Nieuws: Mayans MC's Elgin James van gevangene naar TV ster
Iedereen weer wel dat Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter de grote man is achter de spin-off Mayans MC, maar want weinig mensen weten is dat er nog een co-creator is die de naam Elgin James heeft. Deze man heeft in de gevangenis gezeten voor gang activity en is dus een ervaringsdeskundige. De website Collider had een interview met hem en daar van kan je nu hier onder een kleine stukje lezen.
Is it difficult to make this feel familiar, but also its own thing?
JAMES: Not at all. I think the way that we can actually honor the mythology of Sons the most, and what Kurt [Sutter] and a lot of really intelligent people created for seven seasons, is to tell our own story and to try to plant our flag as much as we can in the ground. This is different, but the same. We always say that it’s the same universe, just a different world in it. It all comes down to Emilio Rivera, or Marcus Alvarez. People have been showing black and brown criminal characters forever, usually just as stereotypical, one-dimensional villains. The role that he had could have easily just been that, but he gave so much emotion and depth to it. He’s the reason why we even have our show. They wrote to that. It was the great Sons writers, of course, but it was also what Emilio did with it. He took something that could have been so cold-hearted, and he gave it so much warmth and humanity. I tell the actors, all the time, that the only reason we have a job is because of that dude. We’re very grateful for the work that he did.
How did you end up working on the show with Kurt Sutter?
JAMES: It was pretty random. It was funny because the character of EZ Reyes was a Prospect and just out of prison, and when Kurt and I first started working on this, I was only a few years out of prison myself, and still trying to assimilate into the world. It’s different. That felt so familiar to me. I left being in a gang behind, but I spent the majority of my life in it. I had this whole dream about being able to make movies and TV, and I had these amazing mentors and made it come true. And then, an old gang charge came up and I had to go to maximum security prison. To go from almost starting, to then being ripped from all that, when you’re in prison, all of that stuff disappears. All of this is make believe. You have to try to stay above that, even though you have to walk through the minefield of violence that exists in any prison, as well as inside of yourself. That’s the only way that I’ve known how to react. So, to then be thrust out into the world and this whole industry, it’s about lovely people picking you up and their mentorship, but for the most part, it’s a lot of bullshit that you have to eat. The EZ character has been through that experience. He’s been through hell and come out, and now he has to start at the bottom of something and rise up. Kurt was looking for people to write the story with because, as he says, he didn’t think that he should be the one to tell it. That’s phenomenal because he could have easily told the story alone. Instead, he gave me, a violent ex-felon who couldn’t get a job at Costco or McDonald’s, a chance. That’s because of Kurt and his generosity. He met with some people and I was the guy that he chose, and we just got to work.