Exclusive: Arlen Escarpeta Talks Crackle’s The OathPosted by Wilson Morales
April 4, 2018
Currently playing on Crackle, Sony Pictures Television Networks’ free, ad supported streaming network, is their latest 10-episode original drama, “The Oath,” starring Ryan Kwanten, Katrina Law, Cory Hardrict, Arlen Escarpeta, J.J. Soria and Sean Bean.
Created by Joe Halpin, a Former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy, and executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit Film & Television Inc., the gritty, action-packed drama, explores a world of gangs made up of those sworn to protect and defend and sheds light on corrupt and secret societies that are nearly impossible to join—only a select few make the cut–but once inside, members will do what they must to protect each other from enemies on the outside and from within their own ranks.
A group of corrupt cops known as The Ravens are arrested by the FBI, which is putting together a RICO case targeting the multiple organized cop gangs in the Department. Led by Steve Hammond (Ryan Kwanten), the Ravens are pressured to inform on the other gangs and forced by Agent Aria Price (Elisabeth Röhm) to take on undercover agent Damon Byrd (Arlen Escarpeta) and sell him as one of their own. With the threat of prison hanging over their heads, it’s up to Hammond to ensure that his fellow Ravens — his adopted brother Cole (Cory Hardrict), his partner Pete Ramos (J.J. Soria) and Karen Beach (Katrina Law) — stay in line. From now on, they will have to operate under the shadow of the Feds while keeping the deal a secret from the other Ravens, including their imprisoned former leader, Tom Hammond (Sean Bean), father of Steve and Cole.
For Arlen Escarpeta, who recently played the role of Bobby Brown in the Lifetime TV Whitney Houston biopic, Whitney, this marks his first TV regular role since he played Sam Walker in NBC’s the historical drama series American Dreams. Film roles have included We Are Marshall and Final Destination 5.
Blackfilm.com spoke with Escarpeta as he spoke about his role on The Oath.
How did the role come about for you?
Arlen Escarpeta: I got the audition for the show and i went through the process. I think I went in three times altogether. Initially I didn’t know what to expect. Initially I thought I might have been too young for the character, but God bless me they saw something special in me and I was over ecstatic to be part of the project. To see 50 Cent’s name as part of the project, my buddy J.J. Soria, me and Cory Hardrict have known each other for like 16-17 years, it was an absolute blessing.
How would best describe the character that you are playing?
Arlen Escarpeta: Damon Bryd is heart and soul. He’s a good guy. He lives his life with the best moral compass that you can imagine but once he enters the world of the Ravens, all of that gets blurred very, very fast because the world that they live in that he gets immersed into is a dangerous one. Damon knows the difference between right and wrong but at one point he does what’s necessary. Once he goes down that road, he really starts learning things about himself that he may not have even known initially. You really get to see him grow up throughout the series.
As an actor, is it a blessing to play a role where one loses balance on what’s right and wrong?
Arlen Escarpeta: I think it’s a blessing for us as a whole within our show but as an actor, it’s an added plus to play a character that is so conflicted and has so many layers and has so many places to pull from and things to do because every page is not always the same. There are consequences within our show that every actor and character has to deal with. That’s the beauty of what makes our show so good. You can’t always predictnof what’s going to happen next and when something does happen, there are repercussions and every single character is affected by that.
Can you talk about the chemistry between you and the cast? What’s it like working as a unit?
Arlen Escarpeta: We meshed so well, one would think that we all grew up together. Cory and I definitely grew up together out here in LA. We’ve known each other for over 15 years at this point. I’ve known J.J. Soria for over 10 years plus as well. Ryan and I have mutual friends and God bless his sou and we have a connection there. With Katrina Law, I didn’t know her initially but once we got on stage together and we started hanging out and talking, we’re really cut from the same cloth. We respect the work. We respect the craft and we’re their to put our best foot forward. It was nice to work with people who not only hold themselves accountable but hold you accountable. We’re cut from the same cloth. We’re a good group. I couldn’t ask for a better cast.
Have you had a chance to meet 50 Cent?
Arlen Escarpeta: Yes. Several times over. He came down to visit us in Puerto Rico and I saw him recently at the world premiere for The Oath. 50 Cent is a wonderful guy. Describing him to someone, I said he’s an enigma. You can’t put your finger on him. That’s what makes him so special. He doesn’t fit under one umbrella. You can’t a label on him and say “This is who you are.” He’s a special man and I’m blessed to have him as a producer. Once he puts his finger behind a project, not only do people listen, but they respect it. This show deserves those eyes, deserves attention, and I’m super excited.
What’s a good reason for folks to watch The Oath?
Arlen Escarpeta: The best reason for people to tune in to The Oath is that they will be in for something special. You’re going to see a world that you’re not always privy to. You’ve heard stories and may read an article hear or there. Here are some potatoes for you to digest and swallow. The first three episodes will set the table for what’s to come. For the rest of the series, you get to watch these characters grow, learn, hurt one another, and love one another. It’s a tragic love story of family and everything that comes with that.