Q: What kind of research did you do to play a retired U.S. Border Patrol agent in “Coyote”?
A: We talked to a lot of different people. I mean, we had one of the top investigative journalists from down in Mexico City. … But we had people and voices from both sides of the border explaining people’s points of view, what they were like on the ground. And we had a border patrol agent who was our technical adviser on set and he obviously talked to us about not just the protocols and the practical aspects of things but also the viewpoints, what kind of pressure that they’ve gone through and the difficulties of the job that they face.
And then we talked to folks in Mexico – over 85 percent of our crew is Mexican, South and Central American and half the writing staff is Mexican, South and Central American. So we were very keen to say, “Look, when we’re telling this part of the story or that part of the story, if something doesn’t ring true, if something feels false to you, jump on it. Tell us.” … We really also wanted to go down there and be at the border. I mean, it’s extraordinary that in 2020, we shot those sequences on the Mexican-American border and had six lanes of the border locked up.
Q: So that was really the San Ysidro crossing south of San Diego used in the show?
A: Yes, sir. … And that took a great deal of wrangling and preparation with the countries. I was really heartened by that whole situation, actually. You know, people on the ground, they just want to live their lives and they want to find some equilibrium. But hey man, I want people to see this show, take this journey because really I call it an odyssey. … And it was one of those rare shoots where we were really immersed and excited and feeling like we were doing something special. And I just can’t wait to get back to it.
George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.