True Lies TV Stars Discuss Being 'Completely In The Dark' About Arnold Schwarzenegger And Jamie Lee Curtis' Movie

Erica Hernandez and Mike O'Gorman as Maria and Luther in CBS' True Lies
(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 3 of True Lies on CBS, called “Separate Pairs.”

True Lies came to TV in the 2023 premiere schedule as a new action-comedy inspired by the 1994 film of the same name that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and recent Oscar-winner Jamie Lee Curtis. Steve Howey and Ginger Gonzaga took over the roles of Harry and Helen Tasker for the CBS series, and fans of the movie have had three episodes now to compare the two versions. As it turns out, however, series regular Erica Hernandez had never seen the movie before joining the show, as she and co-star Mike O’Gorman discussed with CinemaBlend. 

Erica Hernandez and Mike O’Gorman play spies Maria and Luther, respectively, on True Lies, and the latest episode revealed that the characters were once a romantic couple. The stars spoke with CinemaBlend at SCAD TVfest in Atlanta about the new show; when I noted that not all viewers may be familiar with the 1994 movie (or even born when it came out), Hernandez shared that she originally also hadn’t seen the movie, saying: 

I can speak to that. I actually hadn't seen it either when I auditioned. I was very sheltered, and my parents weren't American. I didn't watch a lot of the things that were of mainstream culture in the '90s. I remember reading the pilot and thinking, 'This is so cool! I can't believe they haven't made this show before!' [laughs] 'This idea seems so cool. Literally no one's written this?' I was completely in the dark about it, but I thought it was great. That said, for people that really liked the movie and are huge fans of the movie, they're gonna enjoy a lot of what the show brings, but for people who are completely new to the conceit of the show, they're also gonna have a great time.

If anything, it’s a credit to the True Lies pilot that Erica Hernandez thought the script was “so cool” without having any idea that it was inspired by a movie that starred the dynamic duo of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. Originally being “completely in the dark” didn’t stop her from having a great time reading the pilot, and expecting that viewers who are in the same situation can have fun as well. 

In contrast, Mike O’Gorman had seen the True Lies movie many years ago. After Erica Hernandez shared her story of reading the pilot without having the film background, the actor responded with his perspective: 

I was 14 when I saw the movie, so I'm on the opposite side. On the opposite side, kids [then] are dads now that are my age and can like it just as much.

The TV show stands on its own apart from the movie, so newcomers like Erica Hernandez and those who saw the film years ago like Mike O’Gorman are starting fresh with these characters. Showrunner Matt Nix did share the challenges of finding an actor who could play Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character and the qualities that Ginger Gonzaga had that made her perfect for Jamie Lee Curtis’ original role, but the series isn’t a sequel that relies on what happened in the film to make sense. 

Plus, the plot is already thickening for Erica Hernandez’s Maria and Mike O’Gorman’s Luther. “Separate Pairs” revealed that they’d been dating years earlier before Maria abruptly dumped him in the wake of a mission gone wrong. Revisiting that case meant some feelings resurfacing for Luther, leaving him conflicted and craving doughnuts early in the hour. 

All he wanted was for her to admit that they'd been a good team back in the day; after a car chase, nuclear threat, crash, and head injury for Luther, she finally came clean and said what he needed to hear... if only he'd heard it! He fell asleep due to the painkillers, and this is one plot thread that remains dangling. 

Find new episodes of True Lies on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS, and catch up on any that you might have missed streaming with a Paramount+ subscription. The show is already packed with spies and stuntwork, and it doesn’t look like the action will be slowing down anytime soon!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).