Of all the changes made during the process of rebooting Dynasty for The CW, arguably the biggest was turning Sammy Jo (originally played by Heather Locklear) into a gay man — though the character’s new portrayer promises that he’s more than up for the challenge.
“Even though I’m a guy and we’re completely different, the essence of the character is the same,” Rafael de la Fuente explains to TVLine. “Who this person is and the reason they are why they are is very similar. They’re the same at their core.”
And just like the original character, Sammy Jo 2.0 is a multi-layered creature, one the actor refers to as a “good bad boy.”
“His heart is in the right place, but he’s had a rough upbringing and he’s had to figure out how to survive,” de la Fuente says. “Sometimes he’s a little bit naughty, a little bit of a schemer, but he’s not a bad guy. He’s not trying to harm anyone.”
He’s also fiercely devoted to Cristal, with whom his relationship will evolve as the season continues. “There’s a secret that the viewers will come to know,” de la Fuente teases.”They come from a very dysfunctional family, and they had to leave Venezuela — but it wasn’t under the best circumstances.”
Speaking of complicated relationships, de la Fuente assures us that Sammy Jo and Steven’s courtship will remain a “rollercoaster. They’re back on track for now, but you can expect things to take quick, sharp turns.”
Of course, Dynasty isn’t the first time American audiences have seen Venezuelan-born de la Fuente in action. Following his recurring role on Empire, he guest-starred in the season premiere of American Horror Story: Cult, where he met his bloody demise at the hand of Twisty the Clown.
“I’ve been a fan of American Horror Story since the first season, and I’m a huge fan of Ryan Murphy,” he says. “My agent was like, ‘There’s a scene in the first episode. It’s small, but it’s really good.’ I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? I’ll do anything on American Horror Story.’ I auditioned with mock sides, so I didn’t know that Twisty was even involved at first. When I found out it was Twisty who killed me, I was over the moon. Freak Show was one of my favorite seasons, and Twisty is such an epic character. I’d also never worked with blood before, so it was a blast.”
New episodes of Dynasty air Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW. Drop a comment with your thoughts on the series below.