The Doctor is In: Five Questions with Jonathan Del Arco

jda gallery colorJonathan Del Arco’s Dr. Morales has had a great year this season on Major Crimes, exploring exploring the world outside of the morgue, and even (finally!) getting a first name! We caught up with Jonathan on set during the filming of the upcoming winter arc of Major Crimes, to ask a few questions about this season, and his continued political and charitable passions.

MajorCrimesTV: You’re just finishing up filming the last episodes of this season. How has this year been, and what can you tell us about the upcoming winter episode arc?

Jonathan Del Arco: I can tell you that it’s been great! We’ve had both a really fun run and a really long run in terms of our filming because we got extended for these upcoming five episodes for a total of 23 episodes, our biggest season ever. These last five have been especially fun for us to film because the entire events of the one contained case, which are explored throughout the five episodes, are worked out in only a matter of days. So [the fans] get to see a lot more of what really goes on when we’re solving a crime, especially a complex one, over a five-parter.

MCTV: We’ve seen Dr. Morales out 409-4-morales rustyof the lab more than ever in this past season. Any favorite moments from this year?

JDA: What has been the most fun for me this season has been that I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time with the rest of the cast, especially those who I don’t often have scenes with like Graham [Patrick Martin], who I rarely have any scenes with. I’d actually love to have more scenes with Graham. Maybe the older Rusty gets, the more gay bars he and Morales can start going to!

What I remember most from this season is the Thanksgiving episode that we did. I remember that it was a really hot day and that we were all dying in our Thanksgiving sweaters – which is just a part of the bizarre thing about being an actor in LA when you’re filming off-season! I remember it being so hot while we were filming in a hospital, and after each take we were all still laughing and doing stupid things –  so it was fun! It was just so much fun, especially since I don’t really get to be a part of the group that often because I’m usually isolated in my little lab.

MCTV: Now that you are a couple seasons into Major Crimes, do you have a sense as to how you would like to see the character grow, or other opportunities you’d like to have with the character?

JMAJOR CRIMESDA: Well, it’s tricky because I think Dr. Morales serves a very specific purpose for the development of the story, which is the progression of the solving of the crime. So you rarely get to see a glimpse, if at all,  of his personal life.  I mean, I’m sure every actor you ask that question to would likely tell you that they want to see more of their personal life explored on camera. But this is a procedural show, right? So we, the characters that is, are all at work, which means that there are not a ton of opportunities to explore our personal lives. A lot of things have been brought up so far over the seasons of The Closer The Closer and of course on Major Crimes about who Morales’ boyfriend might be, for example, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

It would certainly be fun to explore a scenario where he gets stuck in the middle of a crime scene. Maybe he finds himself with a conflict of interest? I always wonder about that kind of a scenario, what happens if a coroner finds a body while out for his morning jog? What happens if his neighbor is killed? Those are all interesting scenarios.

MCTV: The last time we spoke to you, you talked a lot about your work with GLSEN and since then we know that you have also done some work on the Hillary Clinton campaign. Can tell us about what you’ve been doing recently with them?

JDA:  Well, I am involved in the campaign, I’m not working for GLSEN anymore, though I still think it’s a great organization. I’m currently putting my attention more towards an organization called the Human Rights Campaign. They’ve championed marriage equality and now they’re looking at bigger issues that are happening to LGBTQ people as a result of having won the right to marriage equality. One of the issues since that recent win is that there has been an uptick in crime against particularly transgendered people, and there’s an uptick of violence world-wide against LGBTQ people in general, so I’m putting whatever time I have, or attention towards that. And, of course, I’m putting my time and attention towards getting the first woman president elected…and I don’t mean Carly Fiorina.

It’s certainly been fun to go back to that world because I thoroughly enjoy politics. I love going on the campaign trail and meeting the voters, and, hopefully, changing a few minds. There’s plenty of people out there who just need information; I feel like when you have a candidate that’s very well-known there’s a lot of misinformation about who they are. I had the pleasure of actually meeting [Hillary Clinton] her and shaking her hand, and talking to her for a little while and she was a really lovely lady, and that’s not something you hear all the time, so I’m really excited about her candidacy.

jda representMCTV: You also recently did a Represent T-Shirt campaign featuring Dr. Morales to help Operation Pits Healing Heroes. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

There was a company who does that with a lot of people and they were very helpful in helping me learn how to use Facebook –  I don’t know if you’ve noticed it but I’ve developed a strange addiction to something called “Facebook Live” and it’s become a bit of a problem!

But I digress! I picked the charity, which was a Pit Bull rescue charity that works with military vets and brings them together, so the proceeds will go to that. I wanted a Pit Bull/war hero combination. I was really looking hard online to find dogs that have fought in combat and what happens to them, but the time was running out, and I had just the holiday of Thanksgiving to look up the websites and this particular organization, Operation Pits Healing Heroes had a really great photograph of a soldier crying and a dog that looked like my dog looking at him like “why are you crying?” So they had me at “hello”, and it was really great to do the T-shirt campaign and be able to support them in their work.

Major Crimes returns Monday, February 15th at 9pm/8c on TNT