The Mayans Roll In: 'Sons of Anarchy' Spinoff Focuses on Frenemy Motorcycle Club and its Newest Recruit

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31 August 2018

FX, Sept. 4, 10/9c

By Barb Oates

Kurt Sutter’s long-awaited spinoff to Sons of Anarchy takes place in a post-Jax Teller world, about three years after his death. While there is a relationship between the Mayans and the Sons, there won’t be any intersecting storylines — at least for this season — just acknowledgements and some familiar faces, as well as Emilio Rivera reprising his role as Marcus Alvarez.

Mayans M.C., debuting on FX Tuesday, introduces EZ Reyes (JD Pardo), who is fresh out of prison and a new prospect for the Mayans M.C., a Latino outlaw motorcycle club. He’s starting from the lowest level and needs to prove himself, so whatever they ask, he needs to deliver.

“EZ Reyes is born from immigrant parents, looking for the American dream. He’s extremely smart, has a photographic memory. He is the golden boy in his hometown. He is in Stanford. He has a girlfriend. Everything is just great for him,” Pardo explains of his character’s upbringing. “Then there’s a tragic event, something happens that lands him in prison, and he spends about nine years in prison and that changes him. When he comes out, obviously, his opportunities are very limited. He is brought into the Mayans M.C. through his older brother, Angel Reyes [Clayton Cardenas].”

With this comes a lot of shame and guilt — a lot of regret, confusion and self-loathing — that he was supposed to be living a much different life.

“Now he just finds himself in this world of darkness, and it’s a bit like hell, and he’s got to fight,” Pardo says. “He’s struggling to find a light, to find salvation, to make sense of what life is for him and what he’s meant to do. I feel like it’s a very universal story we can almost all relate to.”

It is from there that EZ’s Godfather-esque journey begins. And for Pardo, it’s the beginning of his own dream. “I wanted this so bad, to work with Kurt Sutter,” he shares of his audition. “I left everything out in that room.” When he was done he was completely overwhelmed. “It was such a beautiful experience. I got into my car, and I just started crying.” He got the job the next day.

To get ready for the role, the then 147-pound, 6-foot, extremely lean Pardo adjusted his diet and workouts to add almost 40 pounds of muscle, and then went to school. “I thought that I was going to blow my chances,” Pardo says of not knowing how to ride a bike, but Sutter said, “Don’t worry. Charlie [Hunnam] didn’t know how to ride either.” So off to Harley school he went.

“It’s a huge responsibility to take on this role with Mayans. Sons of Anarchy has a huge fan base,” Pardo says. “There’s a responsibility to FX and obviously to Kurt Sutter for creating the Sons of Anarchy saga.”
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