It takes two minutes for the earth to interrupt open and swallow a number of of the primary characters at first of NBC’s new sci-fi journey collection La Brea. The present follows a bunch of people who find themselves one way or the other transported to a primeval, parallel universe after they fall into a large sinkhole close to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

A type of characters is Dr. Sam Velez, performed by actor Jon Seda (Selena). Sam is a doctor and former U.S. Navy Seal who’s driving his daughter Riley (Veronica St. Clair) to high school one morning when the pure catastrophe hits they usually each collapse into the mysterious void.

“It actually begins off with a bang,” Seda, 51, tells MySA throughout a current interview. “We ran by way of these doorways. As I obtained every script, it was thrilling for me to seek out out the place the present was going.”

One of many locations La Brea has gone up to now throughout its first few episodes is introducing audiences to among the creatures that Sam and the others should deal with in the event that they hope to outlive. This features a pack of hungry wolves and an indignant saber-toothed tiger. The “large blockbuster-type” really feel to the mission isn’t one thing Seda is used to however welcomes.

“It’s thrilling to be part of all these visible results and to see how large the scope of the present is,” he says. “The motion is there, however there’s additionally some actually good drama as nicely.”

LA BREA — Season: 1 — Pictured: Jon Seda as Dr. Samuel Valez — (Picture by: Ben King/NBC)

NBC/Ben King/NBC

Together with the grand-scale environment of the collection, one thing else Seda embraces is the truth that his character is an efficient man. A majority of these roles are at all times one thing Seda says he seems to be for when a script comes throughout his desk. Prior to now, Seda, who’s of Puerto Rican descent, has performed a number of law enforcement officials on TV, together with his longest gig as Antonio Dawson on Chicago P.D. for six seasons.

“I attempt to search for constructive characters as a lot as I can,” he says. “It was actually intriguing to me in La Brea to have [a character] with a navy background who can be a health care provider and is making an attempt to be the very best father that he might be. He has so many various colours we will play with.”

There’s additionally, in fact, arguably probably the most well-known function of Seda’s profession – Chris Perez, husband of late Tejano famous person Selena Quintanilla-Perez, within the 1997 biopic Selena. A favourite movie within the Latino group over the past 24 years, Selena is now getting closely campaigned this 12 months by U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro and others to be preserved on the Nationwide Movie Registry on the Library of Congress.

LA BREA -- "The Hunt" Episode 103 -- Pictured: Jon Seda as Dr. Samuel Valez -- (Photo by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC)

LA BREA — “The Hunt” Episode 103 — Pictured: Jon Seda as Dr. Samuel Valez — (Picture by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC)

NBC/Sarah Enticknap/NBC

In a letter to the Nationwide Movie Preservation Board earlier this 12 months, Castro wrote that Selena “has turn into a beloved icon of Latino tradition and has discovered widespread mainstream success, proving as soon as and for all that Latino tales are American tales.”

Seda agrees wholeheartedly.


“Selena positively needs to be added [to the Registry],” he says. “It was such an honor for me to be part of it. Selena was such a tremendous expertise and remains to be touching so many new followers. Her music is worldly.”

New episodes of La Brea air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. CST on NBC.