wears and the shaved head and his tattoos, it’s all just battle onwards. It’s all just him adapting to his situation, to his culture, to what’s going on around him. So, it’s really hard. I would say it’s just a wall. It’s a defense mechanism that he has. But, yes, he definitely feels that fear."
Gomez on how love and friendship are the greatest weapons on The Strain:
"The Strain is not trying just to scare you. There’s a political message, there’s a spiritual message that goes along with the show. And even deeper than that, it brings people from different walks of life together because in order to defeat this thing, you need people from different walks of life. Nobody’s more important than anybody else. The billionaire needs the guy from the street, and the guy from the street needs the scientist, and the scientist needs his son.
If you really look at what’s happening—it’s love. Everybody needs to be together as one. It’s very important. It’s an incredible message for us as humanity. We need to all be together. Why does it take something like a sickness or an alien attack for us to realize that we’re just one? We’re all one and we all need each other. That’s what people connect to. They realize that we need each other. We’re all human beings, and ultimately what’s going to save us is love."
"As the second season unfolds, the transformation has begun. It can no longer be denied — New York City is rapidly falling to an evil epidemic, and no one is coming to its rescue. Its citizens must fight or die. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his unlikely allies tried to take down the embodiment of this evil — the Master — and failed. Now Eph and Dr. Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro) concentrate on creating a biological weapon to wipe out the creatures, while Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) searches for an ancient book he hopes will reveal the strigoi’s entire history...and possibly a way to kill them. Meanwhile, the Master is out for revenge, unleashing new and even more terrifying breeds of bloodthirsty creatures after our team. Our team must find a way to defeat him before the infection spreads too far and becomes irreparable … before they become monsters themselves."