Interview with Jimmy Smits of "Sons of Anarchy" on FX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite
 

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By Suzanne

Jimmy Smits

Interview with Jimmy Smits of "Sons of Anarchy" on FX 12/4/14

This is the second time I was able to speak with Jimmy Smits on the telephone because of his SOA role. He was really nice on the phone, like a genuine person. Not at all like a big star. It was a great interview! You can tell in here that he kind of sticks up for me (and the other press) because sometimes when they're short on time, they cut us off, don't let us say thank you or whatever...they try to limit us to one question to make sure we all get a chance, but it can be a little weird when they just cut us off, and that's what you see him reacting to here. My hero! LOL! Seriously, I did get all choked up.

Final Transcript
FX NETWORK: Sons of Anarchy
December 4, 2014/10:00 a.m. PST

SPEAKERS
Stephanie Kelly
Jimmy Smits

PRESENTATION

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the FX Network Sons of Anarchy conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, this call will be recorded today.

I would now like to turn over the conference to our host, Ms. Stephanie Kelly. Please go ahead.

Stephanie: Hello, everyone. Thanks so much for joining the conference call with Jimmy Smits, who plays Nero Padilla on FXís Sons of Anarchy, which is unbelievably wrapping up its series next Tuesday at 10 on FX. So without further ado, we will open it up to questions with Jimmy.

Jimmy: Thanks, Stephanie, hello, everybody. Good morning, good afternoon as the case may be with everyone. How is everybody doing? Sorry my smartphone was not being very smart. I had a little technical difficulty. Thanks for hanging in.

Moderator: (Operator instructions) The first question that we will have today will come from Earl Dittman with Digital Journal. Please go ahead.

Earl: Jimmy.

Jimmy: Earl, how is it going, buddy?

Earl: Doing great. How the heck are you, man?

Jimmy: Iím doing all right, man, how about you?

Earl: Doing great. It just seems just like yesterday we were talking about how you and Wanda got on the show and how you didnít even know if you were going to last that season and here you are, man.

Jimmy: Here I am.

Earl: Congratulations, you did it. I know that every time you do a film or a series, you learn something from every experience. Looking back now what would you say not only as an actor you took away or learned from doing Sons of Anarchy, but as a person, as a man, being a part of the SOA family?

Jimmy: Wow, great, great question that I donít have a ready answer for, Earl. I donít know. The whole thing about the strength of family through thick and thin, and even though the whole thing about family is questionable with this particular family, but thatís something that was like an ongoing the club becomes the family and when things are done against the family, how the family kind of like sticks together and the glue. That was just like a running theme and to see that group from being a fan and watching them on television to partaking with them on the performance level, I think that that bond was really, really strong, so thatís something that Iíll always remember about that particular group and about what they conveyed not only in the writing, but on a performance level as well.

Earl: And as an actor, did you take anything away from playing Nero, did he teach you anything new or learn anything new?

Jimmy: Wow. It just kind of reinforced for me what we need to do as performingóthis might be boring for the audience, but just as performers how you really need to stay focused on any given day, so that when itís your turn to be up at bat, you try your best to bring your A game. And when I get stuck in terms of how to play something or how to approach it or I start thinking too much, I always just go back to the basics of what does my guy want in this particular scene and what is his major objective in terms of life, that would be in his case the exit strategy, what are the people saying about him and just trying to keep that as fluid as possible while Iím putting my tattoos on, so that when itís my turn that I make the most of those two or three scenes every episode that I get to do.

Earl: Itís been great. Thank you so much and itís always a pleasure and honor, man. Thanks so much.

Jimmy: I really appreciate it. I hope everything is well with you, man.

Earl: And it is with you, too, thanks a lot.

Jimmy: Happy Holidays.

Earl: You, too.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Hillary Atkin. Please go ahead.

Hillary: Good morning, Jimmy, how are you?

Jimmy: Iím well, Hillary, how is it going with you?

Hillary: Good, good. I just loved the ďRed RoseĒ episode and I feel like with Nero, thereís such an intrinsic strength, power and gravitas to him that he acts as somewhat of a balancer and grounding force to the Tellers, particularly to Gemma, but also somewhat to Jax. What are your thoughts on the context of the role that Nero plays in the family?

Jimmy: I think that when you start thinking about the fluidity of a television series and how it evolves and changes and grows and is kind of like symbiotic with not only what the writersí vision is, but what the interaction is between the actors, the ensemble, the crew, all of those things, how the writers respond to when they see their particular scene that theyíve written in the writersí room come to life on the stage and then in film, I think about that character. And of course going in, it was supposed to be ten episodes and out, and all of those things that you alluded to, thank you very much, are nice, and I think that itís evolved into that.

I remember having a conversation with Kurt at the end of the second season that I was on, which was Season 6, and he expressed interest in me thinking about the way he framed it, the Nero character becoming part of the mythology of the show. And thatís the way it was framed, so I think that all of those qualities that you cited are probably are things that I have developed. So for the character besides that ongoing super objective that he came in with and was what his major character tag or pillar was that he wanted this kind of exit strategy, itís something that permeated not only his character, but I think it influenced actions of the other characters.

The character served this purpose of confidant, foil, love interest, all of those little spokes in the wheel that fleshes out the show in general. With regards to the gravitas and stuff, I donít know. The whole fluidity again of television and the character and the performer because itís not just an open and close, itís not like a film or a play in the sense that everything is spelled out and has a fluidity to it; Iím just happy that I had the respect of that group when I came in and they were very kind of like warm and open. And they are a close knit, very close knit group and that kind of respect and had to do probably with the prior work, the fact that I had worked with Paris before, all of that and I think that bleeds over into the character as well.

Hillary: Just a quick follow-up, another element that comes out is the humor displayed with Wendy and particularly some of the lines in the latest episode, like, ďHey, Junkie, Iíll put you in the trunk.Ē Talk a little bit about that aspect of the character and also his relationship with Wendy, please.

Jimmy: Itís one of Kurtís strong suits I think if you look at the whole gamut of the seven seasons of the show when he has characters that one would conceive or consider to be dark or askew, you can see it in Tig, you can see it in all of the characters actually that Kurt operates best when he does this kind of one-two punch to the audience and can present kind of like lighter shade humorous side and then socks you with something that can be very emotionally impacting.

I think that engages the audience in a lot of ways. It makes them root for these people who are on the ďwrong side of the tracks,Ē so I like the fact that that he operates as a writer from that kind of level. And with regards to Nero and Wendy, they both have the similarities that they have is that their sobriety is something that they have in common, so I think that thatís the strong bond that they share or will continue to share. Whatever happens thatís an element of it. I think it takes kind of the stink off the possibility that thereís a romantic thing. Itís more paternal, brother/sister kind. You get that vibe from the back and forth that they have, so it functions on a lot of different levels because of that.

Does that make sense?

Hillary: Yes, thank you. And I hope Nero makes it all the way to the end.

Jimmy: The reaper, beware of the reaper. Thanks so much, Hillary. Happy Holidays to you.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Diana Price with Examiner.com. Please go ahead.

Diana: Thanks so much for doing the call today, Jimmy.

Jimmy: Hello, Diana. Thanks so much for hanging in there, I appreciate it.

Diana: Great show. Obviously you canít give away any spoilers, but when you got that last scriptó

Jimmy: I can, but I would not be in great shape.

Diana: Yes, donít, theyíll shank you in the neck over there if you give away spoilers. But when you got that last script and you read it, was it what you were expecting? Were you surprised? Did you think I canít believe Kurt did this? What was your feeling when you read that final script?

Jimmy: Iíve been continually shocked with the past maybe five scripts in terms of like weíre really blowing sh** up here. Heís going for broke, so it was always with like a little bit of trepidation on everybodyís part when that new script would come in in your email or whether you would get it in page form to make that turn of the first couple of pages to see what was next or who was going to go down next.

I donít think audiences are going to be disappointed at all. I think theyíre going to be very satisfied and itís touching in a lot of ways. Itís sad, but itís also itís grim, too.

Diana: So we should have our tissues handy, in other words.

Jimmy: Yes, great show.

Diana: Okay, thanks so much, Jimmy, love the show and love your role in it.

Jimmy: I really appreciate. Have a happy holiday.

Diana: You, too.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Christina Avina with On Request Magazine. Please go ahead.

Christina: Thank you. Hey, Jimmy, how are you?

Jimmy: Iím good, Chris, how is it going with you?

Christina: Itís great. Thanks so much for talking to everybody today. We appreciate it.

Jimmy: No worries, thanks for hanging in there, I appreciate it.

Christina: Sure. Youíve played some roles in your career that were beyond memorable, to say the least, and your performance in Dexter is one that just stands out to me as being really outstanding. Here you are and you take this role of Nero Padilla and every time heís on screen he just seems larger than life. He just sort of commands attention, and heís become this character that everybody wants to see and admires in a lot of ways. Is this a role that youíre going to walk away from and be one of your personal most memorable roles that youíve played?

Jimmy: I hope thereíll be other memorable roles down the line, but I know Iím going to have fond memories of the group and this guy. When I first was jotting down little things in my little composition high school composition notebook, which I always buy for each of the characters that I have, I wrote down Jimmy S. and a slash and Jimmy Mi Familia/Nero Padilla. That character that I played in Mi Familia was kind of like a little sprouting seed of maybe where this guy wound up being. I donít know. It was just a stream of consciousness kind of thing of what kind of attributes you want to give to a character. Itís like putting little strokes onto a canvas like if you were painting something.

I wanted to try to do something a little bit different and Iím glad that Kurt really gave me that kind of opportunity to do something that was kind of like more guy/guy thing. You realize where a character falls in terms of the different, if you think of a series as a wheel and there are different spokes in the wheel that support it and keep it going. You have different characters that have different functions, a role play on a basketball team, so I knew what was needed. That was expressed to me and youíre going to be this for Jax and that for Gemma and thatís where heís going toóbut you want to try to keep, or it was important for me to try to keep a couple of balls in the air when I was juggling all of that.

Kurt and I, we had conversations, there were conversations that we had because I just didnít want to be that. I wanted to make sure because itís a show about outlaws and people on the wrong side of the tracks that you kept that vibrant as well, so it wasnít just a guy coming to have somebody cry on his shoulder and giving coffee out. Do you know what I mean?

Christina: Yes, totally.

Jimmy: So we definitely had to, because heís got a lot going on. There are a lot of characters to serve and you have to find waysóif we keep that other element going, it makes everything else more believable, so Iím just glad that there was a kind of real back and forth respect and trust that we had with each other. At least the facade of it was there; no, I have a huge, huge respect for what heís done with the show, and I hope thatís mutual.

And our conversations like in Season 5 actually started getting less, not more. You would think that it would be as the character flourishes, you would have much more, but they were less, less frequent, but when they happened, they were more intense is not the word. But to the point and thereís a realization on my part that heís spinning a lot of plates, so you have to be very succinct in terms of getting what points you need or what you think needed to be looked at in a particular scene, because you want to try to do that before you get on set. Things when they happen when youíre on set when you want to start making changes, it doesnít make for a good environment in television because of the quickness that you have to work.

Christina: Absolutely.

Jimmy: I hope that addresses what you were asking.

Christina: It does, and then just a real quick follow-up is you mentioned all the different aspects to the character and him having to serve different roles. Heís a bad guy in one respect. Heís a father. Heís a father figure. Heís [indiscernible], so many different things, but he also can be very tender and understanding and the voice of reason. My question is how much do you personally relate to Nero Padilla?

Jimmy: The whole thing with him about how religion is part of his life or some kind of spirituality was just like a simple little kind of brush stroke on the writersí part I think and that became very important to me. I donít want to say I embellished it, but I gave it a lot more weight and I think because of that they wrote then subsequently they added more and thatís satisfying to me because I like the fact that this guy that seemingly has a spiritual side to him, too, thatís intense. And it made sense to me because of the fact that heís sober and higher power and all that stuff, so Jimmy relates to that, so that was a nice little flare that the character had that I like and can relate to.

Christina: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it, Jimmy, and love the character, love the show and best of luck to you.

Jimmy: God bless you, thanks so much. I appreciate it.

Christina: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the Kristyn Clarke with Pop Culture Madness. Please go ahead.

Kristyn: Hello, Jimmy, thank you so much for speaking with us today.

Jimmy: Hello, Kristyn. Iíll try to be more succinct in my answers.

Kristyn: No worries. Iím so glad to see you make it till the end. We saw Nero breaking down on the bedó

Jimmy: He made it till the end, but maybe not to the end end. Sorry, you said you were talking about him breaking downó

Kristyn: Yes, we can kind of jump to the conclusion that obviously no news from Unser was good news there. Where is Neroís [indiscernible] that, especially in that scene in particular?

Jimmy: I think thereís pain. Thereís guilt. Thereís remorse. Did you do the right thing? And Iím sure that the scenes afterwards that are not written or maybe you wonít get to see in between the episodes are full of maybe anger and trying to grapple with whatís the next move. You got to remember with all of these people that thereís this bubbling kind of how do they deal with the feeling of betrayal and how they try to go about exacting one might term it vengeance or making things right for them or their point of view. Hopefully all of that is full for this final chapter.

Kristyn: Absolutely. As a follow-up I think to me one of the most heart wrenching and beautiful scenes took place about two episodes ago between Nero and Jax when theyíre just sitting together in the chairs. Can you talk about that connection a little bit?

Jimmy: Yes, I think it was the culmination of what the relationship has been between these two characters over three seasons and certainly the weight of what the Jax character has been carrying or feeling for the past seven seasons. Because of that relationship between Jax and Nero, there was the availability of a kind of vulnerability, those words that Kurt wrote that came out of Jaxís mouth there about the bottom line no matter whatís happened, sheís my mom have to really resonate in a huge way.

Iím kind of happy that the way that turned out and just like on a performance level that we were able to have enough trust between us as actors; and that Peter Weller who directed that particular episode that youíre talking about kind of just said minimal stuff and just let it happen, but was very supportive, so I think it resonates and has the power that Kurt intended when he wrote it.

Hello?

Moderator: Our next question will come from Brent Hankins with the Nerd Repository. Please go ahead.

Brent: Hello, Jimmy, thanks a lot for taking the call today. I really appreciate your time.

Jimmy: No worries, Brent. Howís it going with you?

Brent: Itís going great, man, thank you. This is a season thatís been full of heartbreaking moments even more so than most other seasons of this show, but I think to me one of the best moments I saw are the ones that really pulled at the heart strings the most was the scene with you and Gemma where youíre on a cell phone with Jax and we know that Jax is explaining to Nero what he has learned. Can you talk a little bit about how you decided to play that scene? The fact that the audience didnít get Jaxís side of the conversation I thought was a really interesting choice and that you had to convey everything just through facial expressions and emotions. Can you talk a little bit about that scene?

Jimmy: In terms of the technical performance aspects of it?

Brent: As an actor getting into the mindset, like deciding that at what moment to convey the progression of the emotions and so forth.

Jimmy: Right, right. We knew that it was just from a dramaturgical look at it when we had the read-through for it, that the scene was going to have impact, but that it was going to be demanding because of the fact that itís not a back and forth. But in the scope of that particular episode, you do have the fact that the act is repeated a number of times and most notably in the scene between Jax and Juice in the jail cell where they were in vivid detail Juice has recounted what happened with Tara and Gemmaís involvement in it. And you see that registering on both of them, so I think it was a great writer stroke that he decided, that Kurt decided that the subsequent retelling of it would play in a different kind of way. I think because the audience now is engaged and they know and it becomes more about how each of the subsequent characters are going to start relating to the news. So when I look at it in total I think it really points to Kurtís strength as a writer.

Now the execution of it was a little bit scary and what I alluded before about learning, somebody asked me about what I took away from the show about trying to stay focused as a performer in the environment of television, which can be very quick. That particular day was a little scary because we were like at the end of the day. We were losing light. It had to be outside and Paul Maibaum whoís been the DP for the show since its beginning is just wonderful and kept on telling me donít worry about it. We can make this work.

My thing I kept on saying weíre going to have to come back and do this and I donít know how Iím going to be able to get back to where I was, but it all become a trust, a day of trust on that level. And on recounting not having the phone call actually in my ear and just knowing that I could be emotionally full with all of the information that Iíve had about these particular characters and knowing that when I looked in Kateyís eyes and she looked at my eyes that it would resonate emotionally. So we had that one aspect going for us and I think it played out. I think it has a kind of power to it and Iím happy with most of it. Thereís a lot that I still kick myself about, but thatís just me. Iím never totally happy, but thanks for the good words about it.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne: Good morning.

Jimmy: Hello, how are you, Suzanne?

Suzanne: Iím pretty good, thanks. Nice to talk to you again.

Jimmy: Likewise, likewise.

Suzanne: I was wondering now that the show is about over and you got the holidays coming up, what are your plans after that? Do you have specific stuff lined up, or what can we expect from you? Do you want to rest for a while?

Jimmy: Like Jimmyís holidays?

Suzanne: Your holiday, plans you have afterwards, do you have other stuff lined up or just see what happens?

Jimmy: Iím sitting here in an office full of junk. Iím just looking at reading material and thereís no like next job lined up like right away and Iíve been out there going to meetings and auditioning and doing the stuff that you have to do as an actor. Iíll spend a little time with my family over the holidays and like that, the same old thing that I always do. Iím never going to work again kind of thing, you know. Hello?

Moderator: Our next question will come from Minyvonne Burke with HNGN.com. Please go ahead.

Jimmy: Hello, operator. Are we cutting off the people oró

Moderator: Yes, we were advised to.

Jimmy: Okay.

Stephanie: Not to cut people off, I just want people to be able to ask one question and then if we have time, weíll circle back for the follow-ups, so please do not cut people off.

Jimmy: Okay, all right, yes, because itís just disconcerting to me.

Stephanie: Yes, let them finish the conversation. I just mean to remind people we give them one questionó

Jimmy: Yes, you guys give a specific follow-up or if you feel like itís going too long, you guys can jump in.

Stephanie: Exactly. Right, but one question is fine, but please do not cut people off.

Jimmy: Okay, thanks so much, guys.

Moderator: My apologies.

Jimmy: No worries.

Stephanie: Okay, we can continue.

Moderator: And the next question will be Minyvonne Burke.

Minyvonne: Hello, Jimmy. How are you?

Jimmy: Iím good, Miny, whatís happening? How are you?

Minyvonne: Iím good. Iím really excited to see next weekís episode of Sons of Anarchy, but I wanted to ask you about Star Wars. I wanted to know if youíve seen the trailer and what you thought of it and are you excited about the movie coming out next year.

Jimmy: I did see the trailer and I got a text from my son the other day and said, ďHave you seen the trailer?Ē And I texted back, ďWhy are you sweating me like that?Ē He wrote back, ď???, oh, Dad, Iím sorry,Ē because he knows itís kind of like a sore spot with me.

The trailer looks great and Iím really excited about seeing it and how the mythology of that particular show just continues.

Minyvonne: All right, thank you so much.

Jimmy: God bless you, man. Take care.

Minyvonne: All right, bye.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Jeri Jacquin with the Military Press. Please go ahead.

Jeri: Hello, Jimmy.

Jimmy: Hello, Jeri, whatís happening? How are you?

Jeri: Itís a nice San Diego day, dude.

Jimmy: Okay.

Jeri: I know, right? Close to home.

Jimmy: Thereís no rain, you guys didnít get rain?

Jeri: Yes, we did, but today itís so sunny and pretty.

Jimmy: Okay. Good deal. God bless.

Jeri: I didnít mind the rain at all. When you were following week to week up to the final season, what was your reaction each week to the fate of the characters?

Jimmy: I think I mentioned that it was like I think I was a little nervous I think getting ready to open that script up to see who was going down next, because we were like in that somebody is going down every episode mode here. Last episode itó

Jeri: And sometimes more than one.

Jimmy: Three people, three major people.

Jeri: I know, I was in a room full of people and they were freaking out and there is a team Nero going on here in San Diego.

Jimmy: I appreciate that. You mean besides his cardigan, because his cardigans has a life of their own I understand. I understand.

Jeri: Are you going to keep all the cardigans?

Jimmy: I beg your pardon.

Jeri: Are you going to keep all the sweaters?

Jimmy: No, not all of them, but thereís one that I really got my eye on that I like a lot that Iíve told Kelly about. I was a little, as everyone was in the cast, itís a little tense and shocked, but you understand. Itís all part of the culmination of what has been brewing in Kurtís head for all this time. Itís good.

Jeri: Did you expect it to be as graphic as it was?

Jimmy: Yes, theyíre graphic, but I donít think that theyíre out of what the character either deserves, like itís part of the world, so itís all good.

Jeri: Right, thank you and Happy Holidays to you. Thank you for everything of being Nero.

Jimmy: My God, thanks so much for saying that. Take care, bye.

Jeri: Bye, bye.

Jimmy: Bye now.

Moderator: The next question will come from Damon Martin with the Nerdcore Movement. Please go ahead.

Damon: Hello, Jimmy, thank you so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it.

Jimmy: Thanks for hanging in there, Damon, I appreciate you [indiscernible].

Damon: Obviously with your roles in the past, youíve been a part of some pretty iconic roles, NYPD Blue, obviously the West Wing. When youíre a character for more than a season or two, Iím sure you get invested in that, so my question is obviously art is subjective and how people are going to react to the finale is also subjective. But when you look at the final episode and your final arc as Nero, would you say that you think this is a satisfying ending both for the show and for you personally when you look at this last episode and even this last season as whole?

Jimmy: As far as the last season is concerned, I think that Kurt ended it really beautifully and it has all of those elements that the show has been the signature of the show throughout the seven seasons. I was a little surprised specifically about the way Nero ends up, but I totally get it. I totally get it.

Damon: Awesome, thank you so much.

Jimmy: Thatís about as much as I can say without doing spoilers and stuff.

Damon: Awesome, thank you so much.

Jimmy: Thank you, Damon. Happy Holidays to you, bro.

Damon: You as well.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Alicia Grillo with SciFiVision. Please go ahead.

Alyssa: Hello, Jimmy, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today.

Jimmy: Alicia, how are you?

Alyssa: Itís actually Alyssa, I donít know where theyó

Jimmy: Alyssa is good. Do you say Grillo or Grillo?

Alyssa: I say Grillo, but yes, I know the meaning of it, too. Iím a huge fan of your work. Youíve obviously done everything from NYPD Blue to Dexter and now Sons of Anarchy. My question for you is actually about last nightís episode. I think one of the most memorable lines is from last night was when Nero tells Unser that this is not about saving Gemma, itís about saving Jax. What do you think has changed in Nero that he seemed more concerned with saving Jax than Gemma?

Jimmy: Well, Alyssa, I think that that particular line I tried to give it a little bit of weight, so that it really means both because we all know that in the episode prior to that when Nero starts talking about you know what youíre thinking about doing is kind of like one of the biggest sins that you could impose upon yourself and the weight that thatís going to put on you. So knowing that that was a possibility, that was part of where that line was coming from and tried imbue with all of that, but I donít think that he meant discard Gemma or there wasnít that thing going on; and I hope that didnít read like that because the love that he hasóyou did see him in the next subsequent scenes in the bedroom. And I think that reinforced that even though the events that transpired have transpired, that he still has a profound kind of love and emotional connection with the Gemma character. So itís like everything that Kurt writes itís not just one thing. Itís layered in many, many, many different ways.

I hope that answers your question, Alyssa.

Alyssa: As a follow-up, do you have a favorite scene or maybe a scene that was harder for you to film during the series?

Jimmy: Wow. The two scenes in Episode 11, 10 and 11 of this season were both very difficult because it had to do with focus, I alluded to that and just the head space of where I am in my life, in Jimmyís life, so those were kind of difficult. But you got to know that in Season 5 when my partner in life was playing a character and that character had to go down, that was a very tough day because youíre looking at a character who is supposed to be your sister, but in real life itís the person that you live with and love with. That was a difficult; memorable, difficult day as performer and character as well.

Alyssa: Very good, thank you so much for your time. Have a great holiday.

Jimmy: Happy Holidays to you, Alyssa. God bless.

Alyssa: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Kelly Schremph with Bustle. Please go ahead.

Kelly: Hello, Jimmy, thank you so much. Itís so great to chat with you today.

Jimmy: Thanks for hanging in there, Kelly, I appreciate it. Howís it going with you?

Kelly: Good. Okay, so speaking of last episode it was just so intense and everyone on the cast played it so beautifully. Iím just wondering just hypothetically in your mind since you know the character Nero so well, if Nero had gone to find Gemma instead of Unser, do you think he would have chosen her over Jax? They had gotten close over these past few episodes, but would his love for Gemma have overpowered that bond, and even like would he have gone after Jax if he tried to hurt Gemma?

Jimmy: You mean thatís why Unser, thatís why he sent Unser?

Kelly: Iím just saying like if Nero had gone instead of Unser, do you think that things would still have played out the same?

Jimmy: If Nero had gone, there would have been probably three dead bodies there. All of them would have gone down in some way. I think that was his big fear that he didnít want to try to have to make that particular choice, but I donít think that the Nero character understood how profound and deep the relationship that Unser has with them also. I guess he thinks that because of the police element or line in Unserís character thread was there that he would be able to exact some kind of calm out of the situation.

Kelly: Do you think that weíll be seeing a little bit of guilt once he realizes what happened?

Jimmy: Youíll see more than guilt.

Kelly: Okay. Very good. Thank you so much. I love your character and what youíve done with it and I love the show, so thank you for your time.

Jimmy: I really appreciate it, thanks. Thank you. Happy Holidays.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Mandi Bierly with Entertainment Weekly. Please go ahead.

Mandi: Hello, Jimmy, how are you?

Jimmy: Mandi.

Mandi: Hello. You talked about what Nero was feeling on the bed at the end of ďRed Rose.Ē I assume you read that script, you see that and then you have a week, or I donít know. Did Kurt tell you immediately what Neroís reaction would be, or did you have time to imagine in your own head what it was going to be, and kind of have to wait for the answer?

Jimmy: Yes, we didnít get a call and talk about what was upcoming.

Mandi: Okay. What was that night or whenever you read that script, what was your immediate gut reaction, like you see, okay, now he knows what has happened?

Jimmy: To what particular thing are we talking about, what scene are we talking about?

Mandi: The end of ďRed Rose,Ē whenever heís on the bed, he figured out that Gemma presumably and Unser are gone, what was going through your mind at that moment, like could Nero possibly could do next?

Jimmy: The pain definitely of being in that room and the loss that he felt and what was going through the mind in the close-up shot was I was trying to play a what the next move is and to try to keep it percolating in terms of active, is there a shade of revenge or something thatís much more active than just the pain. I donít know if I achieved that, but I just had to keep it alive in my mind because you didnít what was going to happen in the episode that follows. Does that make sense?

Mandi: Yes, I guess I was asking more of like Jimmyís sense what did you think would happen next. I donít know if you can, like what your gut reaction is when youíre like you donít know whatís coming, but youíre in that head space. Like are you expecting revenge? Are you expectingó

Jimmy: Yes, yes, Mandi, Iím sorry. At this point in this whole last season I just was in go-with-the-flow mode and whatever Kurt needs to do to get to where he needs to get to, Iím with him.

Mandi: All right, thank you.

Jimmy: Does that make sense?

Mandi: Yes.

Jimmy: Because otherwise youíd be let down. What I know, thereís enough trust there that I know that when we turn pages, thereís always going to be a nice surprise for everyone.

Mandi: Got it, thank you.

Jimmy: Happy Holidays, Mandi, take care.

Mandi: You, too, Jimmy.

Jimmy: God bless you.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Graham Flashner with Emmy Magazine. Please go ahead.

Graham: Jimmy, thanks so much for making yourself available.

Jimmy: No worries, Graham, thank you for hanging in there.

Graham: So a two part question, this is an enormously popular show and Iím just wondering why do you think a show like this, dark as it is, a motorcycle gang, why does it resonate with viewers so much? And also could you talk about your experience working with FX, working with John or the execs or how they support you? Iíd just be curious to hear about that.

Jimmy: All right, Graham. Since weíre in this time in television where we have all of these channels and niches and I think the great thing about it and things that you guys specifically in your magazine have written about is this kind of golden age of TV, because the canvas is much broader, and you can go into much more specifics. I think that audiences want to relate to different, or want to know about different worlds that they might not get on a network TV; your typical doctor, lawyer, police type show. So it affords the opportunity to get a professor whoís dying who runs a meth lab, or how it was in New York and New Jersey in the Ď20s; those types of things and really become engaged with those characters, and in this case with a world that you think you might know something about, but donít really know about.

And then layer that or texturize it with all of those things that that world and what they learn about that world and the things that every particular family has; the family dynamics, the codes that a family has, the hierarchy and thatís what engages it. I think Kurt was really successful with the writers in terms of like presenting this kind of like Shakespearian story in a lot of ways that has a lot of emotionality and humor and tragedy and all of that, violence, but at the same time has this thread of family and brotherhood, so those are the things that I think really engage audiences with the show specifically.

And then the second part of your question was, sorry, sorry.

Graham: Just about your experience working with FX, the execs and how they definitely support you, etc.

Jimmy: So itís my first time working on the network, but not my first time dealing specifically with John Landgraf and that crew there, who I have a lot of respect for. In my years, Graham, of having deals with different networks and having to interface and pitch to different studio people, Iíve not met a group that is more supportive to the creative side keeping the business thing in perspective, but really supportive of the creative side. I say this not from the actor perspective, but I saw from the outside how supportive John Landgraf and that team the creative executives are with Kurt and how they allowed him I think to really blossom into not just a television writer, but a creator of a series and somebody who has weight and a voice. I think that they were intricate in that dynamic of having Kurt develop into that.

They just get it. Theyíre just very supportive and my interactions with them have been very not the norm, unusual. I always come away even if the pitch didnít go or I didnít get a particular job, thatís happened with them, but my interfacing with them has always been very positive and I come away like changed in a lot of ways about my respect of what TV can be. Theyíre really into literature and they just get it. I canít say enough good things about those guys and I hope we get to work down the line.

Graham: Thanks so much.

Jimmy: All right, thank you.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Sydney Bucksbaum with E! Online. Please go ahead.

Sydney: Hey, Jimmy, how is it going?

Jimmy: Iím doing all right. Howís it going with you?

Sydney: Iím good. So I know you probably canít say too much, but what can you tease about the fallout from all of the devastating deaths that just happened in the last episode?

Jimmy: I can say that the audience is going to be satisfied with the way the show ends up and that it continues to deliver its one-two punch that I talked about before. And as much as it is exciting and sad and funny, itís got that grim quality to it as well.

Sydney: Awesome, thank you so much.

Jimmy: Good talking to you.

Moderator: Our next question will be with Minyvonne Burke with HNGN.com. Please go ahead.

Minyvonne: Hello, Jimmy, Iím back, one more question.

Jimmy: You have a question, cool.

Minyvonne: Yes. I wanted to ask you about the finale and how was it to like physically film it. We talked with Katey Sagal a couple weeks ago and she was saying there were a lot of tears involved, so how was it for you personally to film that very last episode?

Jimmy: Your investment has not only been with the characters and the story, but the crew that you spent, in Kateyís case seven years with, that crew has been very kind of cohesive. There havenít been a lot of changes and the crew really loves the show. Theyíre like into the show. There are a lot of tattoos on that crew, let me just say that, so I guess in that way there were a lot of tears.

Thereís a sadness that that family unit that you develop because you do work for so many hours is going to disperse and we kept on reaffirming that we know we have great memories and that weíll see each other again hopefully down the line, because this business is all kind of circled, but it was sad. I finished up I think it was halfway into the shoot, so there was that particular eight days. And I came back like I would come back for a couple of hours every day until we wrapped wrapped because I wanted to be there for like Charlieís last scene or the last scene of particular characters and a lot of people did that, so it was very emotional.

Minyvonne: Yes, and do you plan on keeping in touch with the other cast members?

Jimmy: I will and we all say that, but we probably wonít. Thatís what happens in our business, and I think that makes it sad, too, because thatís the gypsy aspect of the business that we all kind of acknowledge that youíre going into something and it has to be a certain level of trust, particularly with the performers and you get to share parts of your life to gain that kind of trust that the characters are going to have. And then the reality is you move on to the next thing, but when we see each other again, the true mark of it is like itís like you never skipped a day. You know what I mean?

Minyvonne: Yes, thank you.

Jimmy: Yes, take care.

Minyvonne: You, too.

Jimmy: Bye, bye.

Minyvonne: Bye.

Moderator: Our next question will come from Earl Dittman. Please go ahead.

Stephanie: That was supposed to be the last question.

Jimmy: Thatís okay. Earl is cool. Iím cool with Earl.

Stephanie: Okay. All right.

Jimmy: Earl, come on.

Earl: Iím on the final ride.

Jimmy: [Indiscernible] Earl.

Stephanie: Weíll have Earl be the last question.

Earl: Okay, itís a real quick quickie, so since Nero never rode motorcycle, have the guys finally gotten you on a motorcycle?

Jimmy: Yes, Iíve been on motorcycles. When I first knew that I was going to be working with the show, Kurt and I were just having meetings and I didnít know where it was going to go, so the first thing I did besides watching, rewatching all the at that point it was five seasons over a weekend I went out there and I got my motorcycle license. And thereís this great group of people in southern California and a lot of them are women that have this motorcycle training facility; and I got my license and did a crash course and I was pretty happy.

And then I found out that it wasnít going to happen and then I toyed and we keep in contact and also my stand-in, weíve been together for like 20 years now, heís a motorcycle rider, so we rode a lot together. I would always through the past three seasons, I always keep myself in tune hoping that one day Iím going to open up the script and itís going to say, ďand then Nero jumps on Jaxís motorcycle and goes away.Ē

Earl: Thereís always the finale. You never know.

Jimmy: That would be a spoiler, letís put that one out there, ďNero jumps on the motorcycle and rides offóĒ

Earl: Rides off in the sunset. You mentioned earlier, Iíll make it quick, Iíll get off the phone with you, that you were talking about in the future youíre open to everything. I talked to someone the other day and someone mentioned that itís still in the boiler that there might be a West Wing sequel that your character might come back. Have you heard anything about that?

Jimmy: No, no.

Earl: Nothing, would you want to resurrect the character from youró

Jimmy: They ainít call me. I donít know, Earl, it depends. Like I wasnít available, I was working on something else when they did the LA Law reunion that they had. They did like a LA Law movie. I donít know. Sometimes itís better to just leave things alone. It depends, but with the right people writing certainly with the West Wing, if youíre talking about the West Wing, there could be a lot of resonance to having that group to see where that group has all landed up, because you knew it was, and Iím not just talking about the presidency, but there were staffers, so to see where those particular staffers are now in their careers, I would be very interested in that.

Earl: Yes, definitely. Again, I appreciate. Final, I promise.

Jimmy: Okay.

Earl: You talk about keeping notebooks for each of your characters, will we ever see those, will you ever publish them one day?

Jimmy: Publish them?

Earl: Yes.

Jimmy: I donít think so.

Earl: No.

Jimmy: Thereís a storage room I have that has back to my days at Cornell in summer stock and all that stuff, so there are lot of composition books out there. Donít even put that in my head. Theyíre just ramblings.

Earl: Yes, but I can only imagine what you would subtitle the final one on Sons of Anarchy or this one on the Sons of Anarchy. Itíd be an incredible little volume to read.

Jimmy: Yes, yes. Thereís a lot of cursing in there.

Earl: Jimmy, Happy Holidays. Thank you for two great seasons and thanks so much for doing this.

Jimmy: Thanks for watching. I appreciate it.

Earl: Take care.

Moderator: There are no other questions at this time.

Stephanie: Okay, great. Thank you so much, Jimmy. We really appreciate the time, and thank you, everyone, for joining us today.

Jimmy: Thank you guys, thank you all.

Stephanie: We will provide a transcript of the call in the next 72 hours.

Jimmy: You actually put a transcript of that.

Stephanie: It does. It was great.

Jimmy: And have all the uh, uh, uh.

Stephanie: They take that part out.

Jimmy: Dot, dot, dot.

Stephanie: Thank you so much. Take care, everyone.

Jimmy: Bye.

Stephanie: Bye.

Moderator: That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive TeleConference. You may now disconnect.

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