Spoilers ahead for The Other Two season three episode five, “Cary & Brooke Go to an AIDS Play.”
Josh Segarra has spent the last year juggling regular roles in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and The Big Door Prize with an appearance in Scream VI, but his most celebrated character may still be The Other Two’s himbo breakout Lance Arroyo, who has received breathless praise during the series’ third season. Post–time jump, Lance is more present than ever, working as a nurse while newly engaged to Brooke (Heléne Yorke). But his pivot away from fashion, and the adoration he receives for doing good, has the unintentional side effect of bringing out Brooke’s own insecurities about her career path.
Near the end of this week’s “Cary & Brooke Go to an AIDS Play,” these tensions finally come to a head, with a painful-to-watch argument that ends in Brooke and Lance breaking up. During that fight, Lance accurately pinpoints Brooke’s projected self-judgment, reminding her that he has always supported her ambitions, whether she wants to stay in “the industry” or devote her time to making the world a better place. It’s the latest sign that despite his airhead vibe and a proclivity for dabbing, Lance is the most sensitive character in the cast. “He’s really perceptive and very emotionally intelligent,” says Segarra. “He just chooses to be light on his toes and go with the earnest choice every time.”
Brooke and Lance’s relationship has been very on and off, but when season three starts, they’re engaged. What do you think happened between seasons that brought them to this point?
What hasn’t happened between them? They both realize separately that they’re better together than apart. They’re soul mates, kindred spirits, Bert and Ernie. I’m sure their hearts missed each other. He makes her laugh, and she makes him feel strong. They make each other happy and can see each other for who they truly are. There are some in the world who think Lance is only one-dimensional, and she sees him as deeper. She has always seen him wanting to pursue his dreams, and she made him feel like he could accomplish those things. And Lance sees the classic Brooke, deodorant always on the outside of her clothing, who falls asleep in movies.
What was your reaction to learning about Lance’s pivot to becoming a nurse?
I asked Chris and Sarah early on, “So what are we this season? Does he have fashion shows in Milan now? Is he a world-renowned fashion designer?” And they’re like, “Nope. He’s a nurse.” That’s awesome. They said, “He’s the best nurse. He has a great time at work, and he’s always laughing with his co-workers. They’re all laughing because of Lance.” It’s a very cool twist of fate, and it makes me very happy.
Lance’s iconic dab was there right from his first scene. Now his dabbing is more widely accepted and even beloved at work.
Absolutely. He also drops a “damn, Daniel” about two or three years too late, but that’s him. He doesn’t mind that he might not be right on time. It brings him joy.
Why haven’t Brooke and Lance been able to make it work, and what would need to change to get there?
Trust is the basis of any relationship, and the basis of any relationship is also a conversation. Any friendship is a lifelong conversation, and the best relationships are real friendships. That’s what’s been missing this year: Brooke has been having all these thoughts, and all these feelings, and not talking to her partner about it. That makes Lance sad and lonely.
I think about the scene where we’re sitting around with our friends, having an after-work drink, and she mentions driving the armpit across the country, and you see her go into her own mental space where she thinks that Lance is making fun of her, too. It goes back to another thing about relationships: You gotta always feel like you’re on the same team. If you’re not on the same team, you’re going to take everything personally. Lance is just trying to be on the same page as her, but they’re two arrows that keep missing each other.
We’ve known for a while that Lance is a lot smarter than he might let on, and in this week’s breakup scene, he comes across as particularly emotionally perceptive. Pretty much everything he says is accurate.
That’s one of my favorite things about him as a character. You might think that he’s not with it at times, but I think he’s with it all the time. He’s not distant; he’s very, very aware. He’s always been watching Brooke close and wanting to be there for her.
This is the first time we’ve actually seen Lance get genuinely angry and frustrated. What was it like taking this constantly upbeat character to that place?
Reading that scene, my actor brain immediately went to, “Oh, hell yeah. We’re going to get to really flesh this out and go deep.” And then my love for the character made me sad, thinking that Lance and Brooke have to go through this. Breaking up is never easy. It’s always going to weigh on both people in the fight.
Heléne is one of my dearest friends. We’ve built these characters together, and we’ve played off of each other now for a few years. We trust each other, so we could go really deep with this fight. You say hurtful things to each other as the characters, and you feel certain emotions that come along with it, and at the end of the day, after jumping off that cliff together, we just give each other a big hug. “I love ya,” “I love ya,” and “I’ll see you tomorrow at the breakfast truck.”
This season also really ups the ante with the surreal comedy, as with this episode’s “AIDS play” that lasts multiple days.
When I read this one, I was cackling. When we shot it, we were in the middle of Times Square with the marquee up outside. I would grab lunch and come back and giggle to myself. It took us about a week to shoot, so the marquee was sitting outside for that entire week. So it was a real-life joke, too — just people walking by being like, “Oh, that looks interesting! I’ll check that out!”
As an actor, you just play each moment as honestly as you can. You trust that the writers are painting this beautiful mural, and you are a couple of the paint strokes along the way.
You’ve mentioned your interest in appearing on a reality show like Survivor, The Challenge, or The Amazing Race. What is your experience with reality TV?
Those shows are a great escape for me. I love scripted television, I love film, I love the theater, and I love reality TV too, man. On The Challenge, I’ve known Johnny Bananas pretty much since I was a teenager. And I get very starstruck when I see any Survivor or Amazing Race contestants.
I’m a big Survivor fan, so it was great to see Andrea Boehlke appear on this season of The Other Two. In general, there are a lot of Survivor references this season.
Chris is a big Survivor fan. For me, I love thinking about what it would be like to try my hand at these games: the snake maze, holding the ball up. I’m always wondering, “Would I be able to hold that pole with the ball at the end balanced as well as they are?”
Would you have a specific strategy going into the game?
I think about 48 different ways every time I watch it. I’d go out there and try to have as much fun as I can, provide for the camp, do some fishing, do well in challenges. And maybe if I find myself winning a few challenges in a row, I might have to not win one, so that way I won’t become a challenge beast. You don’t want to have that target on your head. I’d just try to make relationships with everybody and maneuver my way through that way — maybe like the “Alligabler,” right under the surface.
Are you watching the current season?
My wife and I are watching back David vs. Goliath right now, and we’re watching the current season. I’m loving my boy Yam Yam. He’s killing it. Carolyn is incredible. You think at the beginning that she’s not going to be playing the game, and every episode, she’s playing this game so hard. She kept that idol secret the whole time. Nobody knew the whole time that she had it! I love her so much. She or Yam Yam are my winner pick, for sure.
I could talk to you about Survivor for an hour, but for now, I’ll just say I look forward to seeing you on the show one day.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.