Jimmy Smits goes casual for 'Sons of Anarchy'

Jimmy Smits (Handout)

Jimmy Smits (Handout)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:26 PM ET

Think of all the nice suits Jimmy Smits used to wear in his days on L.A. Law, or even during his stints on NYPD Blue or The West Wing.

And look at him now, on Sons of Anarchy. Wearing some crappy cardigan.

"I've gone from suits to sweaters," Smits says. "Those cardigans might look crappy. But no no no no no. Those cardigans are very expensive, I'll have you know.

"As Kelly, our wardrobe person who kind of came up with the idea of this guy, says, 'I want Nero to rock those cardigans.' They're meant to look the way they do. He wants to be part of the streets - well, he is part of the streets - but he wants to try to give a business kind of look to himself.

"So she came up with the cardigan idea. We all make fun of, 'It's not Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, it's Mr. Padilla's 'Hood.' "

Sons of Anarchy wraps up its sixth season Tuesday on Super Channel in Canada and on FX in the U.S. If you're up to date, you know that Smits' character, Nero Padilla, just came across some information that should make for an interesting finale in terms of his dealings with Gemma (Katey Sagal) and Jax (Charlie Hunnam).

In last week's episode, Smits' character literally had someone puking on him. Recalling his L.A. Law era, does Smits ever stop and think to himself, "Good lord, how did I get here?" And could this simply be the perfect example of how much TV has changed through the course of Smits' career?

"It's a great point and a great question, because I have kind of traversed a lot of genres and I've gotten to do that in the television arena," says Smits, 58. "(Steven) Bochco will say that for him to pitch NYPD Blue now on network television, he would be hard pressed to get that particular show on the air.

"With the advent of cable and such, you guys are calling it the golden age of TV in terms of the writing and stuff. But it's like different branches of a big tree that TV has become. They've found these great outlets for writers to be able to paint these very broad canvases, and, as Kurt (Sutter, Sons of Anarchy creator) has done here, give insight so it's not just doctor, lawyer, politician kinds of things.

"You're getting an insight to a particular culture with regards to this motorcycle 'club' - put the quotes on the club there - that people haven't seen before. So they're learning about all of that, but they're getting engaged in this whole thing about family and these Shakespearean undertones that Kurt has put in there."

Um, remind me again Jimmy, which Shakespeare character wore a cardigan?

Never mind, not important. Jimmy Smits knows how to 'rock' a sweater. That's all that matters.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 


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