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Interview with Jimmy Smits of
"Sons of Anarchy" on
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.
FX NETWORK: Sons of Anarchy
December 4, 2014/10:00 a.m. PST
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
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
Moderator: (Operator instructions) The first question that we
will have today will come from Earl Dittman with Digital
Journal. Please go ahead.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Jimmy: Hello, Kristyn. Iíll try to be more succinct in my
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Jimmy: Okay, all right, yes, because itís just disconcerting
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
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.
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
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
Jimmy: I appreciate that. You mean besides his cardigan,
because his cardigans has a life of their own 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,
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
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
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
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
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
Moderator: Our next question will come from Mandi Bierly with
Entertainment Weekly. Please go ahead.
Mandi: Hello, Jimmy, how are you?
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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?
Jimmy: I donít think so.
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
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.
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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