The stars and creative folks behind “Sons of Anarchy” don’t just make the popular FX television series. They live up the lifestyle to the fullest. Most of the cast are dedicated riders, while embracing the whole image of the Harley-Davidson, cruiser riding biker culture.
Their moods are intense. Their humor is edgy. They toss around f-bombs at press events as easy as they feather the left-hand clutch. Their wardrobes are streetwise. While other events celebrating top TV series at the 2012 PaleyFest featured actors and actress in suits and gowns, the “Sons of Anarchy” crew rolled in with t-shirts and boots. And their viewers out in the seats at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles sported the same.
During the fan-friendly media event, show creator and executive producer Kurt Sutter joined his wife and series star Katey Sagal (Sutter’s wife), Theo Rossi, Tommy Flanagan, David La Brava, Michael Marisi-Ornstein and others to talk about where “Sons of Anarchy” – essentially a V-Twin-powered Shakespearian political tragedy – is rolling to in the future.
Season Four ended with big changes, with Jax finally taking on the roll of the young king at the head of SAMCRO’s ornately carved table. Fans were immediately interested in how Sutter and company would tackle that this season.
“I’ve always wanted to play this idea of putting Jax in charge and explore how he handled the power,” Sutter said. “I also wanted to explore how those around him respond to having him in charge – the ripple effect of (Jax’s power) on the gang and the loyalties of it and where people land.”
“The interesting dynamic to play out this season is seeing Jax at the head of that table and the struggle that he has of being king. How can he be the leader of a motorcycle gang – an organized crime syndicate – and not become Clay?”
“And if you choose not to become Clay, are you doomed to the fate of John Teller?”
Sutter never made any secret of the fact that he’s recreating a sort of modern day Hamlet with “Sons of Anarchy.” The same tense standoff between The Prince of Denmark and his mother is playing out between Jax and Gemma (Sagal). Jax is at the head of the table now, but the matriarch really seems to want that job.
“I could really see Gemma sitting at the head of that table with the gavel in her hand,” Segal said. “And I think she should be a great head of the gang. It’d be interesting to explore how a woman could be this queen in such a world. I want to see her sitting there at the head of the table.”
Before the Paleyfest event, news leaked that Chuck Zito (the real deal and one-time Hell’s Angel) will join the cast this year. Following a long dispute over the creation of “Sons of Anarchy.” Essentially, Zito claimed he pitched a similar show idea just before Sutter setting up “Sons of Anarchy” with FX. So, the biker sued all parties concerned for $5 million unsuccessfully.
“We buried the hatchet,” Sutter said simply. “Chuck will be playing a charming nomad this season.”
When it became clear that there was little chance for the press or the fans in attendance to pull very much top secret intelligence out of Sutter and his crew, the questions lightened up and transition over to the hardcore talk of motorcycles and all things bikes. That gave the cast a chance to dish on who could use a little more road time.
“Most of the cast a very good the bikes,” Flanagan said in the thickest of Irish accents. “We really enjoy riding and look for any chance we can get to take our bikes out – whenever work allows it.”
“But (series leading man Ron Pearlman) was always the worst rider on the show. He might look tough and really act like he’s tearing it up, but he really can’t do more than 11 miles per hour.”
Finally, what sent fans away buzzing as much as the potential mysteries of the fifth season of “Sons of Anarchy” was Sutter’s talk of another “Sons”-themed show in the future. Sutter made it clear that a follow-up would not be a sequel.
“It would be a prequel,” he said. “I see it as a different show and not a continuation or another version of “Sons of Anarchy.” It would explore the origins of SAMCRO and the history of The First Nine (the founding members).”
“It would be a more political and socially historical sort of show. I definitely have some interest in doing it. I’d like to explore it in some capacity.”