Rid­ing high

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - ANOOSKA TUCKER- EVANS Sons of An­ar­chy, ONE, Wed­nes­day, 9.30pm

FOR a man who doesn’t like vi­o­lence, play­ing a bru­tal and dan­ger­ous bikie in the sadis­tic se­ries Sons Of An­ar­chy seems like a strange ca­reer move.

But for ac­tor Char­lie Hun­nam it was a role he couldn’t turn down.

The English­man ( pic­tured) had been look­ing to do a film when the lead role came up in the vi­cious and in­tense se­ries about a man who strug­gles to find a bal­ance be­tween his role in a mo­tor­cy­cle gang and be­ing a new dad.

‘‘ It was just about the qual­ity of the writ­ing for me,’’ Hun­nam ex­plains.

‘‘ I read the script and got re­ally, re­ally ex­cited about what cre­ator Kurt Sut­ter was try­ing to do with this world. It was an in­ter­est­ing sub­cul­ture we’d never re­ally seen be­fore and it’s quite ex­cit­ing to ex­plore.’’

How­ever, delv­ing into the of­ten fe­ro­cious and some­times deadly arena was tough for the 31-yearold ac­tor, who is deeply op­posed to vi­o­lence.

To help get a han­dle on the role, Hun­nam went in­side civil­ian and out­law biker clubs, hang­ing out with the mem­bers and talk­ing to them about their lives.

‘‘ I wouldn’t say they were hugely ac­cept­ing to be­gin with, Hun­nam says.

‘‘ They were tol­er­ant, but then I de­vel­oped a gen­uine friend­ship with a few of the guys which then af­forded me a lot more free­dom in that world and a lot more ac­cep­tance.’’

It was a fas­ci­nat­ing and some­times fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the ac­tor and one he says he will never for­get.

‘‘ The thing I love most about acting is you get ac­cess to these worlds you’d never or­di­nar­ily be al­lowed into,’’ he says.

‘‘ Peo­ple who nor­mally have their doors locked very tight open them for Hol­ly­wood.’’

Hun­nam has stayed friends with four of the bik­ers he met through his re­search.

‘‘ One of these guys has be­come one of my best friends. We just made a gen­uine hu­man con­nec­tion, he says.

‘‘ We ex­plore this a lit­tle bit in the show, that even in the out­law clubs there’s dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity and char­ac­ter types, it’s not all just the stereo­typ­i­cal su­per tough, ma­cho bik­ers.

‘‘ There are a lot of guys who are a lit­tle more thought­ful who are in­volved in that world be­cause of the more right­eous el­e­ments of it, like the free­dom that life on the road gives you and the idea that you’re not go­ing to ad­here to the laws of ev­ery­day life­style and so­ci­ety and in­stead live on your own terms.’’

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