Victor Alfieri discusses his return to TNT's 'Southland,' and what it means for Sammy Bryant and his ex-wife

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TNT's "Southland" depicts the hard and gritty life of the Los Angeles Police Department. Not only does the show illustrate the unforgiving and dangerous task that takes place as its members patrol the streets, it also lets the audience in on how the job affects each officer's personal life.

One story arc highlights Sammy Bryant's (Shawn Hatosy) constant emotional struggle with his ex-wife Tammi (Emily Bergl). They had a child together, and the battle for custody is raging on. One of the players in this storyline is Victor Cifuentes, who is played by Victor Alfieri.

In Wednesday night's episode "Babel," Cifuentes is back to help Tammi take care of her son. Victor Alfieri sat down to talk about his role this season on "Southland."

You play Victor Cifuentes, who is taking care of Sammy Bryant's ex-wife, Tammi, and their baby. How much has changed in the series from the last time you were on the show?

Well, the character is still the same; Victor Cifuentes is a photo journalist and was Tammi's photographer and teacher. Right now, the only difference is Tammi moved in with Victor. So now they are living together in Victor's penthouse. He is taking care of her and the baby. Sammy is still coming around to see the baby and creating some problems and tension between himself and Tammi. Victor is always stuck in the middle of those fights.

With all that drama going on, do you think Victor will try and get in the way of Sammy and his son Nate?

My take on this is that the writers need to make a decision on where to go with the storyline. Unfortunately Emily (Bergl) and I have conflicting schedules. She is doing a big play on Broadway in New York, and that is why she is not fully available to develop the storyline. I am working on a couple of projects, as well.

I think right now the dynamic should either be having a closure or a new storyline, because it is becoming a little bit redundant in regards to these fights between Tammi, Victor, and Sammy. So either way, they have to make a choice and go for it. I think the audience would appreciate the storyline much more, because it would be going somewhere. So all that we know right now is that the Sammy, Victor, and Tammi storyline is still open and active, and we will see where it goes from here.

Your character is not that well received by some of the fans of the show due to the storyline. What is your take on the fans reaction to your character?

Even though Victor is Tammi's lover, I think he is well received. People stop me on the street and say, "I saw you on 'Southland,' and I love your character. He is cool, and they need to do something with it." So again, that is why I say that the character is not developed, and he is just there. Once the viewers see more of my character than just taking care of Tammi and the baby, I feel there will be an all-around better reaction.

How many episodes will you be in this season? Did the writers and production staff allude to it at all?

They are still writing it, so I don't know the full episode count. I only shot one episode since Emily is in New York and couldn't commit to a few episodes right now. Once she is able to come back and shoot a few more episodes is when we might see more of a storyline.

Your character comes in and out of seasons on "Southland." How difficult is it to work with a crew for a few episodes, take a break, and then film another few episodes?

I am very lucky because the actors on the show are really cool, and that is how you can really keep the chemistry going. All of the actors are very humble and very committed to the show. You can see that when they are on the set and are always looking to do a great job. That is how I can relate to them, because I want to do the same thing when I am there. I want to give the best performance I can for each episode that I am on. That, to me, is what keeps the chemistry going. I see this crew is there for the show and not for money and fame. They want to do a good job because they are artists. That is why it is easy for me to come in and out of the series.

Southland airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on TNT.

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