‘Mayans MC’ Actor Antonio Jaramillo Says ‘Fans Are Going To Love’ ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Spinoff

The man behind Mayans MC club secretary Michael 'Riz' Ariza is bullish on the new series' chances.

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Storm Santos / Courtesy Photo

The man behind Mayans MC club secretary Michael 'Riz' Ariza is bullish on the new series' chances.

Antonio Jaramillo didn’t grow up with a dream of becoming an actor, but once he decided on the profession after being exposed to the theater, he committed to it fully.

He portrays Michael “Riz” Ariza, the club’s secretary, on FX’s Sons of Anarchy spinoff Mayans MC, which premieres on September 4. While filming the new TV show, he balanced the work with his role on stage in Three Days in the Country at Antaeus Theatre Company. He urged people to step out of their comfort zones and “go to a live show” in their city and “support live theater when you can.”

While he is taking a short break from live theater, fans will certainly see Jaramillo back on the stage sometime in the near future.

Perhaps surprisingly, Jaramillo didn’t come to his new role as a Sons of Anarchy fan. His taste in TV runs more toward the political.

“I like to watch political dramas. The first three seasons of House of Cards were great,” he said. In fact, the actor could see himself in that genre someday.

A student of the human condition, Jaramillo investigates what motivates people to do the things that they do. That study in psychology is what informs his characters: “I would love to play a good guy.”

He’d especially appreciate portraying a minister in a religious film. “I believe there’s something guiding all this,” he said explaining that he believes in God no matter what word people choose to call such a deity. Of interest is the fact that “there’s only one Bible, but everyone has their own interpretations. It’s crazy.” The actor would love to depict that dynamic through a role.

Preparing to step into the world of Mayans MC does not require a lot of special preparation for Jaramillo. Despite the fact that he has a lustrous head of hair, a fact he admitted his co-stars are jealous about, he doesn’t spend hours in hair and makeup.

“I only need three things – shower, deodorant, and toothpaste. It’s a motorcycle club.” In fact, Jaramillo said that those three things typically prepare him for everything he does in life.

One of those things is picking his children up from school. A father to a daughter and a son, he had pickup duty planned for the afternoon he spoke with us. While he owns a motorcycle, which made riding on Mayans second nature, he admitted that he had to lessen his riding after having kids. “I can’t pick up my daughter from school on a motorcycle,” he admitted, “but I may go for a ride this afternoon before I pick her up.” Before children, Jaramillo favored street legal dirt bike style motorcycles.

Jaramillo wasn’t one of the cast members who raised a hand at the San Diego Comic-Con panel when somebody asked about dropping a motorcycle during Mayans filming. He said that the cast is like a family. “Kurt Sutter did a great job of putting together the right people. It feels like we’ve always known each other.”

A fact, which he believes helped create a compelling show set in the world of Sons that Sutter created so successfully. According to Jaramillo, “Fans are going to love it.”

When he’s not focusing on his career or children, he also supports charities.

“My son has Autism, so I support Autism Speaks and other charities for that.”

He also supports cancer charities.

“Cancer f***ing sucks,” he declared. “Especially cancer in children. They haven’t even had a chance to live a life yet, and they’re stuck with the fight.”


Check out Antonio Jaramillo in Mayans MC on FX, premiering Tuesday, September 4 at 10 p.m. ET.

[Featured Image By Storm Santos/Styling by Cassy Meier/*Some pieces provided by V22LA/Grooming by Emily Zempel/Location: V22LA]