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'Sons of Anarchy' Has a Pop Culture Obsession: Jimmy Smits is the Newest Baddie

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Apr 06, 2012 | 6:43am EDT

Jimmy SmitsSons of Anarchy really loves its pre-millennium pop culture — no surprise, considering the show was created by the man who married Peg Bundy. The FX drama has made a habit out of casting icons from pop culture past. The latest in this lineup is Jimmy Smits, a man made noteworthy by his starring roles on crime series NYPD Blue and L.A. Law. Smits is joining up with SOA to play gang member Nero Padilla, who forms a destructive relationship with series star Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam).

Smits caps off Sons of Anarchy's pop culture fix by playing against his usual lawman type (even his murderous Miguel Prado on Dexter was an ADA), joining quite an impressive crowd of guest starring pop culture figures. Henry Rollins, famous more as a musician for Rollins Band, Black Flag and State of Alert than as an actor, guest starred through SOA's second season as white separatist AJ Weston.

Tom Arnold, known more for comedy than gritty pieces like this, also made an appearance on Sons of Anarchy's second season as a pornographer suspected of murdering another character. Finally, and perhaps most fittingly, Danny Trejo, who joined up with SOA during its fourth season as Romeo Parada, one of the higher-ups in the Jose Galindo drug cartel.

Pop culture icons are multiplying in the FX favorite — hopefully, Smits is not the last. But he might well be one of the most exciting to date. He did wonders on Dexter, and Sons of Anarchy might tap into some even grimmer sides of the actor's spectrum.

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[Deadline]

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