A Chat With J.D. Pardo About The ‘Mayans M.C.’ Season Finale Twist And Jax Teller’s Legacy

News Editor
11.07.18

FX

Mayans M.C., the newest chapter in Kurt Sutter’s Sons Of Anarchy universe that’s co-created by Elgin James, has flown a semi-full circle in a crow-filled season finale that brought some Sons-entrenched realizations to the forefront while presenting plenty of questions for the series’ renewed second season. The fresh chapter of biker drama was a roaring ratings success as the year’s most popular cable debut of 2018, and leading man J.D. Pardo, who plays prospect Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, is gratefully soaking in the success while looking forward to future seasons.

We’ve covered this series, which lives up to Kurt Sutter‘s usual complex storytelling standards while relishing the depraved aspects of the club lifestyle, extensively on a scene-based level while thinking too much about every universe tie-in. The season finale, however, presented a truly shocking ride, and Pardo was gracious enough to sit down with us in an attempt to piece together that significant cliffhanger. He also got frank with us about the more carnal aspects of Sutter’s work and how he’s dealt with Charlie Hunnam’s legacy of plentiful Jax Teller nude scenes.

Mayans M.C. started with higher stakes than Sons did, and the complexity has only increased. That’s part of why the series is engaging to viewers, but has it been difficult as an actor to keep everything straight when all the characters are making various deals and double-crosses?

The funny thing is, I know how complicated Kurt Sutter’s writing is, so I was pretty much prepared for anything, and I felt like that was going to be a great challenge. It was, but in a lot of ways, it was not easier than I expected, but a little bit more comfortable than I expected. I just really researched the role, had my process down and was just in it, and I was able to go with the flow.

The club members, as individuals, are also so complicated, right off the bat. Coco and EZ, definitely. Do you ever wish there was a standalone episode where EZ could simply … take it easy?

You know, what makes that interesting is that there’s always something to do. Now I had some days off, but with a name like EZ, it’s strange how complicated life is for him, right? In a weird way.

What would he do with a day off? What would he do to kick back?

Oh, I’m not sure. He’s a pretty simple guy, right now. He just came out of prison, so I really wanted to carry that with the character throughout the season, and hopefully in the second season, he can shed a little bit of that. But I don’t know, maybe he’d go to the beach? And just be alone.

EZ, unlike Sons characters, was changed by his prison experience, and he now believes that he belongs in the club. Is he truly comfortable with this decision?

Yeah, I think he’s become comfortable with where he’s at. I think that was one of the themes of the season, and as you mentioned, Coco. Just having that conversation with Coco on the kitchen floor was just mind-opening for EZ in that he can’t really regret or live in the past so much. He’s gotta accept that things happen for a reason, so I think what we see in this finale is that he’s good with accepting where he’s at, and that’s exciting for him. Because with everything, he’s been unsure, but now he’s got a clear path, a path of where he’s going, but then … things happen.

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