The crew had almost completed Season 2 of Los Espookys when production ground to a halt in Chile – where the bilingual series is shot – due to the pandemic, in early 2020.
“Half of it was shot already and the rest was already written,” recalls actor and producer Fred Armison.
It was a scary time for the cast and crew, as the coronavirus quickly spread around the globe.
“The quarantine was seen as something imminent. We left the country about two days before the border was closed. It was terrible,” says Cassandra Ciangherotti, who portrays Úrsula. “HBO decided for safety reasons to shut down production. We got on a plane and everyone went home.”
That led to a lengthy hiatus, before conditions improved and the team could get reassembled to pick up where they left off.
“After two years and many personal adventures for each one of us, we returned to get back into these characters that we had left there, lost in time and space,” says Ciangherotti.
“It was a bit traumatic when we left Chile, in the middle of filming. It was hard to believe that an event of such magnitude put everything on hold,” states actor Bernardo Velasco, Espooky member Renaldo. “Coming back was very exciting. It was great to see the crew again and know they were okay and we could try to get back to work and finish the season.”
Armisen’s role in the show will have a little more screen time in season 2, as he explores joining the Espookys team after he loses his job as a valet in Los Angeles.
“The whole thing just became way more expansive and deep, so there’s plenty of good reason to watch it. It makes me laugh and I’m in it,” says Armisen, who conjured up the original idea and brought Ana Fabrega and Julio Torres on board as part of the show’s main actors and creative team. One, they say, is in sync.
“I think that we have shared sensibilities and approach to writing. It’s a blend of things that are absurd and a little more surreal that we all have in common,” chimes in Fabrega.
And those shared sensibilities to dabble in the absurd, while bringing a telenovela-esque element to the show, clicked.
“My hope was that we were going to make something that realistically, wasn’t going to be for everyone, but it was going to find an audience that really loved it. I think that’s what we made. And it’s developing this little cult following, which I’m immensely proud of,” says Torres.
“We didn’t set out to do the show with any expectations or any big mission statements. We just played with what what we thought was fun and I’m glad the people are enjoying it.”
With an over-the-top storyline, whackiness and a diverse cast offering something “different,” the team hopes enough fans support the show to get HBO to greenlight a third season.
“We’re really happy with this second season,” says Armisen. “We hope we get a chance to do more.”
Three years later, Los Espookys season 2 is now available on HBO and is streaming on HBO Max.