Seven years ago, a relatively unknown actor named Charlie Hunnam rode onto TV screens with his SAMCRO cut, chunky biker rings and a custom-made Harley as Jax Teller — the good-hearted "Sons Of Anarchy" vice-president who wanted to do right by his club. Flash-forward to the show’s final season, which kicks off Tuesday night, and Hunnam is more than ready to ride off into the sunset.
“I’m not apprehensive, just a little bit sad,” Hunnam tells Huffington Post Canada TV. “It’s been a really great experience and I just love all those guys. We’ve become so close and they’re so important to me. But I also really feel ready. It’s been a great ride but it’s been seven years now. Seven is a good age to transition into a new period.”
Before then, the actor and the rest of the cast and crew have to actually wrap the current season, which as early as last month still didn’t have a final scene, according to creator Kurt Sutter.
“It will probably be a little bit of life going on and having there be some closure,” Sutter says when asked how viewers will feel about the ending. “I think people are always very clear about what happens on this show. We don’t fade to black in a diner.”
As for the rest of the season, Sutter wants it to feel like life as usual in Charming, where the show is set. That said, most of Jax’s journey this year will be focused on avenging the death of his wife, Tara (Maggie Siff), beginning with a brutal opening Season 7 scene that will probably have a viewer or two covering their eyes.
“It was a pretty brutal scene, it felt like a different character I was playing,” Hunnam explains. “I just trusted Kurt and was interested to do something really different with Jax, so I stripped a lot of the energy out of him. I wanted him to feel like a shell of a guy, but it was actually exhausting to play that. By Episode 6 we’ve had a few moments of real catharsis and it’s allowed us a little bit of emotional freedom to pull back. It’s been a relief.”
Another relief for the actor once the show wraps will be not having to spend hours in the makeup chair getting his fake tattoos done up for the character. In real life Hunnam has always opted to go ink-free to spend as little time as possible in that “pain in the ass” chair, and has no plans to get one now to commemorate the character. If he has his way, there might be an opportunity down the line to plaster the fake ones back on at some point. When asked whether he thought Jax would survive the show’s final moments, his answer was pretty clear.
“I would hope so!” he wraps. “How are we going to make the movie if Jax dies?!?”
Let the online petitions start.
"Sons Of Anarchy" returns on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. ET on FX and Super Channel.