Monkeys Fighting Robots

Desmin Borges plays Edgar Quintero on the FXX anti-rom-com YOU’RE THE WORST. He also plays Carlos on PREACHER and John on THE GUEST BOOK. Desmin talks about S4 of YTW, working with Michaela Watkins, the food in Albuquerque, and the “Smooth Edgar.”

We’ve seen a good number of promos for YOU’RE THE WORST, but a lot of the promos have been about Jimmy and Gretchen. Where does Season 4 see Edgar?

DESMIN BORGES: Season four is different than all the other seasons, in that it starts three months later than where we left them. The other seasons start either within days after or within a week after, so there’s quite a bit of time that’s happened. We find Edgar and Lindsay have kind of flip-flopped with Jimmy and Gretchen. They are now the stable ones in this foursome. They have jobs, Lindsay has an apartment, Edgar has brand new clothes. They’re both solely concentrating on continuing to better themselves individually, while focusing on their jobs that they absolutely love.

Desmin Borges

Jimmy and Gretchen kind of seem to be relegated to the side roles in their view. Not that they really are – I don’t think you Jimmy and Gretchen could ever be sidekicks. But you know, within this scenario, Edgar and Lindsay definitely have the upper hand in the status of the relationship. It’s pretty cool, because this is the first time that I think Edgar’s ever felt confident enough to be on equal footing with Jimmy, or to be the top dog in the house. He’s redecorated everything, bringing some life and plants it into the home, and he keeps the light out there for Jimmy for whenever he does decide to return. But at the same time, he’s really enjoying being a bachelor, having a really dope pad, writing some dope sketches, and having casual sex with Lindsay on the side.

Oh wow. Casual sex. Yeah I noticed that in the latest promo. So what’s it like to kind of have this new level of that relationship for the characters?

Oh it’s awesome, because they are totally not interested in being in a relationship with each other. Like I said, they’re solely focused on their jobs, and if they have time to bang it out, they bang it out. If not, they say “peace, deuces, catch you later on the flip side, homie.” It’s a really fun dynamic to navigate, because in real life, the term “friends with benefits” normally doesn’t really work out. One side of the friendship becomes more in love, or more in like, with the other side. Most of the time, there’s a falling out that happens, and sometimes that friendship goes to the wayside. But they’re very aware of the situation. They’re trying to just keep it friends with benefits, to concentrate on the friendship part more so than ever, and to take care of each other’s bodies if they have time. But it’s pretty cool. Kether [Donahue] and I have some really funny, stupid shit going on, between the two of us.

Desmin Borges
What’s Edgar’s new experience as a comedy writer for Doug Benson’s sketch show like?

Things are going very well. He’s been teamed up with his buddy Max [played by Johnny Pemberton], who’s amazing and super funny. He’s kind of a cool hipster dude who wears really dope hipster clothes, so Edgar kind of takes on his energy. So Edgar’s got cool new clothes, and has a little bit more money in his pocket, and they’re writing some really funny stuff. Doug is very excited for it, and Steve Agee actually comes back to be the receptionist at Doug Benson Industries. So we get to play together a little bit more, which is which is really cool.

Overall, it’s nice it’s nice to see Edgar being able to flex that muscle. Not only does it give him a great amount of satisfaction to finally be good at something, but at the same time, it really brings up his confidence level that he was able to find such a cool friend. Now that he doesn’t have Dorothy anymore, he’s got this friend Max who encourages him to be himself, who doesn’t shut him down when he wants to talk about things that are personal like Jimmy normally does. He gets to really open up, and continue to peel back layers of the onion. We’re seeing a much more confident and, for lack of a better term – I’ll put air quotes here – but we’re seeing the smooth Edgar. Smooth with the ladies, kind of smooth all over. Who knows how long that’ll last, but that was really fun to play.

I love the sound of Smooth Edgar. That sounds like the perfect drink.

I’m gonna have to talk to Stephen [Falk] about that. We’re gonna have to make the Smooth Edgar happen.

Both you and Edgar are foodies. You get to cook some fantastic stuff throughout the show. Are there like more awesome recipes that we get to see this season, and have you tried to bring any of your own cooking expertise or like meals that you wanted to make?

No. I did throw some possibilities of breakfast-ized meals that I think Stephen is still mulling over for the future. But this season, with the dynamic between Edgar and Jimmy shifting so much, and them actually being on more equal footing, at least from Edgar’s point of view, he isn’t relegated to the role of just being the man-servant. I’m not cooking him breakfast at all so far this season, which is really cool. I cook breakfast for myself, so it doesn’t get nearly as elaborate as it has been in the past. But his palette for tastier drinks is growing… I haven’t gotten to throw in any of my own recipes yet, but I think there was one I was talking about with Stephen that, knock on wood, will be implemented for next season. So if it does happen, you and I will have to get back together, and I want to see if you notice which one was a Desmin-infused Edgar recipe.

Desmin Borges

You were recently on a new TV show on TBS called THE GUEST BOOK alongside Michaela Watkins. What’s the show about, and what was filming it like?

It’s created by Greg Garcia, who created Raising Hope and My Name is Earl. I’ve been a huge fan of his work for such a long time, so when the opportunity came up to play with him, and David Zayas, and Michaela Watkins playing my wife, I said yes immediately without even reading any of the material. THE GUEST BOOK is interesting – there are regulars, but they’re not who the show is about every week. There’s this older black couple that gives out the keys to these cottages upstate in California, and every week there’s a new grouping of people who come and get into their shenanigans at this place called Froggy Cottage. In our episode, Michaela Watkins is my wife, and we decide to bring my boss (Zayas) and his new young bride, played by Mikaela Hoover, to Foggy Cottage to have a bonding weekend, so that I can climb the ranks as a car salesman. And shit goes terribly, terribly wrong, and I end up losing my job.

It’s really great. We got to shoot know together for a few days, and I’m such a huge fan of Michaela’s work. We’ve kind of known each other from similar circles of people that we run with, so it was finally nice just to sit down and chat with her, and finally work with her. I feel like it was a long time coming. There were other projects in the past that I thought I was close, or we were close to working with each other, and I don’t think either of us ended up working on that. So it was nice to finally do it. And to have David there, who I worked with before in New York, who’s such a bad ass, it was just a really good time. But every episode there’s a new grouping of people. We’re Episode Three, or Story Three, and it kind of evolves from there. If you haven’t checked it out, and you want to see some crazy zany stuff, definitely check it out.

I know this is something you did a little while ago now, but I wanted to talk about your brief stint as Carlos on PREACHER. How was that experience, being on this big comic book show, and dealing with the kind of things your character had to deal with?

It was awesome. Let me rephrase – it was fucking awesome. First of all, I’ve never worked on a comic book anything before. I was a fan of the PREACHER comics, so I was all about it when it came up on the table. I’m a huge fan of Ruth [Negga] and Dominic [Cooper], so it was I was great to be working with them. And I’m a huge fan of BREAKING BAD, so to have Sam [Catlin] penning it, and to have Seth Rogen around – I’m just huge fans of these people. So on a personal level, I’m getting to work with people I’ve watched and have inspired me for quite a long time. It was great on that level, but seriously, I said in the make-up chair for three hours to put the prosthetics on my face when they beat the shit out of me, and those were probably some of the happiest three hours I’ve ever spent anywhere. It was just so cool, watching my face get transformed.

Then the scenes themselves were awesome. The tone and setting that we were trying to find in the flashback, when I basically leave them in the bank, which causes Tulip to have a miscarriage, and the whole world kind of spirals from there… to know that I was kind of the catalyst for that was pretty dope. I don’t get to play the “bad guy” super often, so that was really cool. Plus we were shooting in Albuquerque. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there before, but if you like green chili, they put it on everything. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s sweet or savory, they will ask you if you would like to add green chili to it. And then the next question is “do you want it Christmas style,” where they add both green and red chili. So as someone who does dig food, if you like green or red chili, and you’re in New Mexico, Albuquerque is the place to go for that. They will hook you up with some dope green chili.

Desmin Borges

Also, I’ve been catching up on this season, and at the end of the season, it seems like they were setting something up, so I hope there’s some availability or opportunity for Carlos to get back, because I’d love to work with those guys again, I really love the direction they’ve taken this season – did you watch the second season?

I’m a little bit behind.

I feel like the second season is more off the template of the comics. Where in the first season, they really established the characters, but they didn’t get to be on the move as much as they usually are. But in the second season, I feel like those time cuts and the energy from the comic books are there. It’s super dope.

That’s awesome. That’s actually all I’ve got.

Hey, I’ve gotta ask you a question – if monkeys are fighting robots, is the only way they can win if they have bananas that shoot lasers?

…Whoa. That’s too good of an answer to not be true.

Yeah man, think about it. If they have bananas with lasers in them, those robots would be fucked. Like “why is he having a snack right now- oh, and now I’m dead.”

Season four of YOU’RE THE WORST premieres with an hour-long episode September 6th. Check out Desmin’s episode of THE GUEST BOOK on TBS, and his episodes of PREACHER on AMC and Hulu!

Jon Barr is a comedian and TV Phanatic. Yeah, he meant to spell it that way. It's like the Philly Phanatic, like from Philadelphia, because he's from - you get it. He loves good TV & mocking bad TV. You can find him all over the web.