‘Mayans MC’ Creator Kurt Sutter Explains Choosing JD Pardo as Series Lead

During Sunday's San Diego Comic-Con panel for Mayans MC, star JD Pardo and co-creator Kurt Sutter explained how the East Los High star landed the lead role in the Sons of Anarchy spinoff.

"I saw his read with a couple other actors and sort of knew what I was looking for," Sutter said of the audition process, reports Variety. “It was one of those things where I knew what I wasn’t looking for and then I saw JD read and there was something interesting and commanding in what he was doing."

Sutter said Pardo auditioned for several supporting roles, but Sutter realized he might have found his leading man. The two talked over the idea, and Pardo insisted he would not disappoint the writer.

"We had this honest conversation where he told me what he wanted the character to be," Pardo, 37, explained.

The actor also understood how important it would be to give a good performance, especially after the acclaimed performance Charlie Hunnam gave as the lead in Sons of Anarchy.

"I told [Kurt], ‘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," Pardo added.

During the panel, Sarah Bolger, who plays Pardo's romantic interest, said it was a "delight" to kiss Pardo. Sutter did not give more details about her character, only hinting that she does have a direct link to the Mayans MC.

In Mayans MC, Pardo plays Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes, who applies to join the Mayans MC after his dreams of success are ruined by cartel violence. Bolger co-stars as Emily, EZ's childhood sweetheart.

Edward James Olmos stars as Felipe Reyes, EZ's father, and Jacqueline Obradors plays his mother, Marisol Reyes. Clayton Cardenas plays Angel Reyes, EZ's brother, who is already a full member of the Mayans MC. Emilio Rivera is also reprising his Sons of Anarchy role, Mayans MC president Marcus Alvarez.

During Sunday's panel, Sutter also said the new series is set three years after the end of Sons of Anarchy. He also said it will "intersect" with the SOA world.

Sutter also showed the SDCC audience the first 13 minutes of the Mayans MC pilot, which will air on Tuesday, Sept. 4 on FX. The scene showed Mayan members preparing to make a drug run to Las Vegas.


Outside of Mayans MC, Pardo's other credits include East Los High, Revolution and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2.

Photo credit: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images