Lets get this straight: Sons of Anarchy’s Jacob Vargas isn’t Selena’s brother, AB Quintanilla. Even though your little Selena-loving heart will always remember him from the 1997 biopic, please know he’s a veteran actor who’s been in countless, memorable films including Traffic, Next Friday, American Me, and so on. Here the Mexican-American actor talks about his role on FX’s thrilling SOA, his classic roles, and being comfortable in a thong. PS: If you must say, “Anything for Selenas!” if you see him, it’s fine. Vargas is even more affable than the real AB.
Sons of Anarchy is a very unpredictable show. Will your character Montez survive until the finale?
Well, you know, its one of those difficult things. It’s hard to do an interview on SOA because you can’t talk about SOA but I will tell you that there is a lot more to come with Montez, and he does get tasked some dirty deeds. And towards the end of the season everything starts to unravel and all these lies start to really affect the club, and so they have to take some drastic measures that I’m involved in as well.
Before you got on the show, were you a fan?
I never really watched the show before I got on. I had friends that have done the show. And I’ve always ran into people that were huge fans that’d say,”Dude, you gotta do the show, you’re perfect for Sons of Anarchy.” But I just never had an opportunity, I never had an audition for the show and then one finally came up. And they added the character Montez, and I jumped at the opportunity and went into audition, you know, looked as grimy as possible–didn’t shave, let the hair grow out. And the key was that they asked me if I rode a motorcycle, so I said “Of course, I ride.” And as soon as I booked the job, I called my agent and I said “Okay, I have to learn how to ride a motorcycle.” [Laughs]
So everyone really rides a motorcycle on the show?
Yes, everybody must. But I had an incident, one of my first times that I ever had to ride on camera. You know, you’re nervous and it was a shot where Jax, Chibs, Tig and Juice are all riding over a ridge, and I’m with West, the other guy that patched in with me, and we kind of look at each other and then we kind of take off and go in formation with them. And the camera was right on me close-up and I was nervous. I was like “Okay, dude, don’t mess up, don’t mess up.” And the minute they said action I popped the clutch and I stalled out. And I totally ruined the shot. I was like “Dude, this is terrible way to start!” The guys all gave me the finger and it was like, all right. Welcome to SOA.
The show deals with a lot of race. Aside from Juice, you’re the only Latino Son; you’re like a hijo of Anarchy.
Yeah, man, that’s one of the beautiful things. I love going to the table read for the new episodes and then [creator] Kurt [Sutter] sits at the table and says, “I just want to acknowledge all the beautiful colors in the room.” And I think that’s the one thing that people talk about, diversity in television, and networks are asking how do we bring more diversity? You follow what SOA does. They just do it. They just cast people of different ethnicities.
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