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Josh McKenzie and Lily Santiago Explain La Brea's 'Weird' New Romance
Lucas and Veronica shared their first kiss in the sci-fi series' latest episode.
When it comes to La Brea, romance often takes a backseat because its characters are, ya know, time-traveling from 10,000 B.C. to 1988. But every now and then, there's some time for love. Take Eve (Natalia Zea), Levi (Nicholas Gonzalez), and Gavin's (Eoin Macken) complicated love triangle; Josh (Jack Martin) and Riley's (Veronica St. Clair) will-they-or-won't-they relationship; and Ty (Chiké Okonkwo) and Paara (Tonantzin Carmelo) coming together from two different worlds.
Or how about in Season 2, Episode 7, when a brand-new relationship emerged? Lucas (Josh McKenzie) and Veronica (Lily Santiago) have been getting progressively closer throughout the season. Things really escalated when Veronica cared for Lucas after nearly losing his life to a mysterious ailment, and she kissed him. Though caught off-guard, Lucas clearly shares her feelings, with the two even holding hands by a fire at the end of the episode.
But what bought these two together? When talking with NBC Insider, both actors pointed to their characters' shared pasts.
"We had one moment where she has a panic attack in the car in Season 1," McKenzie says. "And I remember I had talked to [showrunner] David Appelbaum in the past about my character's panic when he was trapped with his mother [in a Season 1 episode]. And there's a relatability between the two in that moment where he just sees her. He sees her for the first time. And I think a lot of people don't see her... From then on, I've kind of had this suspicion that there was 'gonna be a bigger connection in the works."
Santiago added, "I think that it's a huge part of her mindset going into this season of wanting to be a different person. Wanting a new chance, wanting to start something where she's not stuck in this story of tragedy. And then Lucas is sort of the only other person in the clearing who's had a similar traumatic past. He's just lost his mom, he's been involved in all the wrong things just the same way she has. Even if they're completely different things, I think that allows her to feel like she can trust him and feel a little bit understood."
However, don't expect too much from Lucas and Veronica, who are both a bit more reserved with their feelings.
"We're kind of the idiots on set all the time," McKenzie says about himself and Santiago. "We bring out the goofball in each other. And so we kind of use that for the characters, 'cause they're both a bit weird. We had these weird moments where Veronica touches Lucas' arm and she's not used to physical touch with men that's either consensual or healthy. So they're both kind of like, 'What?'"
"We're like the dirty, grungy couple, you know?" Santiago joked. "You have Josh and Riley, who are like your Disney Channel, 'We are happy!' And then you have Veronica and Lucas, who are like, 'Figure it out, kids!'"
Watch La Brea on NBC Tuesdays at 9/8c and next day on Peacock.
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