Those of us who love Southland were shocked and moved by this week’s episode. One of the main characters, Nate Moretta, was killed suddenly by what seemed like friendly gang members. The way that Nate’s partner, Sammy Bryant, played by Shawn Hatosy, reacted was absolutely riveting. It was amazing television, and a very sad end to the character.
Keven Alejandro, who played Nate, answered a few questions about why he left the show and how the decision was made for his character to go out this way:
Q:I don’t really know what to say. I can’t believe the way Nate was killed.
Kevin Alejandro: Explosive, no? Sometimes there’s no warning as to when something like that might happen and I think our writers captured that really well.
Q: Take us through the journey that led to you leaving the show.
Alejandro: It has been a journey from the very beginning, and I’m fortune to be a part of this show from the very beginning, from the pilot. We did our thing on NBC and went through a roller coaster — went for six episodes and got picked up for six more, but it got canceled before they even aired it. And all of this happened during a time where there was a big transition and no one knew what was going on, so we were all in dark on what was happening with Southland. And in between there, I was offered a role on True Blood.
Q: How did you come to the decision to leave Southland premanently?
Alejandro: I talked to [Southland executive producers] Chris Chulack and John Wells, and they were very great about letting me out because [the show's future] was so uncertain. They were very kind in considering what was best for my family and my career, and we all came up with a mutual understanding. Shortly thereafter, TNT saved Southland, but we’d already decided that this was the road I was going to take.
Q: Once TNT rescued the show, was there any discussion about you doing both Southland and True Blood, allowing Moretta to live?
Alejandro: The schedules are very similar. And toward the end, I was two days on Southland, two days on True Blood and going back and forth between the two shows. And now that this season of True Blood is considered the season of witches, I’m there all the time now. It would have been complicated [to do both].
Q: What was your reaction upon discovering the way your character would exit the show?
Alejandro: Chulack told me the story of how my character was going to be killed off and it’s a true story, this has really happened. The way he explained it to me was riveting and the way the writers captured it was amazing and to see it on film was moving.