ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to Lincoln Lawyer star Manuel Garcia-Rulfo on Mickey Haller’s exes, the character’s demons, and how to study him thoroughly. All 10 episodes of Netflix’s adaptation of Michael Connelly’s hit crime novel will be available to watch on May 13.
«When his former partner in law is murdered, Mickey Haller is left to take over the firm, including a high-profile murder trial,» the synopsis reads. «The biggest case he’s ever had to tackle in the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car, Mickey discovers there may be more at stake than he thought.»
Tyler Treese: Mickey has a whole crew of ex-wives on the show, and he even has a second ex that he works with. How refreshing was this dynamic when he wasn’t constantly in conflict with his exes?
Manuel Garcia-RulfoA: I think it’s so cool. Mickey Haller, he sees the best in people, you know what I mean? He simplifies things instead of getting into the drama, he’s like, «Okay, Lorna is amazing at what she does and we have great chemistry, let’s work together.» You know? «Let’s just forget about our past as a couple.» I find it very difficult, but very, very cool to have. Having two ex-wives and, you know, dealing with them at the same time, and one is like a motor for him, for his work, and the other makes him a good person and grounds him.
Mickey’s got something to play with for you. Rehab, failed relationships, he’s such a talented lawyer and he’s kind of looking for redemption. What was so rewarding about 10 episodes to fully explore this character?
It was nice, you know? First, you’re dealing with the whole arc, you see it. We find him first in the lowest period of his life, and then he rises. I can’t say much, but yes, it was a real pleasure to play Mickey Haller, a character so loved by so many. Be a part of Michael Connelly’s world. It was such a pleasure. I mean, Mickey Haller is one of those characters that… he’s bigger than life. So many collars, both very complex and vulnerable. So it was beautiful. It was really cool to play him.
You have a great scene where you mention that the addiction never ends. This is a constant battle for everyone with these demons. Can you just talk about preparing to cover such a sensitive topic?
Yeah. The preparation was… I have a few friends who have dealt with this, with addiction, and I don’t know, it hurts a lot. I really wanted to portray it to have that vulnerability when I played him I really focused on him being not just a swaggering guy who deals with two ex wives and is really good at what he does but to have that the severity of the addiction, plus the accident, plus the ex-wives, plus the accident. I have done a lot of research on this. I have done a lot of research on testing. I watched many hours of actual footage of the O. J. Simpson trial and all that.
I think for every surfer I’ve met, it’s like a lifestyle when you’re surfing. So I wanted to feel it too. So I went to Mexico and stayed there for a couple of days and learned how to surf so I could get an idea of what was on the page in the scripts and talk to the producers and everyone about what the character was like. But yes, I definitely wanted to feel that heaviness, especially, as you said, addictions. It’s just a place where you’re very vulnerable and feel separate from what I’ve experienced with the friends that I have, that you feel separate from everyone else. It’s like a rejection that you put into your mind. You feel inferior to the rest of civilization, I think. So I really wanted it to be there.