Clifton Collins Jr. Replaces Amaury Nolasco on "Southland"

Last month, when I learned that Prison Break alum Amaury Nolasco had been tapped to join the NBC cop drama Southland, I was beyond elated! But yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news (and my heart) that the Puerto Rican actor, who was hired to play Detective Lydia Adams’s (Regina King) aggressive new partner on the show, has just dropped out of the project. There are currently no further details explaining Amaury’s sudden departure from the show, but I do know that the actor, 38, did complete work on at last three episodes of Southland, which I am assuming the network will still air.

But don’t despair. Nolasco has already been replaced by a fellow-Latino—Mexican character actor Clifton Collins Jr. (Capote, Sunshine Cleaning). Sort of.  While it’s true that Collins Jr. will definitely be filling the void left behind by Nolasco’s sudden departure, Collins will not be playing the same character as Nolasco. Instead, he’ll play a (new) character named Ray Suarez (no additional details on the role).
Nolasco’s eyebrow raising departure from Southland is the second setback for the show in less than a month’s time. In late August,’s Michael Ausiello reported that the premiere of the show’s second season had been pushed back almost a month from Sept. 25 to Oct. 23, prompting some critics to worry that things weren’t going smoothly for the show.

I actually think it’s to their benefit that they lost Amaury and gained Clifton. After all, while the former is pretty to look at, the latter is one of the best character actors around.

What do you think? Do you prefer Amaury or Clifton? Dish in the comments!