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On the Borderline: Behind the Scenes of ‘The Bridge’

Check out these exclusive photos from the set of the FX show’s upcoming second season

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, Matthew Lillard, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

An adaptation of the 2011 Scandinavian series of the same name, FX's The Bridge transposed the original series' murder-mystery plot — a corpse has been found on the bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden — to the U.S./Mexico border, forcing an El Paso police detective (Inglourious Basterds' Diane Kruger) and a Mexican homicide investigator (Demian Bichir) to work together and solve the crime. As the show returns for its second season (premiering tonight at 10pm EST), the duo must once again team up in order to discover who's behind a series of cartel killings.  

'The Bridge': TV's Best New Cop Show

Rolling Stone paid a visit to the set of The Bridge while the series was in production on Season Two, and enlisted Matthew Lillard — who plays the show's resident sleazy, moral-less journalist — to provide a running commentary for each of the photos.

"This shot is of me sitting outside the Los Angeles County Morgue. We've shot there a couple of times, not fun place to work. It's a smell you never forget."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

DEA or Alive

"Abe Benrubi [who plays DEA agent Joe McKenzie] is one of the greatest guys you'll ever meet. He wasn't working the day this was taken. Sometime he just shows up at work to carry around his gun."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

In Memoriam

"There isn't a crew member in this business that wasn't affected by the tragic death of Sarah Jones. What's so haunting is that we’ve all been on a day of rogue shooting, picking off epic shots in the name of art. Celebrating in a bar after wrap, thrilled by the beauty we captured. We've all said 'yes' to those moments in the pursuit of greatness. Sarah's death hangs on all of us."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Right to Remain Silent

Demian Bichir, who plays Detective Marco Ruiz. "'A veces sueño de unicornios.' Translation: 'Sometimes I dream of unicorns.'"

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Crew Cuts

"We have an amazing crew. I know every actor says that, but we really do. If we had a Bridge softball team, or a bowling team or something? We'd probably be totally undefeated."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Dress for Success

"All hail Cesar! Our wardrobe department can remove any stain in four minutes or less… I test the theory once a week."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

A Prayer for the Diane

"Diane Kruger embodies not only beauty and grace but leads with passion, intelligence and ferocity. It's God's cruel trick to pack so many gifts into one mortal package. She is the definition of movie star."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Lend a Handheld

"We shoot a lot of our show using handheld camera techniques. Dave Frederick, our 'A-camera' operator, is tireless and takes great pride in what he does. Some might even call him an artist."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Van, Wilder

"We use East Los Angeles to double for exteriors of Juarez, Mexico. That translates to shuttle rides all over the City of Angels to pick up shots. Demian has called shotgun… he gets to control the radio."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Head Shot

"He's FIIIIIIIINNNNNE. (There are very few days on set where the make-up department doesn't get to murder someone horrifically.)"

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Cultural Exchange

"The Bridge scripts are written partially in English/partially in Spanish. It provides the fantastic Latino acting community — so talented, so underserved — outstanding opportunities to work in this industry."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, Matthew Lillard, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

And You Will Know Him By the Trailer of Dead…

"Our show, comparatively, has a small budget — so we shoot very fast. I don't remember being in my trailer for more that 10 mins this whole season. In this photo, I’m obviously showing off for the photographer… that’s probably a page of poetry or something."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, Matthew Lillard, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

"Emily Rios [who plays El Paso Times reporter Adriana Mendez] and I run lines before the scene. I am nothing without her. She is my celestial spirit animal."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Pull Up or Shut Up

"Notice how I've tucked my shirt in so it doesn't pop up and flash the crew my soft underbelly? Ryan Gosling doesn't need to take these types of precautions…"

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

The Sitting Dead

"ZOMBIE EXHIBIT: LA ZOO. It's an extra playing a 'dead girl of Juarez.' Seriously… how incredible is this makeup?"

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Write of Way

"Emily and one or our writers, Anna [Fishko], going over a scene. Our writing staff is comprised of novelists, journalists, playwrights and feature film writers. They are an incredible collection of human beings, and the reason The Bridge won a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcast storytelling this year."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Sign of the Times

"If you see a yellow sign like this in Los Angeles, follow it — and you'll find a somebody shooting something. You can sit off to the side and watch all the glamor and magic unfold before your eyes!"

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Through a Lens Darkly

"A picture of our camera crew doing absolutely nothing. Sal, the guy in the far left of the photo, is a 4000-year-old ancient Aztec priest. Gaze into his eyes and he will reveal all your past lives to you."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Pit Stop

"My pits are squirted with wetness to make me look like a real man. In return, I make sex faces in this young woman's general direction."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, Matthew Lillard, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Let There Be Light

"This is me, begging our cinematographer Attila [Szalay], to shine more light on my face so I don't look like I'm 73 -years-old."

The Bridge, Behind the scenes, TV show, FX

Lindsey Byrnes

Auto Focus

"This scene had been cut from the show, but it was fun to shoot because I got to yell about things my character cares deeply about. Pretending to care deeply about things is what acting is all about."

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