Lucca De Oliveira Talks New Role on CBS’ Freshman Series ‘Clarice’

Lucca De Oliveira is opening up on what it’s like to play Tomas Esquivel, on CBS’ new hit series Clarice.

If you’re a fan of the film Silence of the Lambs, then you have to check out Clarice. It’s a new series that airs on CBS that follows Clarice Starling, 1 year after the events of Silence of the Lambs.

No longer is Clarice pursuing Buffalo Bill, but now there’s a new threat that’s unlike anything she’s faced in the past.

I was able to talk with Lucca De Oliveira, who plays agent and sniper Tomas Esquivel about what it’s like being a part of such an iconic franchise, and what it takes to dive deep into his character.

“This was one of those auditions for me where I went in not really thinking anything of it. I didn’t think I would fit the character. There’s a certain type of humanity to Esquivel that I resonate with heavily. It’s such a blessing, and it’s so insane and overwhelming. I didn’t even know it was Silence of the Lambs at first because they kept everything pretty quiet. It was a total dream come true for me.” explained Lucca on landing the role of Tomas Esquivel.

Being a part of The Silence of the Lambs franchise is a pretty big deal, especially for Lucca who was a fan of the films growing up.

“After I found out about the job I started to do a lot of research, but before that, I was a huge fan of Silence of the Lambs. It was my mom’s favorite movie, and she was the one that got me into watching it. Thomas Harris’ other works like Red Dragon and Hannibal, I love those movies, and I was very familiar with the world going into it.” said Lucca

Tomas Esquivel is a new character to the Silence of the Lambs franchise, and right off the bat, you can tell there’s something special about the character, which was something that caught Lucca’s eye.

“Tomas is so far from the overconfident FBI agents we’re so familiar with. He’s much quieter and much more thoughtful. The biggest thing I connected with him was the cases that we come across. It’s nothing that he’s necessarily comfortable with or desensitized to. He feels that deeply. He feels what he sees and he takes that very personally. What I love about him most is that he’s not just some cold killer, he’s the heart of the show in a lot of ways. He’s honest and open.” explained Lucca.

Landing the gig was only the first part for Lucca. The actor plays a sniper, which means a lot of training had to go into his role. Previously the actor played Vic Lopez a Navy SEAL on the hit series SEAL Team, which he says helped him prepare for his current role.

“My experience on Seal TEAM definitely helped me for this job, especially for the tactical side of things. I had some weapons training on SEAL Team that really benefited me. I take that training very seriously because guns make me very uncomfortable, it’s not a hobby of mine. For me, it’s like learning another language. It’s something I have to learn for the job, and it brings authenticity to the character. It was important to me to have a relatively comfortable relationship with a weapon.” said Lucca.

Lucca has a very impressive acting resume. When it comes to other projects outside of Clarice, the actor is more than ready for his closeup on the big screen.

“Right now what I’m really focused on is working in a movie. I’ve never really done a movie before, and I just wonder what that shooting experience is like, and what that relationship is like with the script and a single director. I’m always looking for the stuff I haven’t experienced. I’m putting that out into the universe.” said Lucca

Something else the SEAL Team alum is putting out into the universe is being able to work with one of his favorite actors.

“Someone that’s recently been on my radar is Pedro Pascal, and I think the opportunity to work within 10 feet of him would be amazing. I love his work so much. I really look to him for inspiration, and to be able to share a scene with him in any capacity would be a real dream come true for me.”

When it comes to what we can expect for the rest of the season of Clarice, Lucca says to expect the unexpected.

“Moving forward throughout the season we’re going to get deeper throughout this case. It’s not a different case every episode. It’s one big case, and we’re slowly but surely cracking down on it. Said, Lucca. “As far as for my character and the show. We’re going to see the group get along even better, and figure out their dynamic. The relationship between Esquivel and Clarice also starts to grow, and they become really good colleagues. We also get to see more of what this experience is like for Esquivel and some of the other characters being minorities in a precinct that is predominantly white in the 90s. The stakes just get higher, and things get more intense.”

You can catch Clarice on CBS on Thursdays at 10/9 central, and for more of what Lucca had to say on the hit series, you can check out the entire interview below.

About the Author

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Benny Adams

Benny Adams is a Producer, entertainment Journalist, and host in Los Angeles. He studied broadcast journalism at California State University Northridge.