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'Mayans M.C.' stars say parenting is paramount in Season 4

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'Mayans M.C.' stars say parenting is paramount in Season 4
Ray McKinnon (L) and Carla Baratta can be seen in Season 4 of "Mayans, M.C." Photo courtesy of FX

NEW YORK, April 19 (UPI) -- Several stars of the outlaw biker drama Mayans M.C. say their characters' roles as parents in pressure-cooker circumstances drive much of the story in Season 4, which premieres on FX Tuesday.

Carla Baratta plays Adelita, a Mexican rebel dedicated to taking down the Galindo drug cartel that killed her family many years ago.

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At the end of Season 3 of the Sons of Anarchy spinoff, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) revealed that Adelita's infant son with Angel Reyes (Clayton Cardenas), a high-ranking member of the show's titular motorcycle club, is alive and well after Potter told her the child died while she was in his custody.

"After the finale, when we got to understand that her kid was alive -- that's what Potter said -- I think that's her main goal this season, to try to find if that's true, and if it is true, how she's going to manage to be a mom because she's never been a mom of her own child," Baratta said in a recent virtual press conference.

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"It is going to be really interesting to see her go through that path of trying to actually get her kid back and seeing if she can be the mom that she always thought she could be."

Cardenas said Angel will have a lot to deal with this season, too.

Not only does he find out his son is alive, but he is expecting another child with his girlfriend, Nails (Justina Adorno), while also trying to protect his younger brother, EZ (JD Pardo), now a full-fledged member of the Mayans and a constant target for violence.

"The last thing he heard was that his baby was not alive with Adelita. He's moving into this next upcoming season with the belief that he and Nails are going to have this baby and, hopefully, this new life that he never had," Cardenas said about Angel.

"It's being the father that he never had in his life, possibly being a positive influence for something," the actor added. "As he watches his brother get fully immersed into the club and see how the consequences of his actions are tearing his life apart, I think Angel will start to say, 'OK, this is not for me, anymore.'"

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Edward James Olmos plays Felipe, a butcher shop owner whose secrets and lies threaten to destroy his relationships with his sons, Angel and EZ.

"He's paying a heavy price for what he's done in his life. So, if karma's the name of the game, it has come hard to me," Olmos said, referring to the "devastating" scenes viewers will see Felipe share with his sons this season.

"We were filming the other day, JD and I, and I could only do this one scene once. 'I don't want to do it again, guys, OK? This is enough,'" Olmos recalled telling the cast and crew.

Bolger acknowledged there's not a whole lot she can reveal about where her character, EZ's ex-girlfriend Emily, goes in Season 4 after her crime boss husband, Miguel Galindo, nearly killed her last season.

"There has been an element to this character that has been in the shadow of either a bigger entity, like the cartel, or a bigger personality, like Miguel, or a bigger loss, like EZ," Bolger said.

"This year, the thing she has to put first is her child, and that means also protecting herself, looking forward and deciding what is good for Emily," she added. "So much of what we've seen for her has been difficult.

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"She feels lost. I think what will be wonderful and what excites me the most about Season 4 and acting in all these wonderful scenes is that you get to meet her for the first time. You get to meet the girl, potentially, that she's always wanted to be."

While the show's setting -- the California-Mexico border region -- may be unfamiliar to many audience members, Olmos believes people are connecting to its flawed, well-drawn characters.

"We are talking about situations that are happening even in today's world, and we're exploring them and moving them forward," he added. "When you get to the end of the season, you'll start to understand what's about to happen to the rest of us in this world that we live in today in regard to how we treat each other, what family is."

Bolger, one of the few White artists in a largely Latinx cast, said cultural representation is important and she is honored to help tell stories about people U.S. viewers don't always see on their TV screens.

"I'm an Irish girl. I feel so lucky to get to play Emily Galindo and be part of this world. I have learned so much in the process," she said.

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"Actors choose TV [instead of film] because of this show. We get to change so drastically. We get to explore territories. We get to show people that exist today and that are around us all the time."

Baratta said showrunner Elgin James and the writing staff welcome ideas from the cast about their characters, dialogue and storylines.

"Elgin is always open to listen to us and to understand the places that we're coming from and then translate it to beautiful and poetic writing," she said.

"That's something that, as an actor, is rare to see -- and to have that opportunity to have a voice in the things that you want to say."

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