Midnight, Texas Set Visit Diaries: Francois Arnaud (Manfred Bernardo)

It’s time for our next Midnight, Texas Set Visit Diaries entry. In this one, Francois Arnaud discusses the lingering effects of beating Colconnar, finding a family in Midnight, and how Manfred feels about the newcomers in town.

And if you haven’t read our previous entries yet, you can find them all here.

Midnight, Texas airs tonight at 9/8c on NBC.

Manfred is considered a part of the Midnight family now. How does that change the dynamic between him and the others compared to Season 1?

Well, he saved the world and their lives, so I hope they’re grateful. They’ve embraced him just like he’s embraced his status as a less nomadic, Bohemian dude. He likes this idea of having finally found a home, and a lot of the first season was about that. Now, things are a little shaky. At the start of the season, Manfred’s not very well. He’s still haunted by the demonic possessions that he went through in the finale, and he has black goo oozing out of his ears, and it takes a toll on his relationship with Creek. There’s shaky ground. He finds it difficult because it’s something he just found and is allowing himself to embrace. But I guess you don’t know how good you have until you’ve lost it.

The thing that happens with Manfred at the start of the season is that he’s having these visions, these nightmares, that he’s hurting the people he loves most. He finds some comfort in the fact that they’re only dreams until he understands that they’re not. Creek wants to expand her professional horizons and doesn’t want to be a waitress in a one-stop town her whole life. Like Charlaine Harris who wrote the book, Creek is an aspiring author and wants to study literature. Manfred considers going with her, but there’s always something keeping him in Midnight. [Sarah Ramos] is not a regular season, but she’s back for a few episodes and goes in and out of town.

Does Patience and Kai’s presence in Midnight affect Manfred?

In every possible way. They’re the outsiders now. People are very suspicious of their arrival, and Kai is a bit of a guru. He’s a little arrogant and cocky, and at first, people don’t know if he’s a charlatan or if he actually has supernatural abilities to heal people. When and if they understand that he can heal supernaturals, people are forced to ask themselves if your differences are what makes you “you,” or if you had a chance to blend into the mainstream a little bit, would you take the pill? It’s a question that most of us ask ourselves in throughout our lifetime. It’s very relatable and, and Manfred certainly would have done that before, but would he now? That’s his journey throughout the second season.

Will Manfred continue his streak of making the worst decisions?

When you’ve perceived yourself as a fuck up your whole life, it’s easy to pursue that narrative for yourself. This is what [Manfred does]. He fucks things up, and he’s so good at it. In a way, it’s cowardly because you’re not allowing yourself to get better. You’re finding excuses to make mistakes over and over again. Manfred’s a little bit like that.

What would you say has been most challenging or different in Season 2?

Eric and Nicole were very ambitious in creating this journey for Season 2 and expanding the mythology. By the end of the season, it’s completely insane in a good way. At first, you’re like, “I don’t know how we’re going to come back from this.” They really rein it in and make sense [of it], and find ways to bring beloved characters back that weren’t supposed to come back without it feeling like we’ve cheated. There’s no time travel, but there’s physical travel to other realms. We leave Midnight. We combine hard sci-fi with political elements that are very relevant to the political situation of the country now. There’s a lot of elements that refer to the dangers of populism and ruthless ambition.

Photo Courtesy of NBC

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