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Sons Of Anarchy Set Visit Interviews with Katey Sagal and Charlie Hunnam!

08.28.2014

‘Jackson “Jax” Teller’ has been through some seriously challenging times on the hit FX series “Sons of Anarchy.” And for those of you who did not take in last year’s season finale, let’s just say things couldn’t get much worse him. Thanks to series creator Kurt Sutter and crew, the more intense it gets for Jax, the more thrilling it is for audiences. Both Charlie Hunnam (Jax) and Katey Sagal (Gemma) have been with SOA from the very beginning, and we’ve watched their characters rise and fall, and on September 9, we will witness as they take on their last ride with the seventh and final season.

Recently on our set visit for “Sons of Anarchy” ( which you can take a look at the first part here) a group of us sat down with Charlie Hummam and Katey Sagal to chat about what has been going on in Charming. In separate interviews the two discussed what happened to Gemma and Jax last season, and where they may be going for the final round. And if you have yet to check out season 6 of SOA, be warned, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Charlie Hunnam

How does it feel to be winding down?

It’s bittersweet. The kind of sweet side of it is that this is really dictated the whole rhythm of my life of the last seven years, so I’m kind of excited to have a little more of a gypsy way of life other than a regimented routine that I’ve gotten used to. But this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life so it’s kind of sad to say goodbye to all these guys, and obviously say goodbye to the character. I really loved playing this guy for these seasons, so I’m sure there’s going to be a bit of depression and having to re-explore identity coming out of this, but I think it’s time.

What will you miss most about playing Jax?

I suppose the relationship that Jax has with the club. The kind of experience that we’ve had through the show of sort of being a little club, we ride to work together most of us, and hang out a lot. And that aspect a central dynamic between the guys that play these characters, so probably that.

We’ve heard the ending is going to be controversial and “Won’t please everyone.” How in the dark are you about how it’s going to finish?

I’m completely in the dark. I don’t really want to know, just because it benefits me creatively to not know where it’s going and it could hurt a little bit and so I prefer not to know. I don’t think Kurt would tell me anyway, even if I ask him.

What do you think it is about the show that people have connected to so strongly?

I think that as the thumb of “big brother” comes down on us more and more, this show seems like an escape fantasy that people enjoy watching. They watch people live on the wrong side of the rules and just do whatever the f*ck they want. And I think what Kurt’s done successfully on this show is to provide that fantasy for a female audience as well as male. I feel like there have been a lot of avenues for being able to achieve that outlaw fantasy and not being told what to do, and not being governed by everyone around you who want to tell you what to do. I don’t think there are many female roles in that world. But in here, there is.

How has it been transforming the character of Jax and what have you learned from working with Kurt?

I’m sure I’ve had some hand in transforming him, but I really just try to trust Kurt’s scripts and trust the journey that he’s taking them on. I really just go off the material and try to find some kind of honest reactions from it. I’ve never really thought in the terms that I was consciously having the responsibility of evolving the character, because I believe more in the writing than in the actual playing of it. The playing of it is the manifestation of the writing of course. As for what I’ve learned from Kurt: stay off Twitter.

Jax was in the darkest place he’s ever been in at the end of last season. What has been your mindset going into the new season?

I unfortunately in my life have dealt with bereavement as everyone has. As much as that sucks, it was at least helpful in understanding the pattern of the way bereavement works. And one thing that I kind of talked to Kurt a little bit about was that we wanted to avoid it being all doom and gloom, as much as there is a tendency to really invest in the heartbroken-ness of it. But I thought it might be something equally interesting to juxtapose half of that with a sense of liberation. Because I think one of the things with Jax is that he’s been trying desperately to move in this righteous direction. Partially because he thought that was right, but partially because he had these kind of two guiding stars, of Tara and his father, and he became somewhat disillusioned by what his father was. So by the end of last season it was Tara that was kind of his true north - although there was always a fight. And it’s kind of an abstract idea, but I really like zombie shit, like end-of-the-world apocalypse type narrative and what I think that provides me is that fantasy of liberating oneself from the minutia of everyday life. Like I’m such a f*cking nutcase in feeling like I need to do something with my life, and that I need to be engaged, and the idea of saying goodbye to the desire to do something with one’s life. Or to be a good person or whatever and just say, “F*ck it, the gloves are coming off, this is who I am and this is what I’m gonna do” is kind of liberating. So for me it’s been a balance of those two things: of course honoring Tara and that relationship and feeling some of that loss and heartache, but also really embracing the freedom of no longer having to be a “good guy” affords Jax, and that sort of comes with losing Tara. So we’ll see how that works out on screen.

Katey Sagal

Can you tell us anything about the scene we just saw you shoot?

Well… you know at the end of season six - which I can talk about - so Juice and Gemma found themselves together at the scene of the crime, and Juice covered the evidence for Gemma. So kind of what’s going on is a throwback to season four in that Juice did something despicable and Jax is upset with him so he’s hiding him, so I’m helping Juice the way Juice helped me. At this particular junction he has to go hide at another place… that’s what I’ll tell you. Juice is having a bit of a hard time.

Hell of a season finale for you, season six…

Yeah, it really was. We, Charlie, Maggie and I, all knew that that was going to happen, that Tara would be dying at the end of the season, but none of us knew how it was going to happen. That was kind of the biggest surprise of it. It’s funny, you know, we didn’t even really think about it until we got there. I think none of us really wanted to acknowledge it.

Are you surprised at how your character has evolved over the series and was it very collaborative?

You know, she has always remained true to her main objective, which is to keep her family together and bonded. She’s a person who sort of abandoned her family of origin and literally ran off and brought the motorcycle club home with her, so she’s been there since the very beginning. Her motivation is always the protection of that family, extended and otherwise. I think that through the arc of the series you’ve seen that in different scenarios. You’ve seen her through the kidnapping of her grandchild, through the illness of her grandchild, through the coming back of Tara and getting rid of Wendy the junkie from the beginning. All of this is motivated by helping her family and her son and his way of life, that is her primary purpose. She is the biggest defender of this anarchist’s lifestyle. This is all she knows. So you’ve definitely seen her protect it in very smart ways, I thought. I thought in season two when she was raped and she kept that secret for the protection of the club, that’s the kind of person she is. I mean, I have to think she has quite a bit of integrity [laughs]. I don’t think anyone else does, but I find her motivations to be good.

She faced such a dark time in season six. Do you feel that she needs to be redeemed or do you even think about that?

I don’t know if “redeemed” is the right word. I really do believe what happened at the end of season six was a crime of passion and it was not premeditated. She didn’t have all the facts. She really thought that Tara had ratted out the club and had literally undermined her entire way of life. So I think that at that moment when she saw her, I don’t think there was “thought” to it. It was just a reaction. She’s a very reactive person. And it’s a violent world they live in. This is how they live. So she reacted and I think that she has genuine shock and remorse and we’ll see. I don’t know if “redemption” is in the cards for her. I’m not sure.

The relationship between Gemma and Tara is one of the biggest attractions of the show because you are such incredibly strong characters. Did you feel like that was unexpected? The antagonism and the power plays are pretty intense.

Well Kurt always described it to me as sort of a mother-daughter relationship. You saw her really push against Tara at the beginning and then Gemma in her very wily way realized that if you can’t beat them, join them. She realizes “Oh, you know what, my son is into her, my primary purpose, so I’m gonna bring her into the fold. I’m gonna teach her all I know.” Tara was very super strong, super smart, but not necessarily street smart, so Gemma sort of had to teach her in those ways. I think everything has been unexpected about the show. I think as you begin any of these kinds of shows, there’s not really a roadmap for what relationships will spur. You just don’t really know until you’re telling the story. Kurt, I think, probably has things mapped out to a certain point, but then what the actors bring to it kind of spur on whatever that relationship’s gonna be. So I think the Gemma and Tara of it, I don’t know if that was ever planned, but it’s definitely been a really interesting relationship. I think that the “Tara” of it always was sort of planned to be the kind of fish-out-of-water audience point of view. She’s the one on the outside looking in. So right there you’re going to set up some kind of interesting dynamics.

Theo Rossi was saying that once again, the season opener is going to be quite shocking for people. It’s shown us some very dark places. Is that part of Kurt or is that just his understanding of what makes good drama?

Kurt’s a pretty introspective guy, but he’s a good storyteller so he’s created this world. He definitely likes to play. But it’s gone down a dark road. You can’t be anything BUT that. That doesn’t necessarily reflect him, but, it’s definitely the story he’s telling. He’s telling a story about a very dark world. They are people just trying to get by. I think that’s kind of the appeal of them is that they do all these kind of nefarious things, but they’re just also trying to live their normal lives.

After playing her for all these years, have you taken anything personal from her? Has she affected you in any way? Has she changed your viewpoint on family?

Well I’m a pretty loyal family person myself. I have three children. I really understand the commitment that it takes, and I really understand the going-to-any-lengths that it sometimes takes. And I understand the LOVE of it. So I understand FIGHTING for it. And I think that she does all those things.

Be sure to check out the final ride this coming September 9th. And in case you missed the incredible season 6, you can order it on Blu-ray here.

Source: JoBlo.com

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