Before filming began on “Mayans M.C.,” star JD Pardo had “never been” on a motorcycle. He soon learned how to “respect” his chopper — the hard way.
“[I] went to Harley school, and then a couple weeks later they slapped us onto these machines, right? And the Sons [of Anarchy], they’re riding Dynas,” Pardo told TheWrap, adding that the Mayans club rides a much different kind of bike. “For me, that’s easier to control than riding a soft-tail deluxe with, like, 22-inch ape hangers. Cause your arms are, you know, up here,” he said, gesturing with his arms above his head. “And you’re turning with your body.”
You probably see where this is going. Patience.
Despite his lack of experience, Pardo said he was “cocky” when they started filming the riding scenes.
“First day of shooting, I jumped on this bike and I’m riding down — I’m like in fourth gear and I’m so cocky about it,” Pardo said. “I’m like, oh my god, this is the easiest thing. What is all this ‘You have to be a master rider’ or whatever? This is easy.”
That smooth sailing didn’t last long.
“On one of the takes, I go down, and I go to make a U-turn, and the lip of my tire just catches some loose gravel and I just slip off it. And I panic, and so I immediately — you feel that air, so you just go the other way to fight it, and the bike turned off. Luckily I hit the kill switch and I just turned over with the bike.”
“It was embarrassing,” Pardo said. “After that I got back on the bike and, you know, I had the stunt coordinator and a lot of people yelling at me, like, ‘I told you to be careful!’ But now I’m like gripping onto it. And I just have so much more respect for that bike.”
Pardo plays Mayans prospect Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, who at the beginning of the series is recently out of prison after a fall from grace.
“What you find out in the beginning is that EZ was a golden boy in his community,” Pardo said. “A tragic event happens, and it sends him to prison. And then after, when he gets out of prison, he’s a prospect with the Mayans. There’s a lot going on with him emotionally and mentally. He’s really locked up. He’s feeling a lot of shame for having to come back home to a town that, you know, had all these high hopes for him.”
“He’s trying to rebuild himself. He’s putting the pieces back together,” he said.
Watch our full interview with Pardo above.
“Mayans M.C.” premieres on September 4 on FX.