Mayans M.C. Star JD Pardo On Why He's Not The Next Jax Teller
With 'Sons Of Anarchy' and the story of Jax Teller having come to an end, the next chapter comes in the form of FX's new series 'Mayans M.C'.
We spoke to actor JD Pardo on his recent trip Down Under about everything from stepping into a role with an already-established fanbase, as well as the perils of learning how to ride a motorbike.
But first, if you're not already acquainted with the premise of Mayans M.C., it follows the story of Ezekiel 'EZ' Reyes (Pardo) as he's released from prison and navigating what it means to be a part of the Mayans M.C. charter on the California/Mexico border as a Prospect.
And while Mayans does take place in the same world as its predecessor Sons Of Anarchy -- don't expect Pardo's character to follow the same path as SOA's Jax Teller.
“Nobody likes a karaoke version of something great," he said in regards to whether EZ is modelled on Charlie Hunnam's popular character, Jax Teller.
"It takes place three years after the death of Jax Teller," he added. "Mayans M.C. is part of what we call the 'Sutterverse' -- [creator] Kurt Sutter and his whole world and the worlds of Sons of Anarchy and Mayans M.C."
"Through a series of flashbacks, you find out that he was never supposed to be part of this world," he says, adding, "He went to Stanford, he was the golden boy in his community, he had the girl and was enjoying life until through some tragic events he ended up in prison."
And while Pardo said the series definitely encompasses many of the themes seen in SOA, he insists that Mayans is, in many ways, an entirely different world.
"I think there's [a different] atmosphere and tone... It's like an organic transition because when you're dealing with the Mayans there's obviously the Latino culture," he explained.
"The culture is different than the Sons Of Anarchy culture, our bikes are different, the way we talk is different, the way we live is just different," he continued.
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Along with landing a role for a series with high expectations thanks to SOA, Pardo told us that he also had to undergo the daunting task of learning to ride a motorcycle during filming.
"I dropped [the bike] twice during filming... There's a scene where I'm being chased and they wanted me to skid with the bike, like slam on the brakes and skid, and they said, 'JD don't do it! Whatever you do, don't do it! We have your stuntman, he's going to do it all,'" he explained, adding, "So they yell 'action' and I just went for it and I skid... and I dropped it."
Mayans M.C. airs on Foxtel's Showcase Wednesdays at 8:30pm