Jimmy Smits embraces his dark side


Bad guys have all the fun! Just ask Jimmy Smits who’s traded in his good guy roles for a diabolical turn in ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ In this week’s Clacking in Color, the amazing column celebrating minorities in Hollywood, writer Jaylen Christie gives Smits his props for staying diverse.


It seems to be an accepted fact in Hollywood that if one wants to really act then they have to be diverse. I’m always captivated when I see talented actors and actresses taking on roles that are dissimilar and poles apart from their previous work. I think this sort of thing indicates a person’s aptitude. Apparently Jimmy Smits got the memo. After starting out in a series of roles that portrayed him as a kindhearted do-gooder — including a pretty cool gig in the Star Wars prequels — it seems that Smits has finally come to the dark side.

Color me intrigued.

I’m guessing that most TV watchers may recognize Smits from his work in the 90’s drama NYPD Blue as Detective Bobby Simone. Some viewers — especially women … and, let’s be honest, maybe a few men too — enjoyed seeing the always dapper Smits on their screens, and probably didn’t give a damn about the crimes he was solving. I was too young to watch NYPD Blue. I was still learning fractions when the show was on the air and was way too concerned about the Power Rangers to care about anything Smits was up to on television. However, I am aware of his brilliant work on NBC’s stellar The West Wing. I was in high school around the time that I really started paying attention to the program. I didn’t realize that it had won so many awards, but I was privy to another interesting fact.

What I realized was that NBC had Smits, a Puerto Rican dude, in a positive primetime drama as a man working for the president … and not doing anything foul, i.e. selling drugs, running a gang or doing something else terrible. I was impressed and pleased. No, scratch that — I was awestruck. If I was appreciative then, I can only imagine how the Puerto Rican community felt. It was certainly a positive role — even more so because Smits’ character, Matt Santos, ends up the president at the end of the series. That’s certainly a step in the right direction, right?

It was certainly a positive role — even more so because Smits’ character, Matt Santos, ends up the president at the end of the series.

Nowadays, however, Smits is taking a different route. He’s gone straight-up rogue … not that there’s anything wrong with that. Sometimes you have to switch it up. Did anyone catch Smits in season three of Showtime’s spine-tingling Dexter? Whew. I still get chills from his portrayal of a corrupt district attorney. I won’t lie — I was left feeling a little disturbed when his character murdered Ellen. That wasn’t right. Alas, good guys suck — at least on TV. Everyone knows that the baddies have all of the fun. That’s probably why Smits seems to be having such a good time with his guest role on FX’s critically acclaimed Sons of Anarchy. You know, I wasn’t the least bit interested in that program. It never spoke to me. However, with the inclusion of Smits, I’m inclined to check it out.

So, with four distinctive roles on TV, it’s definitely safe to say that Smits has made a name for himself in Hollywood. To that end, which one of his TV roles is my favorite?

Well, neither actually. Being a nerd, I’m partial to Star Wars. I actually just rode the ride at Disney Hollywood Studios nearly twenty times two weeks ago. To that end, I’m going to go with Smits’ role as Senator Bail Organa in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. That movie was just all kinds of awesome. However, if I had to choose a TV role … maybe I’d go with the one he had in Dexter. The creepiness factor scored Smits some cool points.

Let’s be real — when it comes to acting, Jimmy Smits has it going on.

Not that he needs it. Let’s be real — when it comes to acting, Jimmy Smits has it going on. Heck, I wish I was half the actor he is. Don’t get it twisted — I’m decent, but I’m certainly not Smits. Why doesn’t this man have an Emmy? I have a theory about that … but you know what? Let’s stay positive. I find it refreshing to know that he’s contributing to the diversity on television … and that’s all Clacking in Color has ever been about — diversity. Smits is awesome and his inclusion in any TV show is guaranteed to make it stellar. Unless, it’s Cane. Remember that clunker?


Photo Credit: Buddy TV

12 Comments on “Jimmy Smits embraces his dark side

  1. Jimmy Smits is the man. I thoroughly enjoy watching him on TV. He is also good for the eyes. Thanks Jay for another great Clacking in Color. I am always waiting anxiously to read your next article. Keep up the good work!!

  2. I think Jimmy Smits is a very good actor. He can handle any role that comes his way. Great article.

  3. Looking at this guy, I didn’t quite recognize him but when you mentioned Star Wars, I caught on. I’m glad he isn’t being type casted in anything and its great that he’s breaking out of that box. Diversity is good in all aspects. Well rounded people bounce back the best. Get it? :-)

    • Hahahaha! Yes, I get it. Very clever. I agree with you. Jimmy Smits has found a way to stay diverse and that’s a good thing in Hollywood. He deserves an award!

  4. I am old enough to remember NYPD Blue..have been a fan for a long time now. Sons of Anarchy is currently my favorite show. Seems that the FX shows in that timeslot are always my favorite. Smit’s character is intriguing..should be fun to find out what is really going on with him. Is he basically a good guy trying to make fast money or will he turn out to be much more sinister. His real life wife is also doing a guest star stint on the show.
    Seeing Jimmy’s naked butt on episode # 1 this season was an extra added treat!!

    • Toni, I need to get into Sons of Anarchy. I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about the show but I don’t watch it religiously. I didn’t know his real-life wife was appearing on it as well! Wow. Talk about keeping it all in the family! :-)

      • Jaylen..you gotta watch it!! I have a friend trying to catch up now. She is watching the previous seasons on NetFlix and will be ready to watch the current season in another wek or so!. It is an incredible show!!!

        • I’ll definitely put it on my to-do list, Toni!

    • loved that first episode, what a way to start a show, BIG FAN OF JIMMY SMITS, I THINK HE GETS EVEN BETTER WITH AGE.

  5. For me Smits will always be Bobby on NYPD Blue. Nice ta see him getting work as a bad guy. Something he plays so well.

  6. Jimmy did win an emmy for LA Law. Probably showing my age here. 1990 or 1991 maybe. But he should have won at least once for NYPD Blue. Playing the nice guy doesn’t tend to help though.

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