Bard and bik­ers centrestage

A fine script makes much of leather-clad out­laws, writes and

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRIDAY EXTRA -

GUNS, drugs, hook­ers, porn and . . . Shake­speare? That’s not what you’d ex­pect from a TV show about bik­ers. But Sons of An­ar­chy of­fers its fans a lot more than the stereo­typ­i­cal view of the leather-clad out­laws, es­pe­cially as the story is based on Ham­let.

There’s the lone prince, Jack­son ‘‘Jax’’ Teller (Char­lie Hun­nam) whose fa­ther is dead and whose step­dad, Clay Morrow (Ron Perl­man), is now king – read pres­i­dent – of the mo­tor­cy­cle club.

Add to that Jax’s schem­ing mother, Gemma (Katey Sa­gal), who emerges as more of a Lady Mac­beth char­ac­ter as the se­ries un­folds.

Air­ing in Aus­tralia on pay TV and Chan­nel 10’s dig­i­tal chan­nel One, Aus­tralian au­di­ences love Sons.

Perl­man be­lieves au­di­ences are drawn in by the same thing that ap­peals to ac­tors – the writ­ing.

‘‘The work is only in­ter­est­ing when the writ­ing is smart and con­se­quen­tial,’’ he says dur­ing a set visit in Los Angeles.

De­spite the char­ac­ter of Clay be­ing en­tirely dif­fer­ent from his own and from any other char­ac­ter he’s played, he en­joys the work, he says.

‘‘I like that he’s a guy who’s been through some stuff in life and has come out of it hav­ing made very, very clear de­ci­sions about it – ‘If I ruled the world this is how it would look’ – and has doggedly spent his life cre­at­ing a sit­u­a­tion for him­self so he does rule the world.’’

Clay’s hold on his world is shaken in sea­son five as Jax takes centrestage, a place that Hun­nam says he feels is more right for the char­ac­ter.

Long-term fans will be shaken with the death of an­other core char­ac­ter at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son, which Hun­nam says af­fected him deeply.

‘‘I got to that scene where he got killed and I had to put the script down and I cried for 45 min­utes straight,’’ he says.

‘‘It was the first time I re­alised quite how much this stuff sinks in and sticks with us . . . it felt like a real loss to me.’’

Hun­nam says it was no eas­ier re­hears­ing, then film­ing the char­ac­ter’s fi­nal scenes.

‘‘(After­wards) all the guys took (him) that week­end to Palm Springs and all went camp­ing and had a chance to re­ally say good­bye.’’

There are lighter mo­ments in the new sea­son, many pro­vided by guest star Jimmy Smits, whose role as the pimp Nero also pro­vides some ten­sion be­tween Clay and Gemma.

Sa­gal says it was no hard­ship work­ing with Smits. ‘‘Women, me in­cluded, love Jimmy Smits – he’s kind of dreamy,’’ she says.

‘‘We have a good chem­istry the two of us, and I’m not quite sure ex­actly where it’s go­ing . . . but so far it’s won­der­ful.’’

Smits agrees he and Sa­gal work well to­gether, while ac­knowl­edg­ing the dif­fi­culty of find­ing his place in a lon­grun­ning se­ries. ‘‘The trick is . . . it’s a ma­chine that’s mov­ing, that’s do­ing well so . . . you have to re­ally do your re­search and fig­ure out what the pal­ette and land­scape of the show is,’’ Smits says.

He has some ex­pe­ri­ence in this area, hav­ing taken a ma­jor role in the fi­nal sea­son of The West Wing and guest star­ring in Dex­ter a few sea­sons ago.

The light­ness he brings to his char­ac­ter comes, he says, from look­ing to find what makes Nero tick.

‘‘I’m al­ways try­ing to find what the hu­man­ity is in the char­ac­ter, what his point of view is be­cause ev­ery­one tries to jus­tify what they do in their lives, if you’re a mass mur­derer or if you’re a sur­geon.’’

Wed­nes­days, 4pm, Sun­days, 7.30pm, Show­case.

stars Katey Sa­gal and Char­lie Hun­nam.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.