Business and News from The Golden State
WEST HOLLYWOOD — He may play a tough guy in the movies and on Sons of Anarchy, but Emilio Rivera has a soft spot in his heart for kids at Christmastime.
So he uses his motorcycle for good and joins hundreds of other motorcycle enthusiasts, motorcycle club members, and joy riders and goes on holiday toy runs.
He has been participating in toy runs this holiday season, the latest of which was the annual Fred Jordan Mission toy run, which boasted 600 riders Sunday.
“I don’t think the kids should be forgotten,” Rivera said during a Forest Rangers concert at The Troubadour in West Hollywood on Sunday night. “I’m really tired from doing toy runs today, but the kids come first.”
Rivera’s demeanor is down-to-earth and grounded, despite the throngs of screaming fans — mostly women — clamoring around for autographs and group selfies with the handsome Latino actor. He smiles and takes it all in stride.
Rivera says it’s important to keep it all in check, and at this time of the year he said we need to think of others.
“I’m so blessed and when you have what I have worked to achieve, you really feel the need to help,” he said. “You must give back. I can understand how the underprivileged kids feel, because I came from a similar background,” Rivera said.
The role of rough and tumble Marcus Alvarez on Sons of Anarchy has given Rivera security and helped launch his career to the point where he is instantly recognizable. But the conclusion of the long-running hit FX series does not appear to be an issue for Rivera, who is working on two movies and several other projects.
But, at least for the next few weeks, his focus is on others, enjoying the holiday spirit, and perhaps revving up for another toy run or two.
“If you see all the riders who help out on these toy runs, it makes you feel really good,” Rivera said. “It’s the motorcycle clubs that start these drives, and these guys really have a heart.”