Last Resort Q&A: Jay Hernandez On His Character’s ‘Ulterior Motives’ & Flashbacks With Scott Speedman

“Last Resort” has another famous face in its cast – “Hostel” star Jay Hernandez – whose role heats up tonight on the ABC drama.

The actor, who made his debut in the show during Episode 2 as Paul Wells, an attorney and “friend” to Christine Kendal (Jessy Schram), returns Thursday. He’s back to continue his attempt to help the government get some leverage over Colorado XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman), second in command of the rogue Navy submarine crew, through the military man’s wife.

But the former “Crazy/Beautiful” star told that all is not as it seems. You play Paul – and he is basically double-sided in this drama. What’s his connection to Scott ‘s character Sam – they went to school together?

Jay Hernandez: Yes. They’re old college buddies. It’s not like they grew up as best friends, but they had a solid relationship. They sort of went different ways and Paul rears his head in a time when [Sam] disappears on the island and his wife really has nobody else to turn to, so the government sort of taps me and uses me as sort of a manipulative tool to get what they want from Christine.

Access: So mean!

Jay: Yeah (laughs). It’s also… the government has a trump card against me and, you know, I don’t know if I should divulge it, but they have something that they’re kind of using against me as sort of leverage to get me to do what they want. So [there are] sort of strings being pulled on both sides of it, not just me trying to sort of pull the [wool] over her eyes. I think I’m being used as much as she is.

Access: Intriguing.

Jay: It’s great… Obviously there’s a lot of action and there’s a lot going on and sort of shifting allegiances… but through all that, there’s always a great focus on character, which is really important to me and one of the reasons why I enjoyed the show so much.

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Access: Why is the government so interested in Christine? Do they think she has any information on anything?

Jay: Well, they don’t know exactly what she has, but they know she’s married to him, so that is already a tool they can use against Sam. They’re trying to get the upper hand in any way possible. So, at this point, we’re trying to manipulate Sam and I’m a part of that manipulation.

Access: Will we get flashbacks of you and Scott Speedman?

Jay: Um, there’s a cool moment. I don’t remember what episode it is, but there is definitely a cool moment where we do meet, and I think that’s all I should say about it.

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Access: You’ll be around for a while. Will we see you interact with any of the main characters – maybe in D.C.?

Jay: Yes, but I essentially have a mission and my mission is to sort of turn Christine, so a lot of my stuff is with Jessy’s character.

Access: Lots of heart to hearts then?

Jay: It’s so interesting because a lot of the scenes we had, they’re multilayered. It’s not just the apparent scene that’s taking place. There’s sort of a subtext that we both have to play, so it’s an interesting balance between the words that we’re actually saying and what’s happening underneath because we both have sort of ulterior motives.

Access: Have you been having any fun with the cast in Hawai’i?

Jay: It’s all work (laughs)… [But] two weekends ago, I was actually there for the weekend… I actually got to hang out with most of the cast members [who] I had not had a chance to work with, so we hung out, they barbecued and were cooking like, octopus on a grill. We walked to the beach, had some wine, everybody was pulling out like ukuleles and guitars and singing, it was pretty amazing.

Access: Jay, what does Octopus taste like?

Jay: It’s very chewy and it basically has no flavor, but you know, whatever you flavor it with is the actual flavor of it, because to me, I couldn’t really tell what octopus really tastes like.

WATCH: Andre Braugher & Scott Speedman On Moving To Hawai’i For ‘Last Resort’

Access: You’ve been working on your own writing during your breaks – what sort of writing?

Jay: Screenplays. You know, I’ve been around, I’ve read and I’ve studied extensively over the past couple of years, so on my down time when I have nothing to do, especially when I’m sort of isolated in Hawaii…, I figure I would be creative and sort of continue things I’ve started in LA. It’s been great because I’ve been able to work on the show, do some great stuff and also, be creative in a way that you can’t really do when you’re here in LA, or at least it’s really hard for me because there’s so many other things I need to do when I here.

Access: What kind of genres are you writing about?

Jay: The thing that I’m working on right now is a thriller, suspense kind of deal.

Access: Sounds good coming from the guy who has been in one of the scariest movies of the last decade (‘Hostel’).

Jay: Yeah (laughs). I’ve had a chance to watch some pros, so I’ve picked up some things along the way.

“Last Resort” airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.

-- Jolie Lash

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