Awards Daily talked to the cast of FX’s ‘Mayans MC’ at FYC event in Hollywood.
Cast members from FX’s Mayans MC stepped out for an FYC event at NeueHouse Hollywood on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.
The series which exists in the Sons of Anarchy universe stars JD Pardo as EZ Reyes, a Mayans MC prospect fresh out of prison. Pardo talked about how EZ compares to Jax Teller and what it’s like playing this part.
“I’m not gonna lie about it,” said Pardo. “For me, that was the attraction. It’s scary because Charlie Hunnam and what he did for Sons and what they created here at FX, it’s a big shadow. Of course there are going to be all these comparisons. That challenge attracted me to the project because I knew I couldn’t be that. I can’t be that. For one, it doesn’t fit the character. [Jax] is the vice president of Sons and I’m starting out as a prospect. So those are two different characters, two different paths. No one likes a karaoke version, so for me as an actor, I wanted to get into the mind set of someone that that just wasn’t his journey.”
Women with a Sense of Agency
After getting out of prison, EZ reconnects with his former lover Emily, played by Sarah Bolger. Bolger talked about how Mayans MC empowers its female characters.
“What was unexpected to me was how involved [Emily] was in the nefarious side of the world on the series,” said Bolger. “She goes neck deep into the turmoil and the chaos and has not welcomed it, but is all in. I think the idea is it’s a dangerous world and you have to learn how to be dangerous.”
Executive producer Elgin James said the amped-up female characters for Mayans MC was intentional.
“Our writers’ room is a majority of women,” said James. “That was one of the things we wanted to make sure of. Kurt [Sutter] knows this universe because he created it. I know what it’s like to be a criminal, ex-felon, and a dirtbag. One thing none of us are is women.”
James continued by saying that one of the successes of the show is its ability to appeal to everyone, something he learned through the creative process.
“Everyone on our show is between two worlds, and when you start writing that, you realize everyone feels that way.”
Working with Kurt Sutter
Bolger’s character is married to Galindo Cartel son, Miguel, played by Danny Pino. This marks the second time Pino has worked with Kurt Sutter (the first time being on The Shield).
“The worlds he writes and creates are so vibrant,” said Pino. “They’re gritty and difficult to survive in. That desperation is felt on The Shield, Sons, and Mayans.”
Legendary actor Edward James Olmos, who plays EZ’s father Felipe, echoed Pino. “What attracted me to Mayans is the stories. The whole understanding of what Kurt has done with Sons of Anarchy, it’s been quite an experience.”
Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger, Mayans and Kurt Sutter?
The camaraderie of the motorcycle club is something that can be felt among the cast as well.
“We all come from some sort of pain in our past,” said Joseph Raymond Lucero (Neron ‘Creeper’ Vargas). “Being an ensemble cast, everyone is so serious about bringing their energy and their truths to their character.”
“I get to work with my best friends,” said Clayton Cardenas (Angel Reyes). “When it’s time to work though, we give each other our space. We’re professionals having fun.”
Antonio Jaramillio (Michael ‘Riz’ Ariza) credited Kurt Sutter as part of the magic of the cast.
“I think Kurt has a great eye and a great ear to know what type of people to put together. It feels like we really are a motorcycle club.”
Jaramillio went on to describe the connection between the cast and Kurt Sutter as like the leads in a romantic comedy. “He had us at hello!”
Megan McLachlan is a freelance writer that lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work has appeared in Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, The Cut, Paste, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thrillist, and The Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @heydudemeg.