‘Tiny Pretty Things’ Bayardo De Murguia On Taking Center Stage
Ballerinas, teen drama and murder — oh my!
The highly-anticipated new Netflix series Tiny Pretty Things centers on an elite ballet school, where a mysterious attack on a star prima dancer leaves her replacement to fend for herself against cutthroat competitors. Based on the novel of the same name, Tiny Pretty Things has already been dubbed Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars. The ten-episode series premieres December 14.
Series regular Bayardo De Murguia plays ballet instructor Ramon, who uses non-traditional methods in his classes. Here, he breaks down the “intimidating” physical prep for the role, what it was like working on a Netflix series and his passion for bringing more representation to the screen.
What was the preparation like to play Ramon?
Bayardo De Murguia: Once I was cast, the first thing I did was read the original novel by Sonja Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton. I was immediately fascinated by the world of ballet. I come from a background of combat sports and stunts, so although initially intimidated, I was ready for a challenge.
I dove headfirst into everything I could find about Cuban ballet and Latin American dance schools. Ramon’s background is Cuban American, and I looked at how that upbringing would affect his style of teaching. Carlos Acosta, a world-renowned dancer and choreographer, played a huge influence in my initial research, as did Alicia Alonso. The world that [showrunner] Michael Maclennan and our writers have created is compelling, dark, twisted and thrilling. What more could you want?
How did you train to look like a ballet dancer ?
De Murguia: With regard to physical prep, I tried to do justice to the training and discipline that dancers experience. My routine consisted of working out six days a week, and it was either F45 or the boxing gym with a dash of barre technique sprinkled in. I mean, have you seen my cast mates? I was just trying to keep up!
De Murguia: Netflix has been so supportive of our series—from hiring amazing choreographers to providing physical therapy. They were on top of it all. I’m also grateful to work on a diverse series that touches on several timely issues in both the dance world and real world.
Can we expect a Season 2 of Tiny Pretty Things?
De Murguia: I hope that we can continue telling our stories of the Archer School of Ballet in Season 2. I’m ready for whatever adventure comes next. Ballet was just the beginning.
Tiny Pretty Things, December 14, Netflix