TV

Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter is back with another edgy motorcycle gang drama

'A new mythology that will live on'

Get ready for gangs, guns and motorcycles making their TV comeback in Kurt Sutter's upcoming series Mayans MC.

Set in the fictional town of Santo Padre near the California/Mexico border, Kurt's (above inset) highly anticipated Sons Of Anarchy spin-off focuses on Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes (JD Pardo). He's the former golden boy of a Latino family who is just out of prison and a new prospect in the Mayans Motorcycle Club.

Kurt, 58, describes the show as "post-Jax Teller", referring to the character played by Charlie Hunnam in the original series, and confirms it will take place around three years later.

"I feel my job is to acknowledge where the show comes from," he adds. "Honour that, and then transition us into a new mythology that will live on."

JD Pardo stars in the leading role as EZ Reyes.
JD Pardo stars in the leading role as EZ Reyes.

The series was co-created by Kurt and Elgin James, a former member of the FSU (Friends Stand United) Boston street gang, who served a year in prison in 2011.

"I learned from Kurt that there was all this stuff I was wrestling with that came out," Elgin, 48, says.

"I realised we're all damaged, but if you're a gang member, you use that damage to hurt people – and that artists use the damage to make people feel less alone in the world."

Kurt says the series will feature a mix of subtitled Spanish and English.

"A lot of Spanish-speaking families I know in LA dovetail between English and Spanish," he explains.

"There are scenes where EZ will come in and talk to his father in Spanish. And then, other characters will start a conversation in Spanish and shift into English."

Look out for one original Sons Of Anarchy character, Mayans MC founder Marcus Alvarez (Emilio Rivera). But Kurt insists there will be no major cameos.

"I don't want to mess with that mythology," he says. "But there are other secondary characters and clubs that could intersect with this show."

Edward James Olmos stars as Felipe Reyes in the new series.
Edward James Olmos stars as Felipe Reyes in the new series.

JD Pardo, 37, reveals that his own father was a Los Angeles police officer working on a gang task force.

"I almost felt like I was in enemy territory when I visited prisons to do research," he says. "But I was so emotional when I met them, because I realised we aren't that different."

Actor Edward James Olmos, 71, describes the show as "incredibly powerful and complex".

JD agrees, adding, "It also feels darker, because with that show, you had Jax as this Prince Charming meant to inherit the kingdom. With EZ, you have a guy who was never supposed to be part of that life. For him, it's all about survival."

When JD got the role, he had to admit to Kurt he'd never been on a motorcycle.

"On day one, I'm flying down the road feeling apprehensive at first, but then getting cocky as I go into fourth gear," he recalls. "They say 'action' and I go to make a U-turn and slip off.

"I was pretty embarrassed. But one of the crew came up to me and said, 'Don't worry – Charlie Hunnam dropped his bike on the first day too.' So I figured I was in good company!"

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