Mayans M.C. lead J.D. Pardo recently revealed the drastic physical transformation he went through to play EZ Reyes.
While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Pardo shared that his clean-cut look had worked for him for awhile but that he had to add some weight and muscle so he would have the rough-around-the-edges look need to be a Mayan.
"I was eating 7,000 calories a day," the actor recalled. "It was painful. It was horrible. I didn’t like it at all but I had fear as a motivator. I felt like if I didn’t do this, they were going to find somebody else to [play EZ]."
The change wasn't all bad though, as Pardo reveled that it had its silver linings as well.
"When I booked this job, I had so many people sending me memes of Charlie Hunnam’s butt or him coming out of the shower on Sons of Anarchy," he jokingly said. "I just knew it was a matter of time before I had to do something like that."
Pardo wasn't wrong either, as he became aware even before filming that he wasn't going to make it far without disrobing.
"We’re reading [the first script] and as we got down to the scene that says, ‘EZ takes the shirt off,’ Kurt [Sutter, the creator of Mayans M.C.] just stopped everybody and he said, ‘You're welcome, ladies.’ Everyone just started laughing," he said. "I was like, ‘Okay, gear up. Get ready because this is what it’s going to look like.’"
Pardo also spoke candidly about how he almost did not get the part of EZ due to his initial appearance, but added that he really fought hard for it.
"I really just had the heart, he proudly stated. "There was nothing about me that screamed biker. I was probably 150 pounds at the time. I just had on these jeans, boots, and T-shirt. I saw everybody else showing up looking hardcore and of that world. That just wasn’t me. I knew that going in. I just felt like it was an opportunity where I could just…I said to myself, ‘What is it that I can give him?’ "
After Sutter suggested that maybe he leave and come back another time to read for the part, Pardo decided not to take no for an answer.2comments
"I was like, ‘I can’t do that because it’s going to take me an hour and a half to get there and an hour and a half to get back. How about you just give me the [lines] now, I’ll go outside and for 45 minutes I’ll study them. He said, ‘Let’s see what you got.’ I went outside to the parking lot and memorized those seven pages, came in, spent about 40 minutes with him," he revealed. "It was the smartest thing I’ve ever done in my life, I’ll tell you that. Something said, ‘Stay, do it now. Don’t wait.’ I did it."
Mayans M.C. airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on FX.