Interviews: Emilio Rivera Talks Rob Zombie's 3 From Hell and Mayans M.C.

TMS: Hey, what's up man? How's everything going?

ER: Good. Everything is good. How are you brother?

TMS: I'm excellent. Seems like you're staying pretty busy?

Photo credit: David Livingston/Getty Images
ER: Yeah. I thank god for that every day, brother. I'm having the time of my life. I really am.

TMS:  I followed Sons of Anarchy from the start. I've watched it straight through from beginning to end. I binged it a couple times even after it ended. What's it like transitioning from that show to a Mayans?

ER:  It was easy, man. It really was, you know, I knew the worlds, I knew all the writers and the same people. Kurt Sutter. I knew the role. So, I'm just rolling with it. So I'm really, I'm really having, I'm having a good time, bro. And that's kind of how the show is too. It's kind of the same but different, you know? It's kind of cool, man.

TMS:  Hearing that Kurt Sutter is leaving the show, what did you think of that decision and is that going to change the show at all do you think?

ER:  No. But maybe a bit without a context where I think, I think that he will always be a part of it, but isn't going to be as hands on like he used to be. He's a fantastic writer. He wanted more people involved that know about that life. He doesn't know the Latin culture as well. It's really noble of him to pass it on like that. Nobody has a mind like Kurt. People buy into this because of Sutter's twisted fucking mind. We have a great set of writers but Kurt has always overseen and said, 'I need this to be darker'. I think he'll always be in the picture.

TMS: Your latest picture is 3 From Hell. How is it different working on a straight horror film versus working on TV?

ER: It's very different but I'm still playing a murderer. But now I'm up against some hardcore murderers. You don't want to play with those guys cause they're psycho, bro. The guys in Sons of Anarchy, we're just guys trying to get the upper hand. These guys will kill you just for the fuck of it, you know what I mean? It's two different ball games.

photo credit: Rob Zombie @instagram

TMS:  What's it like working with Rob Zombie?

ER: One of the best guys to work with, brother. I expected this wild, wild guy. You seen him on stage, right? His mannerism is so mellow. One of the mellowest dudes I've worked with man.

TMS: We heard Sid is having some health issues. Any update on that?

ER:  I stay away from that as much as I can. I won't say much, bro. I wish him prayers. He's a legend, bro. I respect him and his family. When they say something, they'll say something.

TMS: Did you see the other movies in the trilogy? And what do you think about Rob pushing the envelope of violence?

ER: Yeah. That's what makes this thing so ugly, bro. You don't know what people do in their basements. With all this social media, we start finding out some weird shit. And Sheri's role, man. She's so whacky with her characters. Then you meet her, she's this beautiful lady. She's vegan. Then she gets into this character, and she's scary, man. They're wonderful at what they do.

TMS: SOA was hyper violent. So is Mayans. 3 From Hell is super violent. How do you deal with that as an actor and does it ever effect your mindset when you leave the shoot?

ER: I'm gonna be honest with you. The way I was raised,  I come from a crazy background. I've seen a lot of bad shit that normally people don't see.  So what's good about it for me is that real life people don't usually get that. Now I love it, when they say cut, we all get up and hug each other. It's very easy for me to separate that. The thing is for me is to get into the characters, sometimes I can do that very easy but I get so amped up and so involved. Once I leave the set I go home and smoke a cigar. And unwind.

TMS: I didn't realize you started acting back in 1992. How'd you get started?

ER: I got clean and sober 29 years ago. I got off all the dope. When I got clean and sober, my new dope was the stage, man. I broke away from who I was on the streets. I did one on one coaching with acting coaches. I was very introverted. I wasn't with the boys from the neighborhood. I wouldn't let anyone in. I didn't talk much. I didn't have much of a vocabulary because I didn't have to. So my acting mentor made me learn a word a day. That was my thing. Use it in a sentence. It was basic shit, bro. After four years of stage and doing some schooling, I did a movie in '95 called Con Air. I made some money and bought some homes. I never looked back, bro.

TMS: I hate this term, but sometimes hitting rock bottom changes things or perspective.

ER: I hit it, bro. Crack cocaine took me down to the ground. I was always a functional addict. But the last few months, I was losing that too.  I was losing my mind. It'll get you, bro. Eventually it'll get you. When it catches up with you, it's a mother fucker.

TMS: What hints would you  give to younger actors that are starting right now?

ER: Get that tape. Right now it's hard to get started unless you have that tape. Back in the day, it was a resume but half of them were made up. Now they want to see that actual work. Work for free. Fuck the pay. Get the tape. You're not gonna get the agent without that tape so pay your dues. What you need is a tape, bro. Check this out. If you're in your car. Do monologues when you're driving. You can do a show when you're driving. Always work on yourself, bro. If you see a scene movie you saw and you really dig it, make that scene your own. I'm always working on my stuff. Cause if you're not, the guy next to you is.


Tickets for the September 16th/17th/18th nationwide release of 3 FROM HELL are available at