“We might have popcorn, and he would mission the movies that he did when my father and my aunts had been youngsters,” Garcia-Rulfo mentioned of his grandfather’s dwelling films. “My aunts began making their very own films — I used to be the primary character a lot of the occasions — and I believe I grew an obsession with cinema from that.”

When he was 13, his dad and mom despatched younger Manuel to Vermont for a yr so he might enhance his English (studying to ski was a perk). As a result of the Stella Adler Studio of Appearing, in New York, and a clown college in France — “Even actors in Mexico that aren’t clowns have executed it,” he mentioned — had been too costly, he studied performing in Los Angeles and Mexico. His profession took off pretty rapidly afterward, even when his American components could possibly be considerably repetitive: a success man right here, an outlaw there, a smuggler for a change of tempo.

So when he was requested to learn for “The Lincoln Lawyer,” whereas nonetheless in Mexico, Garcia-Rulfo jumped on the chance and despatched in a tape.

“I used to be more than happy and really grateful with the showrunners and producers, with Netflix to guess on that,” he mentioned, including that he was grateful to play a lead who wasn’t a drug seller. (The tide might have turned: Just a few days earlier than our chat, he had wrapped the Tom Hanks drama “A Man Referred to as Otto,” wherein he performs an I.T. man he described as “a pleasant man, humorous and dorky.”)

Garcia-Rulfo received the a part of Mickey, his first lead in a TV collection, after a casting course of that came about solely on-line — one thing that gave him one other excuse to stress. “You might have strain once you’re considering, ‘Perhaps once they see me in individual, they’re going to be like, ‘No, this isn’t it,’” he mentioned.

Neve Campbell, who performs Mickey’s first spouse, Maggie, mentioned that she had reached out to her new co-star and that they went on a hike to get to know one another earlier than work began final yr.