NYFA Alum Manuel Garcia Rulfo Stars in the Netflix Series The Lincoln Lawyer

May 6, 2022


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The first iteration of The Lincoln Lawyer starred Mathew McConaughey as Mickey Haller in 2011. The film was based on the first book in the series by the same name, penned by acclaimed crime fiction novelist, Michael Connelly (Bosch). The film was successful, it received positive reviews and grossed $87 million (over a projected $75 million) and most importantly, according to Connelly fans, the film was true to the book.

But there’s a new Lincoln Lawyer in town: NYFA One-Year Acting for Film alum Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. Rulfo is Mickey Haller in the Netflix Original Series The Lincoln Lawyer.

The movie’s novelist, Michael Connelly spoke about the new series and its leading man on a blog post and said, “Manuel is the ideal Mickey Haller, who is following in the footsteps of his attorney father with the showmanship of his Mexican movie star mother,” Connelly continued, “He brings a powerful dynamic and dimension to the role — one that aligns with the books and brings authenticity to the Latinx heritage and roots of this Los Angeles-based story.”

The new Netflix series, set to premiere May 13th on the streaming platform, picks up where the first film left off and chronicles the second book in the series, The Brass Verdict. In the book, Mickey Haller is a criminal defense attorney who practices law out of the back of his Lincoln town car, driving throughout Los Angeles; but a new case reveals a conspiracy that goes deeper than he could have imagined. The new series is helmed by legendary producer David E. Kelley (The Undoing, Big Little Lies) known for creating captivating legal dramas. Kelley was himself an attorney before turning to show business and he is the series’ showrunner, writer and executive producer alongside Michael Connelly.

The Lincoln Lawyer series has been years in the making, eleven years to be exact. After the successful premiere of the film in 2011, there was talk of a film franchise for the book series. However, when that fell through the focus shifted to a TV series. The series was originally set to premiere at CBS before landing at Netflix.



Manuel Garcia Rulfo spoke with the former Chair of the Acting Department and current Creative Director of the Acting Department, Lynda Goodfriend, about the upcoming series during a Q&A. He shared with NYFA students that he prepared for the role by reading the first and the second book in the Connelly series. Rulfo shared that although the character Mickey Haller was easy for him to understand, filming the series was a challenge for him. He confessed that is was the hardest project he’s worked on, “The work it requires, the tough hours, everyday you’re shooting long dialogues … you have to go day by day and come home at 9 o’clock at night and try to learn for the next day 11,14 pages of dialogue in a language that is not yours.”

Check out the rest of the interview below!



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