HBO's 'Looking' returns

  • by David-Elijah Nahmod
  • Tuesday January 6, 2015
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It seemed to be love at first sight when Richie (Raul Castillo) first approached Patrick (Jonathan Groff) on Muni. Their chemistry was intense and romantic. They quickly became the central characters on HBO's Looking, but a mere eight episodes later, it appeared that Patrick and Richie had split up. On the season one finale, viewers were left hanging as the guys decided to "take a little time off."

On Jan. 11, Looking, HBO's continuing gay drama about a group of gay men who call San Francisco home, returns for its second season. Patrick and Richie are back. Whether or not they're back with each other remains to be seen.

"I love the element of surprise, so I'm not going to say," Raul Castillo said, speaking to the B.A.R. by phone from Los Angeles. But Castillo assured us that Richie will get ample screen time as Looking continues. "We'll get to know more about his background, his family," Castillo promised. "Viewers will learn a little bit more about his history, pre-dating San Francisco."

Castillo, who is straight, feels perfectly at ease portraying the romantic scenes required of his character. He has no issues with kissing Jonathan Groff, his gay co-star. "There's more stubble with a man," he said with a laugh. "Other than that there's no difference. Portraying relationships is tricky and complicated either way, with a man or with a woman. When you have a great scene partner, it's the easiest and most fun thing in the world."

Castillo takes great pride in his work as an actor, and in his Latino heritage. "I'm a member of the Labyrinth Theater Company in New York," he said. "It was a Latino company that began in the early 90s, but it quickly became multicultural. I've been involved as an actor and a playwright since 2006."

At its website, Labyrinth describes itself as "a home for diverse theater artists and the daring and visceral work they create." 

One of Castillo's plays has found its way to the Windy City. Between You, Me and the Lampshade will premiere at Teatro Vista in Chicago in April 2015. The play is described as "hilarious and searing," and tells the story of a single mom with a teenage son in South Texas. Complications ensue when they take in an undocumented immigrant who breaks into their trailer. 

Castillo is excited about the play, and about Looking 's second season. "It's going to reflect the change in the writers," he said. "They're doing a beautiful job."

Castillo and the Looking company spent about 10 weeks in San Francisco this past autumn, shooting season two. The crew, complete with its trucks, lights, and portable dressing rooms, could often be seen around the Castro. "I love San Francisco," Castillo said. "If I could make a living as an actor, I'd move here. There's a cultural tolerance that I appreciate, and that's very appealing to me."

He also said that he was touched by the way the local community embraced the Looking cast and crew.

Castillo described Looking for potential new viewers who might not have tuned in for the freshman year. "It's a very realistic portrayal of the romantic and social lives of a group of men in San Francisco who happen to be gay."


Looking returns to HBO on Jan. 11. Episodes will also stream at and at HBO On Demand.