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'Sons of Anarchy' star Jimmy Smits talks Nero's heartbreaking scenes

Sons of Anarchy‘s Nov. 18 episode, “Suits of Woe,” will go down as one of the series’ finest thanks in part to the performance delivered by Jimmy Smits (Nero): First, audiences watched Nero’s face as Jax (Charlie Hunnam) told him over the phone that he’s learned Gemma (Katey Sagal) killed Tara. (As episode director Peter Weller told EW, “Kurt [Sutter] said as a tone note that he would rarely give an actor a beat where we don’t hear what he’s hearing, so it’s all played on his face, but he would definitely give that to Jimmy Smits because Jimmy Smits is unbelievable.”) And then, viewers saw Nero try to comfort Jax as the son broke down trying to process how his mother could brutally murder his wife, how he could still love Gemma, and how he can possibly recover.

Smits phoned in to EW Radio to talk about that moment when Nero desperately wanted Gemma to talk to him and buckled his knees like an impatient child. “From this guy who I really perceived as being somebody who’s very solid in a lot of ways in this kind of outlaw world, there’s a sensitivity to him but he’s a kind of guy-guy, that was an interior little boy moment that was able to kind of peek through,” he said. “I think it was because of the relationship. When two people are in love—real love—you’re able to let down all of those guards that you put out there for the world. What the audience sees physically that moment is, ‘Stop the lies. No more deceit between us if we say we love each other.’ That’s what I hope that moment conveys.”

Hearing that 10 percent of fans, per an EW.com poll, would like to see Jax end up on that farm with Nero when the series ends, Smits just laughed. (“A couple of motorcycles, an ATV.”) But that bond, he explained, is deep. “The relationship has to do with the fact that it operates on a lot of different levels. There is a paternal aspect to it. There’s a brotherly kind of thing—they’re both in this outlaw world, that kind of bro thing that they have,” he said. “I think the fact that they both have children and there’s a lot of guilt there that they haven’t been the fathers that they could’ve been. I think that’s one of the reasons why there’s an emotional bridge between them. It’s okay for them to have these softer moments.”

Listen to a clip below. We can also report that Smits didn’t take one of Nero’s cardigans, but he did leave some of his tattoos on. They’ve started to fade.  READ FULL STORY

Kurt Sutter to host Tuesday's 'Anarchy Afterword'

FX’s Sons of Anarchy aftershow, Anarchy Afterword, returns to FX tonight following episode 10, and fans will be happy to see who’s at the head of the table. Show creator Kurt Sutter will moderate the conversation with guests Charlie Hunnam and Tommy Flanagan. Kim Coates and guest star Walton Goggins will also make special appearances.

The super-sized episode will run until 11:36 p.m. ET, with the aftershow scheduled to wrap at 12:30 a.m. ET. That means the cast, many of whom will join Sutter on TBS’ Conan tonight at 11 p.m. ET, will be going up against themselves in the ratings. READ FULL STORY

What should the final shot of 'Sons of Anarchy' be?

Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter announced Sunday that he’d finished the series finale script with a screen grab of an “early draft” of the final shot. READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy': Kurt Sutter, cast talk 'Poor Little Lambs' ending

After Sons of Anarchy‘s Sept. 30 West Coast airing, #TigandVenus was trending. (Read our postmortem with Walton Goggins, who returned as transgender escort Venus Van Dam.) Still, there were other huge developments in the episode as well. READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy' postmortem: Jimmy Smits on Nero's choices (and cardigans)

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched Sons of Anarchy‘s season 6 finale, stop now. (Read our full recap.) Jimmy Smits spoke to EW about Nero’s decisions — and his badass, business casual cardigans. 

For more insight into the finale, check out our burning questions with Kurt Sutter, Maggie Siff, and Katey Sagal, as well as our other postmortem interviews with Siff, Theo Rossi, and Rockmond Dunbar.
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Emmy Watch: Jimmy Smits talks Nero's dark turn on 'Sons of Anarchy'

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.
READ FULL STORY

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