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Steve King on SOA

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  • Steve King on SOA

    He's in an upcoming episode...
    By Stephen King

    The short form is I had a chance to act on Sons of Anarchy (known simply to those of us who watch on FX as Sons or SOA), and I jumped at the chance. I like to actnot that Im much good at it, but I suspect most writers doand a number of factors came together. I was in Los Angeles, where SOA films, to accept a library award; creator Kurt Sutter assured me that hed write me a suitably nasty part (in various films Ive been stuck playing a series of mentally challenged country bumpkins); most important of all, he said hed put me on a bitchin Harley. How could I say no?

    I got to meet most of the cast, whove bonded into a little family on the ranch locale about an hour from the city where they do the filming. I was particularly pleased to meet Charlie Hunnam (Jax) and Ron Perlman, whos acted in two of my movies (Sleepwalkers and the made-for-TV version of Desperation, where he was delicious as the evil cop, Collie Entragian). I got signed Hellboy photos for my three grandsons; pretty nice. I also got to act with Katey Sagal, who plays Gemma, the scary matriarch of the Sons clan, and Kim Coates, who plays Tig. They treated me like a professional, which I most assuredly am not. So did director Billy Gierhart (who also worked on The Mist).

    The bike was just short of awesome: a bright red Harley-Davidson Road-Glide. A little tricked-out for my taste, and if Id dropped it I never would have been able to pick it up, but I would have been glad to take it home (sadly, no deal). All black clothes, bright red sledcant do much better than that.
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    • #3
      Some more information about Season 3...

      June 08, 2010
      Exclusive: First pictures, exclusive details on the new 'Sons of Anarchy' season.

      What with the end of the TV season, the series finale of "Lost" and the start of summer programming, things have been really busy the last few weeks. So busy, in fact, that I haven't been able to share much from my May trip to the set of "Sons of Anarchy."

      Finally, I've got time to write up what I learned on that visit, which was, alas, too brief (and also may have occurred on the wrong day. The next day's call sheet made reference to a "porn party" scene. Would that have been more exciting than see SAMCRO's lawyer talk legal strategy with the guys? Now I'll never know!)

      In any case, I'll be posting interviews from the show's cast and a long conversation with "Sons" creator Kurt Sutter close to the Season 3 premiere date in September, but casting information and some thoughts from Sutter about the general direction of the season follow. This post also has the first photos from the third season of the FX drama.

      (I've tried to be judicious about what I've revealed about Season 3, and I've tried not to make this post too spoiler-heavy. In my opinion, what follows are Season 3 teasers, or appetizers, if you will. If you want to remain 100 percent spoiler-free for Season 3, stop reading now. If you don't mind seeing some casting news, read the first half of the bullet points below. The second half of this list contains some fairly general plot information).

      First, a few "Sons" factoids:

      • Season 3 will premiere on "a Tuesday in early September." That's all FX would say about the date, but I'm going to go ahead and speculate that Season 3 arrives Sept. 7. I could be wrong, but that's my guess.

      • Lots of "Deadwood" veterans in Charming these days. Dayton Callie (a.k.a. "Deadwood's" Charlie Utter), who plays Sheriff Wayne Unser on "Sons," has been made a series regular this year.

      • Robin Weigert, who played Calamity Jane on "Deadwood," has a recurring role this year as the Sons' lawyer.

      • Taryn Manning, who played Cherry in Season 1, will be back for three episodes this year.

      • Agent June Stahl (Ally Walker) will be back for four or five Season 3 episodes.

      • As previously announced, Hal Holbrook will have a recurring role as Gemma's father, Nate Madock. Sutter said Holbrook would be in the first four episodes of the season and possibly one more later on.

      • Also previously announced: Kenneth Johnson (a.k.a. Lem from "The Shield") will be back as Kozik, a Sons of Anarchy biker from the Tacoma chapter. Will we ever find out what his beef with Tig is about? Sutter: "We're toying with the idea that maybe we never say what it is."
      Stephen King has a cameo in Episode 3 of the new season.

      • Fun fact about Paula Malcolmson (another "Deadwood" veteran), who is in eight Season 3 episodes as the matriarch of the Sons of Anarchy outpost in Belfast: The actress grew up in that city. I had no idea she was from Northern Ireland -- her American accent is flawless.

      • Titus Welliver, whose family also has roots in Belfast, will be back for eight episodes as the intimidating Jimmy O'Phelan. Yes, Welliver is another "Deadwood" vet.

      • Also filling out the roster of the "Sam Bell" (Sons of Anarchy Belfast) crew are UK actors James Cosmo (Sutter calls the priest that Cosmo plays the "Tom Hagen character"), Andrew McFee (as Belfast chapter president Kevin McGee), Ari Verveen (as Belfast Sergeant at Arms Liam O'Neill) and Zoe Boyle (as Maureen's daughter, Trinity).

      • As noted yesterday, the "Sons of Anarchy" will be rolling into San Diego for this year's Comic-Con festivities.

      OK, what follows is a little more plot-centric. You may want to check out now if you don't want to know more about the overall direction of the Season 3 story.

      • What you may have gathered from the bullet points above is that the Belfast story line is very important this season, which isn't that surprising, given that Season 2 ended with True IRA operative Cameron Hayes abducting Jax's son, Abel. And as Sutter explained on his blog, John Teller set up an outpost of Sons of Anarchy in Belfast decades earlier, so the links between Belfast and Charming have been there for some time.

      • According to Sutter, the show has "dual [Belfast-Charming] story lines from the jump" and the two plots will converge deeply a few episodes into Season 3. "I think we've earned it," he said. "I think people are invested enough in the characters and the world to where they’re open to getting backstory about [SAMCRO co-founder and Jax's father] John Teller and about this world."

      • The Belfast story line is so crucial that the show will shoot second-unit material there twice during the course of Season 3 production, and the show's crew has also constructed an outdoor Belfast street a block away from the show's main Los Angeles set. Several indoor sets for the Belfast scenes have also been built in L.A.
      "I’m not out to make some sort of political statement about the IRA and Northern Ireland and the Loyalists and Republic," Sutter said. "To me, it’s like the [American] outlaw community is in the show -- it’s backdrop. It’s really this conflict between these two men [i.e., Jimmy O and the priest]... They are living outside the box and it’s really mirroring a lot of the stuff that went on last season with Jax and Clay. It’s really all about character and that dynamic. And what happens is, the baby sort of becomes the pawn in all of that."

      • Sutter and I talked about how some shows stumble in their third season -- I noted that the Belfast story line sounded like the kind of things many shows would try in their fifth years after treading water for a couple of seasons. "I always really wanted to do something in Season 3 that allowed us to really go in a different direction, so we do don’t [stagnate]," he said. "I think most shows fail because ... you know, they’re afraid to be different and so what happens is, they start to get either derivative or they start throwing" too many guest stars into the mix.

      • "In my mind, it makes complete sense -- I knew the Irish backstory was always a very big part of this mythology," he continued. "And I don’t want to wait, like you said -- I don’t want to like wait until Season 5 to reveal that. It’s like, Jax is in a place where he’s deciding what he’s going to do, and he gets pulled away from all of that with everything that happens with his kid. Yet he can’t ultimately deny the information that he’s going to get in Belfast, and it will continue to impact him. So it seems like we’re going in a completely different direction, but, you know, we’re just continuing to tell the emotional story of our lead character."

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