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Southland: Kevin Alejandro Takes It to the Streets

Southland, Kevin Alejandro Justin Lubin/NBC

Southland returns tonight for a second outing with its an absurdly well-qualified cast of awesome actors (Michael Cudlitz, Arija Bareikis, Ben McKenzie, Shawn Hatosy, Tom Everett Scott and, as if that weren't enough, Regina King!). But one of our absolute faves from their lineup of standouts is Kevin Alejandro.

Most of you probably remember him as Hilda's ex and Justin's dad Santos from Ugly Betty, but he's been on a ton of other shows, and he brings both heft and hotness to every single part.

We caught up with him for the scoop on his latest role, playing a police detective on Southland...

Los Angeles Skyline Ted Wilcox/Corbis

It seems like Southland is really aggressively about the Los Angeles Police Department, and not just any cops from any town.
This show is done by people who really know L.A., who want to show it in its natural light, and they're doing a great job using L.A. as a backdrop. It's really cool how you can be somewhere in Watts or East L.A. or Echo Park or Nickerson Gardens, very gritty places, and all you have to do is look over your shoulder and see the most beautiful downtown skyline.

So who is Nate Moretta, and what does he do for the LAPD?
We specialize in gangs, but the show is not just about life on the street. It's about what kind of person it takes to be in the LAPD and then how they are when they go home and become a family man or a boyfriend or a best friend. Nate's a family man. He has a wife and his boys and another one on the way.

Describe your relationship with Shawn Hatosy, who plays your partner, Sammy Bryant.
He's awesome. Shawn does mostly features, so I'm learning a lot from this guy. He's the one that flies off the handle, the one who's pure emotion, and I'm the one who's a little bit more laid-back, who says, "Let's think about this for a little bit."

Ha, so you're the cool one. When do we learn more about Nate and Sammy?
Episodes three and four have two very different stories, but they both have a heavy focus on Shawn and myself.

Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds Randy Tepper/Showtime

And you're done on Sons of Anarchy since you were stabbed in the head last year?
Yeah, no more Sons of Anarchy. But I am recurring on Weeds this season. I did the season finale last year, and I just started up the new season this year. I'll be on four or five episodes, and I do a lot of my stuff with Elizabeth Perkins' character, Celia, and it's so different from what I'm doing on Southland. Everybody has been really great about me doing both. The production coordinators are working really nicely together, and if I have a day off on Southland, I'm right over on Weeds.

And you're totally dead on Ugly Betty, and Drive and Shark got canceled, so I think that's the list.
[Laughs.] Yeah, hopefully this one sticks around a while.

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Get full episodes of Southland at Fancast.

Southland airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.


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