Sons of Anarchy's season 5 is quickly closing in on the end. Nero has played an important role this season as Gemma's confidant and lover, but more importantly as a mentor of sorts to Jax. Unlike Clay, Nero has promoted Jax's move to a more legitimate life.
JImmy Smits recently took time to answer questions from reporters about what's coming up for Nero and SAMCRO.
Can you talk a little bit about Nero's relationship with Jax?
Well, just in those conversations that I've had with [Executive Producer] Kurt [Sutter], I think that one of the things that's great about the show is that ... there's almost like a classic thing going on. It's almost like Hamlet. ... It's a world you don't really know that much, and there's a hierarchy of power and all of that, and there's people that are vying for power, and there's families and stuff.
If you know Hamlet, there's a character named Horatio, who's kind of like--he's on the side kind of like helping Hamlet try to decipher all of these feelings that he's having. I think that there are a number of different Horatios in the scheme of the Sons' world. Opie played that in a way.
This year you had--I think what Kurt was doing is that he has Harold's character, the Pope character, and this Nero character both vying in their way at Jax's dilemma of where he is going to take this group, and they have different ways of how to deal with power, how to get what you need and move on.
Nero is much more about--as Kurt talks about it--the exit strategy. How do you--in a world that's gritty and on, some might say, the wrong side of the law--how do you maneuver and get on the straight and narrow for your family? So I think that Nero character with regards to Jax, he operates in that sphere as a mentor, as a friend, as a bro--you know what I mean? All of those things.
Now it's going to take a turn....
Why did Nero decide to stay with Gemma even though Jax told him to stay away, and her husband's back in the picture now. What is the draw to him to be with Gemma?
Well, I think that he operates pretty much--I don't think he gets told a lot what to do by anybody. In that kind of outlaw mentality, that's a kind of wrong--the definite wrong approach to outright just say you can't do something like that. You'll always go for, "Why can't I," or, "Watch me do this," or, "Watch me do it the way I want to do it. I want to have my cake, and I want to be able to eat it too." So I think that that's kind of operating on some level.
... At the end of season four, you saw the Gemma character very much wandering without a handle to grasp onto. So I think that on some level with the introduction of Nero it helps to right her in a certain way.
When we first met Nero, he seemed to be good for them. You said there's a twist coming, so is there more to Nero than meets the eye?
Well, you've heard something about his past, the little things that he's talked about, and I think if you watched those last episodes, he's revealed a little bit more about what his past is and where he's come from. You know that he has been involved in the penal system prior to that.
So there's that potential that's there. So it's a springboard for that. Again, I'm going to go back to what I think is Kurt's strong suit in terms of writing is that he lays the groundwork and then just mixes it up, blows it up--however you want to put it--so that nothing is what it really seems.
It's definitely going to take a turn. You can't have this guy that's this ex-gangbanger not see a little bit of that come out. ... It's going to turn.
This "turn" that Smits refers to occurs in tonight's episode. Check out both our spoilers article and video preview.
Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays at 10 pm ET on FX.
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(Image courtesy of FX.)