OFF THE WIRE
Roll Out http://www.heralddeparis.com/tvs-sons-of-anarchys-iconic-bi… Thank You for the interview Herald de Paris,Alan Carlos Hernandez
Rivera will reprise the role in the upcoming “Mayans MC”, Sons creator Kurt Sutter will co-write, executive produce and direct the project.
Emilio was born in San Antonio, Texas as the oldest child of four brothers and three sisters. When Emilio was a young boy his family moved to an area of Los Angeles nicknamed Frog Town and Emilio continued to seek the attention of those around him. His first experience with acting was in his third-grade production of “Rumpelstiltskin”. Emilio admits his childhood was not easy growing up as a minority in a poor section of town.
Growing up, Rivera was known for his fighting abilities, and eventually earned the moniker “Lefty” referring to his ability to knock opponents unconscious with a single left handed punch.
Underneath the exterior, Emilio’s passion for acting thrived and after much soul-searching Emilio decided to take his biggest risk and pursue acting. The training, discipline and extensive hours of studying changed Emilio life forever. Those around him were amazed at the positive, yet radical, change in Emilio and realized he had found his true passion in life. In between his time studying, Emilio worked as a mechanical engineer.
Rivera has discovered that turning your life around is the key to making dreams come true. His acting credentials have allowed him to top the list of successful Latino actors. He worked successfully as a stand-up comic for ten years, and has a wicked sense of humor. He still does 2 shows a year (don’t miss your chance to see it!)
His résumé continued to grow with starring roles in films such as “High Crimes” with Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman and the much-anticipated film “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”, starring George Clooney, Sam Rockwell and Julia Roberts.
His first feature role was in the TV series “Renegade” with Lorenzo Lamas. He left his day job behind after he landed a role in the feature film “Con Air”, co-starring Nicolas Cage. Emilio has appeared in countless commercials, television programs and feature films including “Traffic”, “The Cable Guy”, “NYPD Blue”, “Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Walker, Texas Ranger”, “JAG”, “ER” and numerous other projects.
As stated, Emilio Rivera is most widely recognized for his recurring role on the FX drama “Sons of Anarchy” as the President of The Mayans, a rival motorcycle gang.
The spinoff series taking place in the same universe as “Sons of Anarchy” dealing with the Reaper’s rivals turned allies, the Mayans Motorcycle Club.
Mayans MC is scheduled to shoot its pilot in March, with Sutter directing. The creator is looking to strike gold again this year, with the SOA spin-off series Mayans MC. This show will pick up where Sons of Anarchy left off, and follow the Mayans Motorcycle Club, former rivals of the Sons. In the original show, the California-based Mayans peddled heroin, and in Mayans MC, one of the members, EZ Reyes will grapple with his desire for revenge against a drug cartel and his need for the women in his life to respect him.
In order to carry the magic over from one series to another, Sutter needed to bridge the gap between worlds. Something, or someone, is needed to get fans of the original show invested in the spin-off, as well as help the story keep continuity from one series to another.
This is where Emilio Rivera comes in.
The actor played Mayan founder Marcus Alvarez for all seven seasons of “Sons of Anarchy”, and instantly became beloved by fans of the series. While he hasn’t been officially revealed as a part of Mayans MC, Sutter recently said that Alvarez is the entire connection between the two shows.
Rivera recalls a conversation with Sutter, “I’m just glad that Kurt kept me alive because I remember one time I told Kurt, I go ‘Brother when you finally decide to kill me please don’t let me die in a chicken sh** way. Let me go out blazing.’ He put his hand on my shoulder he goes, ‘Your death will be glorious.’ I’m glad he wasn’t killed then maybe he will be this time around but at least I’m here to talk about it.”
During an interview with Desde Hollywood, Sutter began talking about Rivera’s role on Sons. After singing his praises, and revealing what a talented and humble actor Rivera is, the creator went on to explain Rivera is so vital to making “Mayans MC” run smoothly.
“When this other project was coming up with the Mayans; he’s my linchpin in fusing these two mythologies. It’s so great to be able to work with him again, and be around that energy, because it reminds me that this is why we do what we do.”
Herald de Paris Consulting Editor Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez, an Old-School Oakland Biker Himself, thanks to an introduction by mutual friend, Pepsi Executive Vice President and inventor of Hot Cheetos Richard Montanez, had an opportunity to have a sit down with The Mayan King Rivera…
AC: When you first started out you did stand-up comedy and were quite good at it. Did you write your own material, why did you give it up, and would you ever like to do comedic roles?
ER: When I first started acting, I went straight to comedy because I was trying to break away from who I was from my street life, so comedy gave me an out. I belonged to a skit comedy group already and had done a few plays. So my agent called and said can you do stand-up, I said I can try. I wrote a 10 minute bit in an hour went on to perform the following night at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood and killed it. Did comedy for the next 10 years. I quit doing comedy because the acting gigs were coming in a lot. The money was better, a lot better, and I didn’t have to be in a club every night. I got burnt out on it. Now I do two shows a year.
AC: Isn’t stand up one of the hardest things to do as an artist? Are you still funny?
ER: Am I still funny? Yes, I can find the funny in everything.
AC: Do you feel you have been locked into an acting niche, a character type?
ER: I don’t feel I’m locked into character types. During the first ten of my years of my career, I was pigeon holed to the bad guy. I was paying my dues so to speak. Nowadays I pick what bad guys I want to play, and will play the good guy if the pay is good.
Bad guys are the best to play.
I have found that the fans will accept you in different roles if you play them well. I’ve pretty much played all the roles I’ve wanted to play. I would however like to play a mentally challenged person, I think that would challenge me.
AC: Does being a Latino actor exclude you from opportunity?
ER: I don’t think being a Latino actor limits me. I think actors limit themselves. My philosophy is just do the work. If you’re good at what you do, no matter what kind of job you do, you will always work. Out of 140 roles I have played over the years, 40 of them have been the normal guy. As I said, I would rather play the bad guy any time, more fun to do.
I have done some producing. Directing will be my next stop.
AC: What kind of stories would you like to see?
ER: I want to see more stories of my people who came from the street and changed things around. It’s not easy, believe me, I know first-hand. Those kind of roles I like to do, doing those well would be a challenge.
AC: Favorite performance platform?
ER: I love the stage more than TV and Film, just cannot afford to live on that pay, but stage is the best.
AC: You are now considered a role model, how do you feel about this?
ER: Latino role model is cool, I’m big on family, and family values. I enjoy working, being friendly with all people, I have a very good work ethic, and always show respect to all people. It may seem cliché but, “If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all”. I feel helping others, is the right thing to do. If we could all live by this, we would be in a better place.
AC: Who is some of your acting heroes?
ER: My acting heroes are Mr. Edward James Olmos. I saw him in Zoot Suit when I was 17 years, old he blew me away with intense art. I learned by watching him work and he is a good friend now. I’m very proud to be working with him on the highly-anticipated “Mayans MC” TV series. I also like and admire John Malkovich, John Voight, Christopher Walken and Javier Bardem, among others. I was also inspired by old school actors, Bogey, Cagney and the Dead End Kids.
AC: SOA is dark, do you ever feel that you are encouraging an injurious lifestyle?
ER: SOA is a TV show, if people do stupid shit after watching it, then they were stupid people to begin with. It’s like if someone try’s smoking meth after watching “Breaking Bad”. It’s only a show.
AC: In one of the episodes, you were supposed to murder you own son, I understand you had a visceral reaction to that?
ER: Killing my son on SOA was one of the toughest things I’ve done in any show that I’ve ever worked on. I broke down hard that day. You have understand, when I work I go all in. For me, I killed my son that day. That’s why everything I do looks real, because for me it is real.
AC: Because you play the evil character so convincingly do you ever have to deal with people who want to call you out?
ER: Yeah been called out a couple of times. Handled it real quick. I’m good like that.
AC: What do the real clubs like The Hells Angels and The Mongols thing about your work?
ER: The real MCs have been kind and have showed me respect for my work, and these are the guys that I like getting the feedback from because I do not want to disrespect their way of life or their culture.
AC: Tell us about the spin off series “The Mayans”, what is the storyline?
ER: “Mayans MC” story line is great! You are in for a crazy ride
AC: What is your role in the series?
ER: I will be reprising my role of President of the Mayans MC, Marcus Álvarez
AC: I’m informed that that the writer/producer wants to turn the whole production into Latino hand. Is this a good idea?
ER: Kurt Sutter has always been an equal opportunity employer, and he has been hiring Latino, Mexican, Chicano, Hispanic talent, behind the scenes on “The Mayans MC” show as he had said he would. I think it’s a great idea, we look at each other for notes if there is something we don’t know. It’s very cool because we come from the same culture, he had created so many jobs for so many people when we did SOA for 7 seasons. We hope to get 7 Seasons out of “Mayans MC” if so, a lot of people will be working. Sutter is a trendsetter. Hopefully people follow suit.
AC: How much impact will you have in helping guide the vision and direction of the project?
ER: Kurt Sutter, has let me have some input on the show, He wants everything authentic, and we are doing our best to keep it that way.
AC: How would you like to see your character evolve over the series run?
ER: I would like to see Álvarez go into some dark places, show his family side, and have some great scenes with Mr. Edward James Olmos and John Ortiz who plays my cousin on the show.
AC: Tell us about the roll out of SOA in Spanish? How do you think that will play out?
ER: SOA en Español was a great idea. It just broadens our audience when it segues into the “Mayans MC”. We’ve been asking for Latinos to be on TV, so here we are on the biggest platform.
AC: How has fame effected your self-image and lifestyle, is it possible to have a normal life?
ER: Fame is a trip. Hard to do anything without being approached, take a pic sign an autograph. But I do it with a smile. If the people run and go out of their way to come see me. I can stand still to take a pic. Just not when I’m eating.
AC: Personal goals in Life?
ER: To have a lot of great times with my familia. To inspire people that you can be whatever it is you want to be, and to save a lot of dogs, I love dogs.
AC: Any regrets?
ER: Regrets? A few, but we move on. Can’t get stuck on them, no more crutches here.
AC: When it’s all said, and done, how would you like history to remember you?
ER: I want history to remember me as a good family man, funny guy, great stories, and fair man. He’d give you the shirt off his back. A good coach, great baseball player, better fighter, always a Leader.
Mariam Salarian contributed to this article.