Manuel García-Rulfo returns as Mickey Haller for the second chapter of Netflix’s hit series The Lincoln Lawyer – one that sees him basking in the glory of his legal victory from season 1, getting involved in a romance, and another challenging case.
“It’s more fun, more exciting,” says García-Rulfo. “What attracted the audience in the first season is excitement but I think things are happening faster now. When I was reading the scripts it seemed like every episode ended as if it was the end of a season.”
Season 2 starts with his character dealing with a wave of newfound publicity that lands him on the cover of magazines and newspapers and makes him the talk of the town, which gives his previously low morale a huge boost.
“You’re going to see a Mickey Haller that, in contrast to the first season, where at the beginning he’s in a not so great point in his life, where he doesn’t have a job…in this season, he’s very cocky, because he comes from winning the big case of the first season, becoming the lawyer of the moment in Los Angeles.”
That leads to a lot of attention that irks his first wife Maggie (Neve Campbell) and generates a wave of new clients, including one that throws an unexpected twist in a prior case. His life also gets a little more complicated when his new love interest, chef Lisa Trammell (Lana Parrilla) is accused of murder. Despite the new challenges he faces, he perseveres.
“One of the things that I really like about Mickey Haller is that he’s very human. He’s the hero of the story, but he’s a hero that struggles and deals with problems that every kind of man may deal with… like divorce, dealing with a teenage daughter, addiction and the stress of work. He has a lot of vulnerability and faults. That’s why I think his character resonates with people…and that’s why people want to see him succeed.”
Season 2, based on The Fifth Witness, the fourth installment of Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer bestselling book series, introduces us to Mickey’s dramatic mother Elena, portrayed by Mexican telenovela icon Angélica María.
The author has described Mickey’s mother as a famous actress from Mexico. Angélica María, known as “Mexico’s sweetheart” (la novia de México), definitely fits the bill as the protagonist in countless telenovelas and over 50 films, who has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“The new characters coming in provide intense and comedic moments,” says García-Rulfo.
Other newcomers who are recurring guest stars for the season include YaYa DaCosta as prosecutor Andrea Freeman and Matt Angel as true crime podcast host Henry Dahl. They join returning cast members Becki Newton as Lorna, Mickey’s ex-wife number two and his office manager, Jazz Raycole as his driver Izzy and Angus Sampson as his investigator.
The second season consists of 10 episodes split in two parts. One premieres July 6. The other drops August 3, 2023.
For García-Rulfo, playing Mickey Haller has been a career defining role that has opened doors to more projects in both Hollywood and Mexico. He just wrapped the film Pedro Páramo, expected to be released on Netflix in 2024. But he says it also shows Latinos can successfully portray leading roles.
“I think it’s so cool. I really respect the decision of hiring a Mexican in the leading role of a lawyer – not a narco. And it was a success. The show was a success. And I think that it’s a sign for other studios and producers that it’s OK to hire any nationality… Mexican, Argentinian, Spanish, Italian or whatever. It doesn’t matter,” states García-Rulfo. “What matters is the character and the story….It’s cool to see your identity reflected on the screen – on TV or at the movies. I think stuff like this is opening a lot of doors because it works.”
The first season of The Lincoln Lawyer was a hit, captivating audiences worldwide with 260.53 million hours viewed on Netflix within the first four weeks alone, ranking among Netflix’s Global Top 10 in 90 countries.