'Mayans M.C.' Star Frankie Loyal Admits Personal Loss Played a Part in Heartbreaking Episode (Exclusive)

Fans were left stunned following the Mayans M.C. finale this week, leaving many questions up in the air as to what's to come in Season 4 of the hit FX series. While the finale was a lot to take in for viewers, so was the penultimate episode, in which the shocking death of Steve (Momo Rodriguez) was revealed, leaving jaws on the floor and hearts absolutely crushed. However, the tears that were shed during that episode by cast members weren't just acting. They were real, as shared by Mayans M.C. actor Frankie Loyal. Spoilers ahead on Season 3 of Mayans M.C.

During the episode before the finale, Steve died by suicide in front of his Santo Padre charter brothers, literally moments after he earned his patch, leaving everyone in the room visibly shaken. While that in itself is a lot to take in, during a sit-down interview with PopCulture, series star Frankie Loyal, who plays the role of Hank, admitted he lost his father close to the time he had to shoot that scene, which surfaced real emotions and real tears for him in the midst of filming. "I think I was on automatic pilot, emotionally," Loyal said when asked how difficult it was to shoot during such a heartbreaking time in his personal life.

"I had to separate my own personal emotions — at least I thought I did; apparently I didn't," he continued. "When I'm in the garage area," he said as he was explaining the scene, "there's a scene where I'm holding his kutte; it's my way of saying bye to Steve, the character." However, what was held above the camera brought tears to Loyal's eyes as he portrayed the heartbreak Hank was going through.

"The cameras were really, kind of in my face, and Nick and Ace — who are just really awesome cameramen — I had a picture of my father and Nick held it top-camera-right. So in the scene where I'm looking to the ambulance, I'm actually looking at my father's photo." Rodriguez revealed to PopCulture following episode 9 that he too lost a parent just before having to film that emotional scene. Although the loss was heavy, it was something both he and Loyal could bond over.

Rodriguez's character Steve played the role of a prospect, hoping to earn his patch one day; however, with being a prospect comes tough treatment by fellow Mayans until he's earned his place in the circle. The famous line "what the f— Steve?" became a staple in the series, along with comments about his weight. Hank was one of the toughest on Steve and to bring that relationship to life, Loyal said he struggled with having to act some scenes out because of the things his character Hank had to say to Steve.

"I also hurt because of the energy Momo and I had to go at to pull off what we did; the berating was really hard because I already knew he was in pain, I was in pain, and in between takes it would be like 'I love you brother, I'm so sorry,' but we got it. That's what you have to do to get the job done." It's safe to say that both of them pulled off their roles perfectly as fans are already begging for Season 4. Loyal admits he was excited to hear they'll go back to set. Still, it also gave him a little "anxiety" initially because he's been so focused on Season 3 and it entailed so much that to keep that going is a lot to process; nonetheless, thrilled to continue the journey.

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Mayans M.C. is available on Hulu, and PopCulture readers get a free trial. All three seasons are available of the FX Network show.

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