How are you able to balance a schedule between two shows?
Ato: ‘Copper’ has been very accommodating as to letting me do other shows, and so ‘Elementary’ has been wanting to work with me more and more because my character at first was just a one off. Then they just said, ‘Hey, bring him back, bring him back,’ which was great.
But what had to happen to fit me in was to a lot of times on those episodes, I would fly in. I would take a 6AM flight from Toronto where we’re shooting ‘Copper’ and land at seven in JFK, get picked up by the crew van and then drive straight to set and have to act. Lucy [Liu] was giving me all these suggestions, like, ‘Okay, do some jumping jacks. Wake up. Do you need some tea?’ Lucy Liu is so cool.
So I’m completely freaking knackered at this point. So Lucy is giving me massages because she has all this Chinese medicine knowledge. She’s like, ‘There’s some roots that you can use.’ I’m like, ‘Lucy, just get me through this first scene.’ So that was fun. [I envy his life tbh!]
Can you talk about working with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy on the set of ‘Elementary’?
Ato: It’s great. I’m a big fan of both of them just because of the work that they do. I mean, Jonny Lee Miller’s work is amazing. In my career, I’ve done so many guest stars that I’m used to it, and what I say about being a guest star is that it’s like being invited to an acquaintances family reunion where you’re welcome, but you don’t actually belong. You don’t know where you’re supposed to sit. You don’t know what’s up with weird Uncle Bob. You don’t fit there.
However, Lucy and Jonny were so accommodating, sitting with me at lunch and letting me know what the writer’s were thinking. So I felt instantly like I was a part of the group and the crew, and the directors also…it was funny because as a guest star, you have to show up and just do your thing because they’re waiting to turn the camera on Lucy or Jonny or whoever the star is.
But with this, the director would come up and ask me my opinion. I’m like, ‘You want to know my opinion? OK.’ There was an artistic input that they actually wanted from me, and so as an actor, given that respect for whatever reason, it was great. I’d love to work on that show again, if it all works out. I would go back and do some ‘Elementary’ in a heartbeat because it’s a fun character, and it’s a great contrast to what I’m doing on ‘Copper,’ too, because I get to play like the hoodie guy, kind of.
I feel like there’s a part of Alfredo being the other Watson, to a certain degree.
Ato: Yeah, yeah. I don’t want to blow up Lucy’s spot, but Lucy and Jonny were very excited to try and get me to do more episodes. Lucy shared that with me, and I know that there’s a little kindling on Twitter, if you will, every time Alfredo appears.
Bless all the main cast, crew, and guest stars on this show..
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