Fire Country’s Stephanie Arcila Teases Her ‘Favorite’ Costar: ‘I Love Him’

Stephanie Arcila Reveals Her Favorite Scene Partner in Fire Country — And It s Not Max Thieriot 844
Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

Fire Country fans might be hooked on Stephanie Arcila’s onscreen connection with Max Thieriot, but the actress can’t stop gushing about a different costar bond.

During season 1 of the CBS series, Arcila’s Gabriela Perez fell head over heels for Thieriot’s Bode Donovan. However, when asked who her “favorite” scene partner has been, Arcila, 33, exclusively told Us Weekly that honor goes to her TV dad, Kevin Alejandro, who plays Manny Perez.

“Oh, Kevin, my dad, my papa. I love him,” she told Us earlier this month while promoting season 2 of Fire Country, which premieres on Friday, February 16. “He really has taken on the role as a dad slash friend in real life too. He’s been there.”

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Arcila explained that since they film in Vancouver, Canada, the cast and crew “becomes your family,” which has been the case for her and Alejandro, 47.

“With Kevin, we’ve just always had a special connection and he would literally text me if he knows I’ve had a tough day and be like, ‘It’s going to be okay, mija,’” Arcila revealed. “I’m like, ‘You’re the best. You’re the best.’ So yeah, I would say, Kevin.”

Stephanie Arcila Reveals Her Favorite Scene Partner in Fire Country — And It s Not Max Thieriot 845
Darko Sikman/CBS

The actress gushed over their connection, noting that she and Alejandro “have this communication without communicating.” Arcila shared that when Alejandro directs an episode of the drama, they “don’t even talk” and they both “know what we need.”

Life imitates art when it comes to their characters’ relationship on Fire Country, even after Gabriela and Manny had several ups and downs in season 1.

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During the premiere season, Gabriela became a firefighter while her father ran a convict firefighter camp called Three Rock, which is where Gabriela met Bode (Thieriot). At the end of the season, which aired in May 2023, Gabriela and Bode were at odds over his false confession about keeping drugs at the camp. Bode and Manny also found themselves at a crossroads because of the lie.

Stephanie Arcila Reveals Her Favorite Scene Partner in Fire Country — And It s Not Max Thieriot 846
Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

“Manny and Gabriela have such a beautiful relationship,” Arcila told Us in February, teasing that in season 2 they will once again be tested. “She finds out some really heartbreaking news from her father [this season] that he’s kept from her at some point. They do talk about it [and move forward.]” Arcila added, “I think Manny and Gabriela have a really hard time staying mad at each other.”

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The actress also hinted that Gabriela and Bode’s relationship will face its own hurdles, some of which are pegged to her dynamic with her father.

“Bode is a little bit of a reflection of her dad and she absolutely loves her dad and looks up to him and admires him for everything he’s gone through and how he’s redeemed himself,” Arcila explained. “And that’s kind of a little bit of Bode’s past and pattern as well. … [But now], her heart is trying to just build back up from those million little pieces that were broken in the last season.”

Season 2 of Fire Country premieres on CBS Friday, February 16, at 9 p.m. ET.