Jacqueline Pinol is a busy woman. The actress has a role in Season 2 of the Amazon original series Bosch, which premiered last week, while also voicing a character in the FOX show Bordertown, the latest project in the Seth MacFarlane-produced animated empire. LA Fan Cultures Examiner spoke to her recently about both roles and the interesting contrast between playing a gritty detective and an upstart young boy.
“It’s super fun and unexpected,” she said of her double duty. “These things happen kind of months apart and then I was still doing Bordertown a bit when Bosch started. It’s so fun, you just have to go into a different mode for sure. I love it so much because it’s so different.”
In Bordertown, Jacqueline voices Pepito Gonzalez, the youngest son of Ernesto Gonzalez (played by Nicholas Gonzalez, Mental) and his wife Maria, whose primary hobby is to prank their neighbor Bud Buckwald (played by The Simpsons star Hank Azaria). Needless to say, some people don’t believe that it’s her providing the voice of a young boy.
“People are like, is that really you? And I’m like yeah, I’m not going to say it’s me and it not be me,” she laughed. “I do other voices, there’s other little kids [and] in a couple other upcoming episodes I did adult voices…We have to change and tune into what the character is. But I love animation. It’s a chance to get in touch with your inner child and sort of play and use your whole body. You have to find [the voice] way down below in your diaphragm and sometimes it’s in your throat, or your head and you have to create all this stuff. I work up a sweat sometimes doing the voices!”
The show is an animated comedy, but it also pokes fun at one of the nation’s most hotly argued topics: illegal immigration. As the title indicates the series takes place in a town on the border between America and Mexico, and it often discusses the issues and contrasts between both countries. What was it like for Jacqueline to get a project that would likely ruffle a few feathers?
“When I first got it, the script was just the material for the audition, you didn’t get a sense of a lot of it,” she recalled. “It was really funny. The audition piece was just this rambunctious little Mexican-American kid who at the time they hadn’t decided did he have a accent or not? I tried everything just to give them a flavor of all my abilities voice-wise.
“Then when I got it and got the first script I said oh yeah you’re right it’s going to ruffle feathers. But I like that,” she continued. “I’m a big fan of [MacFarlane’s series] Family Guy, I think it’s hilarious, and with animation you’re able to get away with a lot more. You can really tell it how it is or try to convey a message without people going oh God how dare you.
“You kind of get away with telling the truth, and I really liked that about the show. They can address some truths that people might not like to hear or see but it’s funny in a light-hearted way and you just move on. It’s bringing awareness to a lot of issues.”
On the completely other end of the spectrum, Jacqueline joined Bosch this season as Detective Julie Espinosa, a member of the Los Angeles Police Department who is much closer to who she is in real life. “I do love the fact that it was a strong Latino woman,” she told us, “and I’m petite and I don’t know if they particularly wrote it for someone that looked like me or with my stature, but I love that I can come in and I’m literally with all men who are six feet tall and above. I’m five-two, and I carry my weight very well.
“I get the respect of the men in the department. I definitely stand my ground and I’m a veteran agent so I know what I”m talking about,” she continued. “It’s written for a woman to be a strong leader in that man’s cop world. That’s important. I met several of them, because they brought consultants on set. Women who are badasses and they live in that world. It was really cool for them to be our mentors because we need to see more women who aren’t victimized and the housewife and trophy wife.”
It’s in the same genre as one of her favorite roles, playing Rikki Sandoval in four episodes of CSI: NY from 2007 to 2008. “I had a really nice arc,” she recalled. “I was going to recur on that and then things happened and and story lines had to change and then I didn’t recur. It was with Carmine [Giovinazzo] and I was going to be his permanent love interest, but things happened with other characters and they had to move their stories around. I loved working on CSI: NY.”
When it comes to off-camera, her personal taste is incredibly varied. “I tend to watch a little bit of everything,” Jacqueline told us. “As an actor I find it very important to know what’s out there, the styles of different shows, what’s on different networks. The one that’s really impacted me, obviously this is going to sound cliche, but obviously Game of Thrones is above and beyond. I love that show more than anything. Mr. Robot – I cannot wait for it to come back for season two. The Affair is fabulous.”
But you’re just as likely to find her out and lending her time and support to a number of causes, including “dog rescue and advocating for the abused, abandoned and neglected animals,” she told us. “I focus on dog rescue because it’s easier for me to physically get out there in the field and help.” So if you were keeping score, she can voice a small child, arrest a bad guy and save a puppy. Now that’s a talented lady.
Bosch is now available on Amazon. Bordertown can be found on FOX.