Season 5 of the FX drama series Sons of Anarchy, premiering on September 11th, is sure to have big shifts in dynamics, as the new leadership for the club will certainly lead to some questions of loyalty. While the characters re-evaluate and find their new places among their SAMCRO family, they will also have the usual outside forces to deal with.
While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, co-stars Kim Coates, Ryan Hurst and Theo Rossi talked about where there characters will be when the season starts off, the new kinship and bond between Juice and Clay (Ron Perlman), how Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) will come into play, what the new guest stars have been like to work with, and why they think the show is so popular in the States. Check out what they had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Question: With all of the changes in the club now, where are your characters coming from, when the season starts off?
RYAN HURST: I think Opie has always been expanded upon, in the family aspect, a little bit more than the rest of the characters. In the very beginning, he was out of the club and trying to start a family that was completely removed from the club, even though his father was in it. As things have gone on, the concept of family has become really important to the show. They play that out through Katey [Sagal], Ron [Perlman] and Charlie [Hunnam], and they also play it out through us. We all could use a bigger family, in the general sense of the world. When Opie started losing family members – he lost his wife, he lost his second wife and he lost his father – what is he left with? And then, when his best friend betrays him, where is his family then? He has to come to terms with the fact that, even though we’re born into a certain family and have a family of origin, to some degree, at the end of the day, we choose our families. We choose who we spend our lives with. The decision that Opie has to come to terms with in Season 5 is pretty pronounced.
KIM COATES: Tig has always been a lone wolf. He’s always been on his own island, loyal to the club and loyal to Clay. Clay and Tig start fighting and scrapping, and Clay starts lying to Tig, so Tig is really off the leash now, big time. We saw his oldest daughter last year, which was really fun for me to play because we had talked about Dawn and Fawn, in Season 2. Seeing his daughter last year was big for Tig, family wise. But, Tig is completely off the leash this year. Clay and Tig are not on the same path anymore, at all. You walk into the chapel scenes now and Clay is not at the head of the table anymore. Jax is the President. Opie is on the run. Tig is not the Sergeant-at-Arms anymore. It’s a completely different feeling of family, and it’s really beautifully odd to play, so far in this season.
THEO ROSSI: With that last scene, last season, where Jax was at the head of the table, there was an oddness to the scene. Even filming it, there was this feeling of, “This show is different, at this point, because Clay is not there.” That is reiterated and really takes precedence in the first episode, and throughout. We’re looking at the show differently now, for all of us and for the fans. We’re in a different position, and it’s really interesting to watch.
HURST: One of the important things is that a lot of people forget that a biker club is a secret society. What’s interesting about the show and the way that Kurt [Sutter] presents it is that you start to see how secrets start to unravel the brotherhood, and the inter-relatedness of relationships to each other and relationships to the family, and how deceitfulness tears all of that apart.
Theo, your character had some unresolved issues at the end of last season. What will the dynamic be like between Juice and Clay in Season 5?
ROSSI: There is a bonding and a kinship there. Clay has done a lot of bad things, throughout the four seasons, and Juice did everything that he did last season, which was this comedy of clusterfuck, and he’s always really looked up to Clay and the older guys in the club who have been around for awhile. He’s always tried to emulate them and looked up to them, especially with not having a father. And when Clay gave him that patch last year and said, “I love you son,” there was this thing already implanted. Now, he just finds something in him, which we’ll see throughout the series this year. Because of that, this bond starts to develop. What happens with that, your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know. We’ll see. But, it’s interesting.
Because Tig is the one who messed up with Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) last season, will Pope specifically be after Tig or the club, in general?
COATES: I can’t tell you that! I can say that you saw what happened at the end of last season, where Tig killed the wrong girl. It was an accident. He didn’t mean to do it, and it was just brutal. That does come into play, this season, but you’ll have to just watch and see what happens. It’s absolutely dramatic and crazy!
What have the guest stars been like to work with, this season?
ROSSI: There are a lot of guest stars and surprises. The greatest thing for me with guest stars are the ones who are psychotic fans, where it’s literally their dream to be on the show. We’ve had a few of those, where they come on and they freak out. I’ve had that experience, guest starring on other shows, back in the day, and it’s cool because they’re so into it and they come to play. We’re a super tight-knit group. A lot of people say that the set is intimidating, not because we’re not the nicest people in the world, but because we’re a well-oiled machine, at this point.
COATES: When you walk into the trailers and see everybody putting their tattoos on, it’s a whole different feeling.
HURST: I always love it when a guest star comes and goes the opposite way. Rockmond [Dunbar] was that way, when he first started. I like when people come in and they’re [tough guys], and we all walk up and are like, “Calm down. It’s all right.”
Why do you think this show is so popular in the States?
HURST: That’s a good question.
ROSSI: I think that the feeling of why it’s so popular anyway is because it shows, not just brotherhood, but family. What we all have in common, in one way or another – be it through loss or happiness – is family. Some of our greatest moments and some of our worst moments are through our family. This just shows a closeness of people, and it shows what they’re dealing with, in secrets, anger and humor, every day of a family. I think why this show appeals to so many people truly is that we really do love each other. We have this family within us, that Kurt has created, and I think it shoots off the screen. I think people realize that we’re extremely accessible human beings. We are all a bunch of character actors. There are no superstars on this show. Everybody is really good and super talented, and just really good people, at the end of the day.
COATES: And it’s the biker world. There’s never been a television show in the biker world. We’ve had The Sopranos. We’ve had gangsters. We’ve had doctors. There’s never been the biker world.
HURST: I know this sounds really weirdly philosophical, but I’ve thought about this a little bit and I think it’s particularly a distinctively American concept that resonates with American culture through biker culture. A motorcycle is an independent thing. You’re like, “I don’t want to ride in a car with this person. I want to be independent and ride by myself. But, let’s ride in a group. Let’s be independent, together.” That’s a very American concept that’s like, “Let’s break away from England and be independent, but we’re lonely, so let’s do it together.”