Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to submit nomination ballots, EW.com will feature interviews with some of the actors and actresses whose names we hope to hear when nominations are announced on July 18.
Sons of Anarchy has never earned an acting Emmy nomination, but with a dozen career nods to his credit, including one win for L.A. Law, and a character as layered as sensitive ex-addict/OG gangster Nero Padilla, Jimmy Smits might be the man to change that. After meeting Smits at a Directors Guild of America function honoring Paris Barclay, an executive producer and director of Sons of Anarchy with whom Smits feels he did some of his best work at the end of his NYPD Blue run, SOA creator Kurt Sutter began talks for Smits to join the FX drama’s fifth season as the escort service-operating “companionator.”
“I was in Las Vegas the other day introducing [Vice President Joe] Biden at this function, and he comes walking in, and there’s this long receiving line, and he clocks me at the end of the line — because I’m the tallest, I always go to the end — and he says, ‘Smits, you’re breaking my heart. You go from a politician, to a policeman, to a judge, to now you’re with these guys,’” Smits tells EW, laughing at the ribbing. Here, we asked Smits to talk about the episode (“To Thine Own Self”) in which nice-guy Nero, who wanted to leave the life behind him, was sucked back in.
And yes, Barclay directed it.
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