Mayans M.C. might be J.D. Pardo's breakthrough role, but the actor has been busy in film and television shows since 2001. Before he joined the Sons of Anarchy universe, he starred in East Los High, Revolution and The O.C.
On Mayans M.C., the 37-year-old actor plays Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes, who once had a promising life ahead of him. Cartel violence put him on a different path though, sending him to jail. The series starts after he is released from prison and he decides to join the Mayans M.C. His brother, Angel (Clayton Cardenas), is already a full-patch member.
During the Mayans M.C. San Diego Comic Con panel in July, co-creator Kurt Sutter explained why he chose Pardo to play EZ.
"I saw his read with a couple other actors and sort of knew what I was looking for. It was one of those things where I knew what I wasn’t looking for and then I saw JD read and there was something interesting and commanding in what he was doing," Sutter, who created the series with Elgin James, explained.
Mayans M.C. debuts on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 10 p.m. on FX.
Every actor has to start somewhere, so scroll on to see where Pardo started on his road to Mayans M.C.
Pardo made his acting debut in Titans, a short-lived NBC primetime soap opera that ran from 2000 to 2001. The show was cancelled before its first season finished and earned overwhelmingly negative reviews from TV critics. Pardo appeared in the last two episodes, which never aired in the U.S.
In 2001, Pardo also appeared in an episode of My Wife And Kids.prevnext
In 2004, Pardo finally found a regular gig as Matt Perez on the Brittany Snow-starring American Dreams, a NBC drama that ran for three seasons from 2002 to 2005. Pardo appeared in 10 episodes during the show's third and final season.prevnext
Pardo's first starring role was on Clubhouse, a CBS baseball drama.
Despite a cast that included Dean Caine and Christopher Lloyd, the show was a flop and only the first five episodes aired. The rest of the 11 episodes ended up on HDNet.prevnext
After Clubhouse failed, Pardo had some trouble finding another steady gig. He found himself in three season three episodes of The O.C., but it was not a significant role.
His character was billed as "Tattooed Surfer" and "Tattooed Guy." At least he got a scene with Mischa Barton's Marissa Cooper.prevnext
In 2007, Pardo found himself in two shows. He had a four-episode run on Hidden Palms, a short-lived CW drama. Next, he starred in Fox's Drive with Nathan Fillion. The series was cancelled after four episodes aired, leaving two episodes and the pilot unaired.
Weirdly enough, the show was the first ever to have a live tweeting session promoted by the network. The Twitter handle is even still active. Another strange fact about Drive: it was Emma Stone's last TV show before she joined Netflix's Maniac, which comes out in September.prevnext
Movies: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' and 'A Cinderella Story'
Pardo does not have many movie credits on his resume. However, he did appear in the last Twilight movie as Nahuel.
Pardo also starred in A Cinderella Story (2004) early in his career.prevnext
Pardo starred as Jason Neville in NBC's high-concept science fiction series Revolution. He appeared in 40 episodes from 2012 to 2014. The series had a dedicated fan base, but never really found a wide audience and had to fight just to get to two seasons.
The role forced Pardo to learn archery.
"The last session I had, at 25 yards, I hit the bullseye 6 out of 7 times. That’s pretty cool, and I’m ready to challenge Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner," Pardo told Krypton Site TV in 2012. "We’ll do it for charity, whatever it is… but no, I absolutely love archery, and that’s what so exciting about doing this. It’s an action-adventure show, so we all get to train and learn how to fight. You find that you’re actually just re-learning this stuff. It’s just instinctual, almost."prevnext
After Revolution ended, Pardo found himself on The Messengers, an ambitious CW series that lasted one season. Pardo played Raul Garcia, one of the titular "Messengers," ordinary who were chosen by God to decide if humanity was worth saving. They have "gifts," like Raul's mid-reading ability. The series was created by Eoghan O'Donnell.prevnext
East Los High
Pardo starred on Hulu's East Los High as Jesus, appearing in 19 episodes. In the series, his character was in a relationship with Camila (Vanessa Vasquez). The show lasted five seasons and ended in December 2017, giving Pardo the opportunity to join Mayans M.C.prevnext
Other Roles and Awards0comments
Pardo has also appeared in episodes of SWAT, Rush Hour, Stalker, Blood & Oil, 90210 and CSI: NY.
In 2007, he earned an Imagen Foundation Award nomination for his role in Lifetime's A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story (2006). In 2016, he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for East Los High.prev