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Mayans M.C. may bring back past Sons of Anarchy characters throughout its run, but at its heart this series is mainly about Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes and his experience in the Mayans motorcycle club. For that reason, creator Kurt Sutter was selective about the person he wanted for the role and wasn't sure if an actor who had read for several other characters, J.D. Pardo, could cut the mustard. Pardo indicated during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con that he had a bit of a hard time convincing Sutter he was the guy for the gig, and CinemaBlend was there to hear what turned things around. According to Pardo,
It was so beautiful, because, you know, I was reading for these other characters and, Kurt sits me down and says, 'You know, can I be honest with you?' We just had this honest conversation and he just said what he needed the character to be. And it was one of those where I'm just laying it all out, man. I said, 'Listen, I know the responsibility with FX, with the brand, with the Sons of Anarchy fans. Because that's what it's really all about -- the fans of Sons of Anarchy. I said, 'If you give me this opportunity, I will not let you down, I will not let FX down, I will not let the fans down.' He said, 'Alright. Well how about you take the easy sides, go home and come back later this afternoon and you can read?' I said, 'That's not going to work for me. How about you give me 45 minutes, I'll go outside I'll memorize these lines and just kick some ass.'
J.D. Pardo told the Comic-Con audience he felt like he had Kurt Sutter on the line, so he wasn't about to let the Sons of Anarchy creator take the afternoon and change his mind. Sutter, who seemed to get a kick out of Pardo's telling of the tale, joked that he didn't remember things happening quite the same way, although later confirmed that things went down exactly the way the actor indicated. Pardo later added he was scared that he put that much pressure on himself to memorize and audition in under an hour when he was initially offered the afternoon to prepare, but told the audience he believes fear needs to be put aside sometimes, encouraging folks to go for what they want.
J.D. Pardo had a great story for how he swayed Kurt Sutter into letting him play the lead in Mayans M.C., but unfortunately was a bit cryptic about how an actor being bopped around for various roles ended up in the same room as the passionate Sons of Anarchy creator. Pardo did mention he had to do a lot of hoop jumping to make it that far, which probably made the pressure that much more intense prior to his audition for EZ. That said, Sutter did say that Pardo stuck out as an interesting actor during the audition process, although he also seemed to imply his vision for EZ was not present in what Pardo had shown in auditions for the various other roles he tried out for and didn't get.
Mayans M.C. will premiere on FX Tuesday, September 4, at 10:00 p.m. ET. The show is one of the first few that will welcome in the fall season of television, and those who are curious about what else is on the way can find out with our fall premiere guide. Fall isn't here yet, of course, so also be sure to visit our summer premiere guide and see what other programming is still on the way. For more on Mayans M.C., Sons of Anarchy fans should certainly check out one of the recent teaser videos for the new series to see how it paid homage to the franchise's former main man Jax Teller.