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Charlie Hunnam and Kurt Sutter on SONS OF ANARCHY’s Vengeance-Fueled Final Season

Note: This article may contain spoilers for Sons of Anarchy, so if you’re not caught up already, get your butt into gear and stop reading.

It’s hard to believe it has been seven years since the outlaw motorcyclists of Sons of Anarchy first roared onto TV. But the FX series’ thirteen-episode seventh and final season premieres on Tuesday, September 9th, a mere ten days after the events of season six’s finale. Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) is hellbent on revenge for the murder of his wife, even if that ultimately means destroying the woman responsible — his own mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal). Creator Kurt Sutter and executive producer Paris Barclay have promised a resolution of Godfather-like proportions, and at LA’s recent TCA press tour, Sutter and his stars hinted at what awaits the bikers of Charming, California. Also, be sure to catch Brian Walton’s cast interviews from Comic-Con in the video above.

On how long the ending was known and how it’s changed since it was conceived…

Kurt Sutter: I always had a sense of where I wanted it to go. I came in with how I wanted the season to end, which will be obviously the end of the series, and we’re heading in that direction. But things change with different story ideas. It’s always been heading in the same direction, but the way I’m getting there continuously changes.

On the increasing challenge of playing Gemma…

Katey Sagal: Every season I’m challenged somewhat differently, which is one of the reasons it’s such an interesting part to play. What’s coming out of her mouth and what’s going on in her brain are two different things. As you’ll see as the season progresses, she’s made adjustments to the situation based on her basic instinct, which is to survive and to keep her family together. She is still all about that.

On the growing conflict between Jax and Gemma…

Charlie Hunnam: One of the things I had decided just in terms of understanding where Jax was, was that this final betrayal and tragedy in his life had completely demolished any potential of him trusting anyone outside of his immediate circle. So I had kind of been, in all of the scenes, trying to kind of instill a little of that sense that unless you are my mom, my children, or one of the Sons of Anarchy, you better look out.

On creating Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson’s characters…

Kurt Sutter: I tend to do this every season. I like to do some casting that’s a little bit outside the box. You know, from Stephen King to David Hasselhoff. We try to do stuff that’s fun. Manson I became friends with through some music buddies and he’s a huge fan of the show. And that was him basically just wearing me down. We found a great role for him and he’s great. Courtney I don’t know that well. I got to meet her a couple times. I was a huge Nirvana fan, and so there was that connection, and I know she had expressed interest on wanting to work on the show. Then we had this role of a school teacher, and I thought “Who better than Courtney Love?” So it sort of fits into our parameters of Sons of Anarchy casting. It was a little bit of all that.

On taking a break from dark stories after the show ends…

Charlie Hunnam: One of the skill sets that I’ve really developed over the course of doing this show with Kurt is not taking the work home as much as possible. I am not able to sustain Jax’s life. He’s a better man than I. Which is not to say that I don’t go home in a bad mood or a good mood, but it’s usually more to do with how I feel I did that day. If I’m happy with the work I did, I’ll usually go home with a little bit of a spring in my step. Or if I feel like I totally fucked it up, I’ll go home completely despondent. But in terms of the actual narrative itself, I’ve no desire to go off into a lighter world. I kind of enjoy working in the heightened world of big drama.

On the Jax’s emotional state following season 6’s finale…

Charlie Hunnam: Ten days have passed since Tara’s death when you pick us back up. Jax is in a very kind of schizophrenic state. He’s obviously very, very sad and vulnerable and kind of broken, but there’s a huge amount of vengeance and anger in his heart. The way all of that is processing, at least in the very beginning, is [having] a bit of a numbing effect. He knows what he wants to do and he knows that that’s where all of his energy is going to go, but he can’t get away from the fact that the love of his life has just been taken from him.

On the direction the show’s characters have taken towards lawlessness…

Kurt Sutter: I didn’t see the fork coming. In terms of the legitimate stuff, that was ultimately the thing that John Teller tried to do. He was trying to pull them out of guns. He was trying to take them down the legit path. So I always knew that I wanted our hero to sort of repeat, in this case, not the sins of the father, but at the very least the outlaw mistakes of the father. It echoed what John Teller had tried to do and clearly wasn’t successful at. I knew at some point, I wanted to get to that place. I didn’t know how long it would go. I didn’t know necessarily how we were going to dovetail in and out of it. But I did know that it would be an interesting place for our hero to go.

Charlie Hunnam: The truth of it is it’s just very difficult to get out of that world once you’re in it, once that becomes your life and the tentacles reach out and touch every other element of your life. It’s very hard for these guys to extract themselves from that once they’re in that deep.

What are you hoping to see happen on Sons of Anarchy‘s farewell season? Let us know in the comments below.

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13 comments

  • I hate to see the end of the show I would like to see Gemma either rot in prison or killed. Don’t get me wrong Katie is a awesome actress she one you love to hate. I like the idea of making a sequel of how Gemma and John teller begin. I also love this show and would love another biker show too!

  • Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history.

    People with the disorder may hear voices other people don’t hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.

    People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking.

    Families and society are affected by schizophrenia too. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves, so they rely on others for help.

  • This has been a great show, I have loved seeing it evolve and grow. I think a show about the young Gemma and John Teller is a great idea. I had never thought of that but I would watch it and I think a lot of SOA fans would. Don’t give up on us please. 

  • Id love for it to devolope into the book john left jax into a sort or prequel series im sure millions would love to see a young john clay gemma n piny and of coarse a very young jax n opie ( still shocked at his depart from the show) they could once again incorporate ireland and the start of the soa ira relationship but also what drove gemma n john so far apart to make them from lovers to where they ended alot of people didnt like clay but what turned him into who he ended up being love money or just the decisions a outlaw has to make i would guarantee i wouldn’t miss a single episode just like this series soa fan for life either way thank u for the great fantastic beautiful destructive show that is soa kurt cast and everyone involved