J.J. Soria is no stranger to playing complex characters, but the duality of his newest character on The Oath proved to be a fun challenge for the Mexican-American actor. Soria brings to life Officer Pete Ramos, a family and career man who finds himself on the wrong side of the law in the streaming series currently available to watch in its entirety.
He discovers very quickly how easy it is to lose everything you love when you choose to break an oath to your loved ones and the badge you swore to honor.
Soria, a native to Los Angeles and fourth generation American, admits he was excited about playing such a layered character on the 10-episode Crackle series executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit Film & Television Inc.
Ramos is a law enforcement officer, who alongside his fellow officers played by Ryan Kwanten, Katrina Law, and Cory Hardrict, join a cop gang called The Ravens. They abuse the power that has been entrusted to them to reap financial gains.
“Ramos is doing it for his family,” Soria told Latina.com about why his character decided to join the gang. “His ultimate goal is to provide a life for his family---his wife Lourdes [played by Isabel Arraiza] and his daughter--- a lifestyle that she is accustomed to. She comes from a well-off family and he believes that that’s what she wants to continue to have.
“It’s a bit of an oversight on his part because he’s thinking that he’s providing a life for her that he thinks that she wants but that’s not really the case. I don’t think he does it out of selfishness but more so to provide a lifestyle for them.”
His loyalty to his family is not the only thing that takes him to the dark side. The streetsmart cop also feels a duty to his work family, specifically Steve Hammond (Kwanten) who early on we discover is like a brother to him.
“The struggle for Ramos is that he’s trying to be loyal to his family who he adores and loves but at the same time being loyal to his [work] family that would take a bullet for him. Literally, The Ravens have his back. So that’s what he’s juggling: providing a life for his wife while remaining loyal to his other family.”
When things start to go sour for Ramos and his squad, he has no choice but to surrender his wife and daughter to his father-in-law who can provide the protection he cannot. This also means he will send his ladies into the arms of Tito (Khotan Fernandez), a mysterious man from Lourdes’ past.
“Tito and Lourdes were once engaged, so they do have a history,” Soria explained. “Whether that will be touched upon in future episodes, I don’t know. But it’s their history that bothers Ramos and strikes a chord with his insecurities. Ultimately, I think he has a lot of insecurities in regards to him wanting to prove himself to his wife. He got a really great deal: he has a beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter yet he feels almost like he’s undeserving. That’s why he tries to overcompensate by getting involved with The Ravens.”
And while Ramos’ redemption in the eyes of those he loves hangs in the balance, we inquire into the fate of another Soria character, Marco on TNT’s “Animal Kingdom.” After that huge cliffhanger from the season 2 finale, Marco is high on the list of people who could’ve smoked Baz (Scott Speedman) at the behest of his sister Lucy (Carolina Guerra).
“I cannot tell you who killed Baz,” he exclaimed through laughter. “I can tell you the new season is going to be pretty good. They’ve already started shooting [season 3] but I have not yet. They said they might bring me back towards the end of the season and I don’t see how they wouldn’t because of how last season ended, which was insane!”
With Marco not returning until the later part of the season, could we imply then that he is off the hook for the murder?
“You’ll just have to watch,” he teased. That’s been a really fun role to play."