At San Diego Comic Con International, Sunday’s had a long standing history with the FX series SONS OF ANARCHY and you can believe that I was their ever single year the crew made an appearance. The final year of panel was insanely sad for us SOA fans because it was the end of something we held dear – family. That’s what creator Kurt Sutter had done, created a family of the millions of fans.
Well, we all got a chance to expand that family when Kurt Sutter along with co-creator Elgin James got together and brought the first season of MAYANS M.C. on FX. The show turned out to bring in the number one new hit show of the season (as I suspected it would). Season one brought out the characters and what they are all about, now fans are getting ready for season two airing September 3rd because there is a lot of explaining to do.
Of course the panel couldn’t give much away because, and let’s face it, what fun would that be? What they could share was their thoughts on characters and storyline without facing the wrath of Sutter and James.
The panel included co-creator Elgin James, executive producer Kevin Dowling, JD Pardo, Clayton Cardenas, Edward James Olmos, Sarah Bolger, Michael Irby, Antonio Jaramillo, Raoul Max Trujillo, Danny Pino, Emilio Rivera, Frankie Loyal, Joseph Lucero and Vincent Rocco Vargas along with moderator Lynette Rice.
EZ is in deep now and there is no turning back right JD [Pardo]?
JDP: There is no turning back and we are going full throttle. I think what is going to be surprisingly easy it’s going to be for EZ.
Michael Irby, your hammer thing is like Thor’s, how heavy is that weapon?
MI: It’s about eight pounds right there.
EJO: It’s a judge, jury and executioner right there.
There are so many awesome key moments to talk about. [The scene were Galindo extracts information in a ‘special’ way that is very graphic]
DP: To play a character that has so much rage to be a family man and yet be capable of that [bad things] is a gift.
That must have taken some serious special effects.
ER: Who said those are special effects? [The crowd cheers]
EJ: Actually is just shows how bad-ass Miguel Galindo is and we wanted that iconic scene. Also I think everyone loves Danny Pino and we also wanted to show you a very different Danny Pino, one that people haven’t seen before.
DP: I tell you what, reading that scene from the very beginning set the tone for Miguel and what he is capable of.
A few kids lost their lives in season one.
EJ: Carla Baratta who plays Adelita couldn’t be here so let the character of Angel (Clayton Cardenas) answer that.
CC: If you guys remember this from season one, this little rat was infiltrating us and this is how we handle rats.
It was a big deal because you did kill a kid, was there any pushback from the networks on that?
JDP: No, the kid took it all.
EJ: They trust Kurt Sutter and they trust what we are doing that it isn’t gory just to be gory or violent just to be violent. It is part of a certain story and in this world it happens.
JDP: It was interesting because you have to imagine it. You have to pretend and have all the senses to imagine that horrible feeling. It is part of this dark world the Mayans are in.
EJ: One of the things with our show is that we have inherited a violent language with SONS OF ANARCHY that Kurt Sutter and some really smart people created. When the world is so violent how do you say something about the violence. We have to find really smart ways of going around the truth. This is one of those moments.
Michael Ornstein as Chucky comes to MAYANS M.C., can you go back to the call from Kurt that said ‘please join us’? How did that work?
MO: I got a call from Kurt asking if I was in town and I said yes. He said alright and two weeks later I found out about this. I went to my first casting fitting and here I am.
EJ: Michael is part of our soul and I’m so happy he could be here with us today. He is part of the ligaments that bring us back to the SONS OF ANARCHY as does our Padrino Marcus Alvarez. We have been so lucky to have Michael who is such a special, special person and wonderful artist.
Who started the whole ‘my bad’ that Angel does?
EJ: It was written in the script from the first reading we ever did and ‘my bad’ was kind of a throw away line. It killed it in the room so we thought ‘okay, let’s use it’ and it kept happening. Then his daughter Lettie had a ‘my bad’ and that was it. We had no idea what it was going to get into.
Does it crack you guys up or can you keep a straight face?
JD: My bad.
I mean he is very cute with it.
JD: He IS very cute with it.
Will you keep it as part of his shtick?
EJ: Everyone is going to have to watch to find out.
I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t know of any evil villain in pop culture history that wore French braids. Why?
EJ: I was eating brunch, which I never did until I moved to Los Angeles. This dude showed up with wild hair with tattoos all over his body and neck and he said, ‘Yo, Elgin!’ I tried to figure out where I knew him from, like was it Mayans, or gangs or prison – I had no idea [meaning Gino Vento]. He was living in New York and he kept saying he wanted to be a Mayan. He came in and read and we found a way to place him. I mean Nestor wasn’t meant to have French braids but we wanted to work with Gino.
So where do the French braids come in?
EJ: Because his hair is huge. It takes a team.
Can you tease what we will see in this season?
EJ: Yes, we can see what Marcus Alvarez will be doing this season.
Marcus looks good in a suit by the way.
ER: Thank you.
JDP: I think he looks better in a cut.
So let’s talk about a shirtless EZ.
JDP: They give you a few days warning before the shirt comes off which I appreciate.
Is that when you go all protein or what’s the plan?
JDP: I try to eat as much as I can and work out. Plus the guys are constantly giving me grief so it’s a lot of pressure.
I’m going to admit that my guilty pleasure of the show is all the men at the end of the table. What is it like to sit around the Mayans table in scenes?
FL: I think it’s the best acting lessons I can get from these gentlemen on stage. It’s a blessing everyday to be on set. I think some of the days with the guys is intense when we are filming. It hit me that even though we aren’t present in some shots we are present. So I think it’s a beautiful feeling, like Clayton’s poncho.
JL: Humanity is key and there is a lot of alpha males in this group. We embrace each other as a family and all have hardships that we relate to. It’s nice to be in this position coming from where I come from and to be in front of this crowd and be on t.v. Just lets me know that change is possible.
Mr. Olmos, you have made it your mission in life to make sure there is representation in both film and television and it culminates with this new show. In our political climate now, does it scare you or worry you that this is a show that portrays Latinos as bad guys?
EJO: It’s not that it’s scary but part of understanding that we are honestly looking at stereotypes and looking at people in a stereotypical way but at the same time with every stereotypes there is truth. There is a lot of truth in this show. Really, the darkness of the show is what is giving everyone energy to watch it. It’s like SONS OF ANARCHY is a show people gravitate to. This is a show filled with things people need to see. I believe in Elgin a lot and season two is a lot darker. Season three will be even darker. We deal with the truths of what it is we are working on. It’s a very difficult show to shoot.
DP: In terms of stereotypes, its easy to identify a stereotype and what I love about what Elgin and Kurt do is that they set up a stereotype and then proceed to break it down the duality within the character. Miguel is a sociopath and is an agent for change and even with the violence I believe is what I respond to. We are addressing difficult things to look at. We are hoping that through the writing and acting and the fans we are allowed some latitude to explore that and find our way out of it.
The character of Emily played by Sarah Bolger isn’t the angel we’d like to think she is right?
SB: Sometimes I’m an angel on set right? No one supports me on that. Emily was somewhat of an innocent bystander last year, her child was taken and her marriage was in flux. She didn’t really understand what she was getting into marrying into a cartel. I think in season two we are going to see her settle into that role to easily. Everyone is coming to terms with the situations they are in, who they are and who they are with. I think you will be happy with the choices Elgin and Kurt have made?
What’s it like to be on set with all these guys?
SB: These men are incredible to work with and we all respect each other. We go to each others trailers and hang out doing lines together.
DP: She is one of the most prepared and smartest, instinctual and most fun scene partner I’ve had the chance to work with. She handles herself on set just fine.
ER: Watching Danny and Sarah work together is like watching a master class. I am always learning from them.
JDP: That’s beautiful because working with Clayton is the total opposite!
CC: I’m a wreck.
Are we going to see anything about the border play out in the storyline?
EJ: Kurt has always been very clear that we are not a political show. We will find a way to bring that within the story. It will fit into our universe.
JDP: I have to say that we needed to kill it with the SONS OF ANARCHY fans because we wouldn’t be here without them. Those actors, cast, crew and production – we are so grateful that they’ve given us this opportunity. We run into each other at auditions and usually competing, now we have a place where we can work together. Hopefully we can also create opportunities for others.
EJO: I want to thank a thousand times over Elgin, Kurt and the writing staff. You have to realize something, when we see our strips; we see it at the table read. We see the script when we sit down at the table to read it. We are shocked like you guys. There are tears, laughter and real anxiety. Without the writers we’d have nothing to say.
Will Nero ever make an appearance?
EJ: You never know. We are really careful about the mythology that was created so we are careful about picking our time. Chucky was our first one obviously and we got him. Of course Happy is now part of it as well. Names get brought up a lot but we will see where the show takes us.
When is EZ going to go from being a Prospect to a Member?
MI: I think I will decide that. When he learns to ride a motorcycle.
JDP: Prospect life is hard but it’s a journey to get there. With SONS OF ANARCHY Jax was the Vice President and jumped right into it. Season one is the rise of EZ and see how his journey progresses.
That’s what Season Two will bring as EZ continues his journey with the Mayans but there is so much more as Galindo still runs the cartel, Alvarez is now part of it, Emily finds her place, Angel still has a story and oh so much more!
Now that you have heard from the cast about their first season, it’s time to catch up as MAYANS M.C.: The Complete First Season is out DVD filled with every moment. Get your helmet ready because season two of MAYANS M.C. on FX September 3rd is about to unravel even more secrets, stories and surprises.