Performer of the Week: Guillermo Diaz

Scandal Guillermo Diaz Performer of the WeekA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Guillermo Diaz

THE SHOW | Scandal

THE EPISODE | ”Seven Fifty-Two”

THE AIRDATE | April 25, 2013

THE PERFORMANCE | For a show that metes out backstory on its gladiators so frugally, Scandal this Thursday shed an immense amount of light on its darkest character — and in turn shone a spotlight on the incredible work of Guillermo Diaz.

Picking up the aftermath of the former CIA spook being abducted and tied up in a none-too-big crate, Huck was introduced in the here and now as a shell-shocked warrior, a strong and able man crippled by trauma, only uttering the number “752” over and over again.

Throughout the hour, Diaz toggled between vastly different iterations of Olivia Pope’s most enigmatic associate. As Huck-the-PFC surprising his lady with an early return home from a tour of duty, he was almost unrecognizable. He broadcasted a smile we have never, ever seen before, and a spring in his step replaced the slouched shoulders and hands in pockets we’ve come to expect.

That Huck quickly devolved into a more somber version, as he was pulled into a pitch-black line of employ: killing. Diaz communicated the ghastly nature of the work and Huck’s discomfort with it until an unnerving sequence in which, with a baby on the way and marriage under his belt, he brought a zeal and cleverness to his craft.

Then there was Huck the homeless veteran, a fallen man forced to forget everyone he loved, leaving him lost in life. That wounded warrior would be one day be given purpose anew by Olivia. And it was ultimately Olivia’s words, her story of how he saved her more than she ever saved him, that drew him out of his near-cataonic state there in the corner of the OPA office, where he realized that the family he suspected he had only imagined in fact was forgotten but very real.

Diaz’s work, in every of these scenes and varied arcs, made us appreciate and lament all that Huck had lost as much as he did.

HONORABLE MENTION | Throughout all of Smash‘s up and downs, Megan Hilty has been a consistent bright spot. In last Saturday’s installment, though, the actress’s light shone brighter than ever. In the opening night performance of the fictional Broadway musical Bombshell, Hilty’s Ivy Lynn delivered the closing number “Don’t Forget Me” with such off-the-charts horsepower and genuine emotion, we were ready to camp out at the TKTS booth and score tickets. And just as compelling, her character buried the hatchet with arch rival Karen, showing her trademark mix of cattiness and vulnerability in the process. When the curtain finally goes down on NBC’s troubled musical drama, it’ll be Hilty that we miss most of all.

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  1. C’mon, Donald Glover was *amazing* this week as Abed.

    Diaz just kept repeating Seven Fifty Two throughout the episode. Not that his performance wasn’t great, I just think Glover should’ve gotten at least a shout out. :)

  2. Esaul says:

    Bravo to Guillermo. I cried at the end, I admit. And it was well worth splurging all the episodes to get to this point. I love Scandal.

    • Elly says:

      I know, that was so heartbreaking. He’s such a good actor too. I use to watch him on “Weeds” He’s so good as Huck I forgot he played a gang banger/drug runner lol.

    • The Beach says:

      He was a great baddie in Weeds and is very good in Scandal. Most of his roles seem to be the tough guy with a bit of heart down deep. It’s nice to see an out and proud gay actor in roles that don’t stereotype him as such.

  3. Crabapple says:

    I absolutely agree with this pick – Guillermo Diaz was absolutely brilliant; as lover, killer, father and as a person who has had to bear the weightiest of burdens all obscured by the PTSD nature of his post-family life. Scandal threw a lot at him this week and he knocked them all out the ball park with varying degrees of grace.

  4. Emma says:

    Couldn’t of picked it better myself. Diaz was superb, clearly Marin didn’t bother to watch the whole episode to appreciate that. I was so heartbroken for Huck at the end and the significance of Seven Fifty Two.

  5. paul says:

    I would say that Sandra Wilson’s Miranda Bailey knocked it out of the park with her raw emotional grief over the loss of 3 patients and her confrontation with Richard about throwing her under the bus after all the times she defended him through the years with his being drunk in surgery to his in attention to wife Adele. Bailey held nothing back in her emotional unleashing on her once friend Richard Webber.

  6. Bobbi says:

    I thought Guillermo Diaz would be the choice this week as soon as the episode ended. He was fantastic! But, I agree with Paul that Chandra Wilson’s portrayal of Miranda Bailey was also outstanding this week. Would have preferred her as the Honorable Mention.

    Megan Hilty did a great job but I don’t think it was at a level above and beyond her other performances on the show. I did love the duet with Kat McPhee!

  7. I totally agree with this- Guillermo was amazing- but something about the whole story has been bothering me. Remember his “family”- the one the psycho girlfriend killed? If he thought/imagined that he once had a family, why wouldn’t he be more drawn to stalking a family more like the one he lost- mom, dad, one boy, no dog, instead of the one he did stalk- mom, dad, two girls, and a dog. Just a question-a minor quibble- I adore this show!

    • Esaul says:

      Good question. But I guess he just marked a family he imagined to be his own or something. I thought for the longest time the family that he watched resembled his own. I was a bit surprised because of that.

    • suz says:

      In his head, he would have had 2 kids and a dog so the family he stalked was the ultimate dream. Even when he was trying to find a family for Quinn, he choose one without a mother because that was the family Quinn had as a child.

      So many level revealed in this episode, except his real name!

    • Dee says:

      I think when choosing a family to stalk its a family that reminds him of his own childhood. Like when he found quinn a family it was a little girl with a single father, like how she grew up

    • Alice says:

      I was a little confused about how much of his family he remembered. Did his time in the hole actually break him enough that he forgot them….or did he finally just tell the guys imprisoning him what he knew they wanted the hear? He tells Liv, “I think I had a family”, like he’s not certain they were real, but seeing his wife and son get off the train clearly had an effect on him, since he kept repeating the time over and over. Maybe he didn’t trust that they were real, maybe he thought he made them up, and it was easier to just pick a family that wasn’t so confusing to watch.

  8. Jen says:

    Excellent choice! Loved the episode.

  9. Lila says:

    I agree completely about Megan Hilty. She has been the bright spot of Smash since it started but when finally given an episode with more than two scenes, she lit the place up. She is wonderfully real in a character that could have been ridiculous and in a show that frequently is. I look forward to the rest of the season for her and anything she does in the future.

    • nguber says:

      OMG completely agree with you. I have been hate watching Smash all season but last Saturday’s episode with that performance from Hilty just showed me why I loved the show at the beginning

  10. Laquisha says:

    I’m not gonna miss anything about Smash. That show is just not relatable to the audience.

  11. Megan Hilty’s performance brought tears to my eyes. It really was amazing. Thanks for giving her an honorable mention!

  12. Mike says:

    What no Emilia Clarke.. :( She was amazing this week.

    • Amber says:

      AGREE! Her facial expressions, they way she delivered her lines, the amazingness of how she carried herself. It was absolutely fantastic. She continues to be an awesome actor and made that last scene in Game of Thrones absolutely EPIC!!!

    • Clarissa says:

      I definitely agree with you, Emilia Clarke absolutely killed it. She made the scene really powerful, especially when she set the unsullied free; it just shows what a dynamic leader she is. It might not have been chosen, or gotten a shout-out because her scene wasn’t that long. It was one short scene at the end of the episode. In Scandal the entire episode was devoted to Huck’s story and he showed a lot of range in his performance.

  13. Jenn says:

    Absolutely agree! Diaz was so fantastic in is performance this week, after watching I was speechless…absolutely love, love, love Scandal…amazing!

  14. Sara says:

    Did they say Huck’s real name was Ben?? I thought I heard that but no one seems to be mentioning it

  15. paul says:

    My apologies to CHANDRA Wilson.

  16. rachelle says:

    So well deserved!! Diaz was fantastic as Huck. And I agree with the poster above who mentioned Emilia Clarke. Her performance was amazing! Both performers had me on the edge of my seat, either speechless from tears of sorrow [Diaz] or cheering at the sheer badassery [Clarke].

  17. Larc says:

    This is a very obvious choice for the week. Diaz consistently does an outstanding job portraying Huck. Giving a character with Huck’s coldly murderous background redeeming and even sympathetic qualities is an extraordinary accomplishment.

  18. Lindsey says:

    Good for him! I’ve never watched this show but always loved him on Weeds :)

  19. Pat says:

    Love this show! Don’t screw it up ABC! Hope to be watching this for many seasons. And Guillermo was great, breakthrough star..

  20. GTS says:

    Great pick. Although a lot of the episode he was just saying 752, he showed so much emotion, just repeating one word. Not to say he wasn’t as good dealing with torturing people of being locked in the hole…

  21. Juan says:

    Great choice he was increadible in this episode, my fav scence was when he and Olivia where speaking and he says I think I had a family, but he wasn’t sure. That broke my heart and I got a little misty eyed. Also agree that Chandra’s performance was great her confrontation to the chief and asking for her results where increadible, she was amazing.

  22. sladewilson says:

    Great pick this week. Guillermo earned that PoW with an amazing performance. I would’ve gave Chandra Wilson honorable mention also (who says you can only have one?). She BOUGHT it this week, esp. that emotional ending with James… WOW….

  23. Et. Al. says:

    I’m excited to see Scandal. It’s still on the DVR. I have to see this episode because so far Diaz’s performance as Huck has been one of the worst acting jobs I’ve ever seen on television. I’m curious to see this particular performance and see why it’s good.

  24. mary says:

    Absolutely agree Guillermo had me laughing crying excited antsy worried suspended lost and broken right along with him his story totally eclipse the Olitz story line and he wss truly front and center. His range was just … wow … breathtaking. .. so good

  25. Grrrrp says:

    Guillermo was absolutely fantastic. That takes some serious skill to pull off what he did.

  26. scorpionglow says:

    I knew he’d get it this week, he was amazing and heartbreaking. It was a very powerful episode for his character and the ending was an interesting twist on Olivia’s character. My honorable mentiion would have gone to Joseph Morgan, but that’s my personal opinion. There are still a few things left on my DVR that I have to watch this weekend.

  27. Razzy9 says:

    Loved Guillermo’s performance this week and honestly every other time! Also thanks for giving Megan’s Hilty the props she deserves, she’s the reason I keep watching Smash. (love Debra Messing too!)

  28. Matt says:

    It’s amazing to think that this is the same guy who played Scarface in Half Baked.

  29. Shara says:

    LOVE Guillermo Diaz on Scandal! I have a huge soft spot for Huck. He was sooooo great in this “752” episode, and all episodes. I want only good things for Huck, poor guy. (Yes, I realize he’s very good at killing…)

  30. Lauren says:

    I think you guys should do a Dramatic Actor and a Comedic Actor. It feels like the comedy actors are getting shafted a bit, and I absolutely love this feature so more would be a good thing!
    I definitely second Donald Glover’s amazingness on the new Community.

  31. don_mae says:

    Excellent choice on Diaz/Huck!! I have rewatched 752 four times. (Downloaded the episode from iTunes.) I was crying through most of the show. So sad. So revealing on Huck’s sadness and outlook on life.

    Did anyone else hear Kim (his wife) say “Huck” when she turns around and sees it is him. The scene in the library. She turns, rushes to him, says “Huck” and hugs him. Anyone see that?

    Loved this episode so much. Love the show and the characters.

  32. Rachel says:

    I literally didn’t recognize Diaz when he came back from the tour and surprised his girlfriend, it wasn’t until we got a close-up of him and they started talking that I realized it was really him! Unbelievable performance, so so good.

  33. mar says:

    Hilty is the WORST! You must have gotten high with Jimmy to make those comments!

  34. Myrlo Hall says:

    If u dont have anything nice to say pls dont say nothing at all. The world is full of negative ppl and no one wants to be like it! Guillermo you are AWESOME ! Some people dont understand the level of physical exhaution that ur renditiin takes!