Sons of Anarchy Interview with Tommy Flanagan & Kim Coates

With the final season of Sons of Anarchy out now on Blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, we had a chance to sit down and speak to Tommy Flanagan and Kim Coates.

Q: It’s the final season. Coming up on seven years. How’s that?

Kim Coates (KC): Seven years man. It’s just unbelievable right?  I mean, holy shit. You know I don’t think any of us would have ever guessed at the longevity and the hit series that it’s become. I think you kind of begin with Sutter you know. You take a piece of spaghetti and you throw it against the fridge and if it sticks and it sticks for a long time it must be for a reason. I think Sutter tapped into something that’s never been tapped into before. In so much as a very esoteric, dark, slightly Shakespearean drama with some comedy, with some brotherhood on motorcycles. I mean, there’s never been anything like that before. So here we are seven years later and through thick and thin and some of us have survived, some of us haven’t. But I think any great series needs to come to an end and here we are.And I don’t know how true this is going to be but I don’t know. Sutter’s given indications that he just wants this to end the way, like it’s not going to be a planned ending like [SINGS].  It’s just going to be kind of over. So I don’t know what that means. I don’t know if he’s telling the truth or if he’s fucking with us like he always does. Or just when you think it’s going to go one way it goes another way. But I’ve had the most amazing time. And I can’t wait to move on.  I’m so ready for my own show now. I’m not even kidding, it’s just, it’s happening. It’s going to happen. And I’m so blessed to have been on this show. And Sutter for giving me this opportunity and working with all these incredible cast mates that I’ve had. But it’s, well, seven years is a long time to play one guy. I’ve never done that before. I’ve been a film guy my whole life. And I’ve done odd arcs on television and always enjoyed those arcs. But I’ve never experienced seven years on the same show.  And as an actor I’m, and like I said and this is just boring as shit but I’m really lucky and I worked very, very hard. But I’m really excited for the future. I really am.

Q: Well this character has always been the comic relief or one of the darkest characters in the show. Was that always in the cards or did that kind of come working with Kurt? 

KC: Ryan Hurst always said that halfway through the second season Ryan Hurst said that Sutter found Tig’s voice before any other. He seemed to have tapped into Tig’s voice. The weird, the dark, the fucking necrophilia, the shit that, the dolls. But he’s funny and he’ll rip his shirt off for anybody. But he’s loyal and he can cry, he can yell. And Ryan recognized that in Kurt’s writing very early. So I don’t know how much was planned.  I don’t know how much Kurt had in his incredible brain for all of us. And at what points did it all come up. I don’t know. But it’s been you know, it’s been really, I’ve always said that you know, Tommy and Boone and me and Theo. Uh, Ryan’s gone now. You know, Clay’s gone now. But us four, we’re the remaining carpet of this walk. I mean, sometimes we don’t have a lot to do. But when they do give me some special shit to do, it’s the best shit. It’s the best stuff.And we’re, Boone, Tommy, me, and Theo, we’re solid. Charlie runs the show. And Katy obviously and we got some great guest stars and we love them all. And they love doing the show. But we’re the club. Boone and Theo are the remaining uh, you know, we’re the cornerstones of the club. We, when we don’t have stuff to do it’s, it’s never a ton of fun. But when we do have stuff to do it’s some of the best stuff to do. And we really do support that whole Charlie and Katy and stuff. And we do love coming to work together

Tommy Flanagan (TF): And this guy happens to be fantastic which is very fucking annoying.

KC: It is annoying for both of us actually. ‘Cause we’re both unfortunately fans of each other. It’s really too bad.

TF: It sucks.

KC: Canada, Scotland.

TF: Canada, Scotland it’s our thing so. I had to cross the ocean thing.

Q: Did you get close to an M-Cs while you were doing the show?

KC: I can’t answer that. I really can’t.

TF: yeah it’s not that we are suddenly partying with bike clubs or shit like that. But I mean, we’re going to a charity ride and it follows us.

KC: They follow us.

TF: They’ll follow us you know what I mean? We don’t follow that life style. God bless, it’s whatever you choose to do is your thing.

KC: For sure.

TF: But uh, no I would say no. This is my own personal M-C. It’s the actors’ M-C.

KC: But it is wild as Tommy said, when we do these charity things and you get certain chapters coming up to you.

KC: They hardly speak, they hardly talk. But they fucking love the show. They think we’re such badasses.

TF: Yeah. Okay.

KC: T-V tough guys. T-V tough guys you know.

Q: This has been F-X’s most successful show hasn’t it? Why do you think people have responded to it?

TF: Boone.

KC: Boone and Chucky.

TF: Chucky. Chucky. Why do people respond um..

KC: It’s different. It’s just so different. And I think the cast has been amazing. I’m biased because we’re all on it. But look at these faces. Look at these guys. Look at these women. Strong women characters. Strong guy characters with edge and humor. And it’s a different story. A brotherhood as Tommy said.

KC: It is a big, it’s a family drama. It’s the Teller Morrow drama. It’s got some Shakespearean elements to it. Stuff that never really been done in television before. And I think that speaks volumes for all the cast and the crew and the motorcycles. And just the toughness of this show. And it’s the biggest hit they’ve ever had.

TF: And it’s the range of audience as well. It shocks me. I mean, you meet doctors and lawyers and fucking whatever. And they’re just loving the show.

KC: It can be boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or just the girls, just the guys.

TF: Yeah.

KC: My daughter when she was at U-C-L-A as a junior when it first came out every Tuesday night there would be 65 kids on their doors hour. It was Sons hour no matter what. So 65 of them right? O it really does appeal to everybody. And it’s because of Flanagan. Look at him. Look how pretty he is.

TF: Yeah a wide range. My hair’s all messy ’cause I was wearing my helmet.

KC: And no makeup either. You just look so ravishing.

Q: The show is pretty violent and getting more violent. How have you had to deal with some of the intense scenes?

TF: I think when you’re actually doing it because you know it’s fantasy. Because you see all the props and the bullshit that goes to make these things look so violent. It doesn’t hit home. But once you sit down and actually watch it after a few months, it’s hard to watch.

KC: It’s terrifying. It’s fucking terrifying.

TF: But after you suddenly go fuck me, really we did that. So yeah, that’s how I would explain that. Does that make any sense there?

KC: Very good. And I actually you know, you have to be careful with what you say. Because we all are anti violent people. We should be and we are and I hate it.

TF: And we are.

KC: But this show man, it’s got a hook in you. And yeah, it’s, as Flanagan said, we don’t see some of the stuff that he’s in. Or the death of my daughter, the boys didn’t get to see that. But when you see it on the screen.

TF: Yes.

KC: And you see some of the stuff that we’ve all been through on screen with some of our stunt people. And the blood and the music with Bob Thiele, it rips your heart out.

TF: Bob’s fantastic.

KC: Bob’s unbelievable right. His music.

TF: Yeah, oh God.

Q: Did you prepare for the role in any way?

TF: To me, I approached it like I’m just going to come on set like a big fart, drunken and plastered, but uh, I don’t fly too well. So I dialed that back in second season.

KC: I knew not much about any of the one percent.

TF: A whole culture.

KC: I mean, the Hell’s Angels or the Mongrels or Satan’s Choice. I didn’t know anything about any of these guys really. And so when you do a show like this and you now have a patch on your back you do what we all do. You read a lot of books and you make some phone calls.

TF: You get to know what’s going on.

KC: You get to know what’s going on in the club situation. And you there’s rules and you try and abide by those rules. And then you know it’s also fantasy. As Flanagan said this is a television show. We do get some comments from some of the boys out there who shall remain nameless. They say this fucking show is so dark. We have a lot more fun. We ‘re just drinking and partying.

TF: You guys are all fucked up.

KC: I mean, we’d be so in jail so many years. Never getting out.

TF: We’d be under the jail. Under the fucking jail.

KC: Yes. But it’s a television show that’s very successful for many different reasons. And it’s been a great ride. And it’s all over this year.

Q: Charlie said he got a lot of knives as present from bikers

TF: I got hand grenades. He got a bazooka.

KC: I get bazookas. You get hand grenades. Charlie gets, yeah.

TF: Boone gets shampoo.

KC: Which he never uses.

TF: Don’t know why that is. He gets a lot of shampoo and conditioner and stuff.

KC: It’s a hint Tommy, it’s a hint. They want him to start using the goddamn shit. He hasn’t washed his hair in 14 years.

TF: In fourteen years.

KC: Charlie got a lot of knives. I think he has.

TF: That’s the first time I’ve heard that.

KC: No, he has gotten a few knives yeah, as presents. It’s really hard to take those on the plane when you’re carrying carry on you know. It’s really hard.

TF: Yeah people would think it’d be great.

KC: I can’t take it.

TF: Here’s a can of weed dude. It’s for you.

KC: I can’t take it.

TF: I am not going to carry it on a plane. I don’t really smoke that shit. But thanks.

KC: Can’t do it.

Q: Who do you think should have the gavel?

KC: I don’t think there’s going to be a gavel. I think we’re all going to be dead. I really do. I think we’re all going to be fucking dead. Who knows?

TF: Who knows. I mean, come on. This is Kurt Sutter we’re dealing with here. So who the fuck knows will there be anything here when the show’s over.

KC: What do you guys think honestly?

Q: Don’t you guys have a chat before the season begins? You said you, I thought that was the case.

KC: We used to. Season two cast. Season three. Season three and two. We had all sit-downs with Sutter. So here’s the broad strokes-ish of the season. The only time that we would talk to Kurt for sure is if we knew we were going to die.

TF: So then you’re like oh fuck here we go. Go bye bye.

KC: Like true story. Me and Tommy and Theo last season are sitting around after the very first table read of season six. And we’re sitting there and Tommy and I are smoking, having a puff. And I see Maggie walking slowly, just slowly down the curbside over here. And she got to us and we went hey baby, that went well right. The read through went well right. And she just stood there and stared for a minute. And she goes I’m dying. And the three of us just went what.

TF: What the fuck.

KC: Kurt just told me I’m dying this season. So the honesty is awesome that Sutter would give Ron and Opie and Maggie our lead you’re going to go this year. We don’t know how but you’re going to go.

TF: It’s like some shock yeah.

KC: But the shock is just wow

TF: Oh season two he pulled me in to the office and he said Tommy I have news for you and stuff. We’re going to blow you up. I went okay fair enough, I’m dead. That’s good. And he said no, but you survive.

KC: Did he say that?

TF: He’s an evil bastard that likes to torture you a little bit. I went oh great, that’s fantastic. So here we are.

Q: How much of a bad ass are you guys in real life?

KC: How big bad asses are we?

TF: Me I’m an angel.

KC: Listen I’m just a pussycat you know.

TF: Yeah we’re all pussycats.

KC: But my daughter’s boyfriends are scared the fucking bejesus out of me.

TF: And when my daughter has boyfriends they..

KC: They’re going to be so scared of uncle Tommy. Well no, we really do love each other. It’s a really good thing. I mean, don’t fuck with us. But it’s a really good thing. It really is a good thing.

TF: Yeah don’t fuck with us.

KC: You know, really.

Sons of Anarchy Season 7 is out now on Blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.