Hightown‘s Atkins Estimond opens up about playing P-Town’s most notoriously dangerous drug trafficker, what life behind bars is like in Season 2, and how someone like Osito enjoys reading Sheryl Sandberg.
In the new season of Hightown on STARZ, Osito, who spends most of Season 1 pulling the strings as lead drug trafficker in P-Town, now sits in a jail cell reading Sheryl Sandberg’s feminist manifesto Lean In, an interesting choice for the man who shot a woman in last season’s finale.
Atkins Estimond says that this is an obvious choice for his character.
“He is the kind of guy—the better informed I am about everything, the better decisions I can make for myself.”
Besides, what else is Osito gonna do, when the woman he shot, also shot him, leaving him unable to walk on his own?
“He’s injured, vulnerable, lost his freedom. Might as well use that time well.”
Osito on the Inside
In Hightown Season 2, Osito becomes a very physical role for Estimond, as you see him wincing and reacting to pain, pulling himself with a walker down the hallways of the jail.
“It was a lot. The day they gave me the walker, it was a tough day. It was an exciting day when I didn’t have to use it anymore. I’m also having to put so much of myself and the weight of the situation into the role—all of that manifested. On the outside, he had money, status, power. It’s that initial shock of, ‘I’ve lost it all.'”
And yet despite being one of the baddies of the series, you can’t help but like Osito. He’s smart. He’s funny. And most importantly, he’s authentic.
“When I initially got the sides, he was a real person. People like that really exist. We’re all capable of good and bad. For him, he had some circumstances laid out in front of him, where he’s constantly in an environment where he has to be strong. Even though he’s bad, he’s real.”
Junior and Osito’s Relationship
The storyline that really demonstrates Osito as more than a one-dimensional villain is his relationship with Junior (Shane Harper), who unfortunately met his untimely demise last season via an overdose. Osito tried to get Junior out of the area, but ultimately, Junior couldn’t be helped.
“He definitely does care about Junior, one of the few people he calls in his life a friend. I think Junior becomes that for him.”
Osito makes some questionable decisions in the second season that result in a showdown between him and Jackie Quinones (Monica Raymund), which Estimond describes as such a fun scene.
“One of the few times I get to interact with her.”
Other than of course shooting her in Season 1!
“Maybe there’s a place where if she meant that much to Junior, maybe she could mean that much to him.”
But of course, don’t count on Osito going to the good side anytime soon. He’s got some tricks up his sleeve when it comes to making due in the slammer.
“There’s some real resentment and loss, but he’s still that savvy guy that has to find a way to survive. It’s what I have to do. For him it wasn’t personal, it was business.”
Hightown Season 2 starts Sunday, October 17 at 9 p.m. ET on STARZ.