'Sons of Anarchy' at PaleyFest: Speed Limits, Leader Troubles
Thursday, March 8, 2012
For those of us unable to attend this year's PaleyFest on the holy grounds of the Saban Theatre, it was a torture to sit at home when the Sons Of Anarchy panel was supposed to be live streamed, and stare at a blank screen with an occasional "We are experiencing technical difficulties" message popping up. A collective online gasp went through the fiber-optic cables and DSL modems when Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter's frozen head suddenly started to talk. Also in attendance were Katey Sagal, Theo Rossi, Tommy Flanagan, Dayton Callie, David Labrava and Michael Ornstein.
If all of them play tough-as-nails motorcycle guys on the show, they seemed affable and funny on stage. Many laughs were to be had, and, as it seems, no one took themselves too seriously. Flanagan and Sutter, for example, made plenty of fun of Ron Perlman's subpar biking skills. And it is quite funny to imagine that the head of the Sons, a scary and impressive brute of a man, can't bring himself to go any faster than 10 miles an hour. And when it came to Sutter's infamous Twitter rants, the scribe offered jokingly: "I just need the attention!"
As for season 5, which is currently being written ("tell us more, boss!", bellowed Rossi, echoing what everyone in the audience was thinking), Sutter didn't have a lot to say, but what he said is definitely worth paying attention to. A month will have passed between when we last saw the Sons around the table. Jax is president of the M.C. and the season will focus on his struggles to assert himself and to find out what kind of leader he will be. Is he going the corrupted and corrosive Clay route, or the more pacifist -- but, as it turned out, ultimately deadly -- route of his own father? Also interesting: Sagal proposed that her character Gemma should assume the CEO function of the club in season 5. Time will tell if she will be able to convince her husband to actually make that happen.
For people who like Sutter as an actor, some sad news has to be imparted here. In a bold move, the writer plans to cut his own part as Otto, as the gas chamber might await the long-incarcerated Sons member. The good news, however, is that these are plans for the longer future. In other who-knows-when-and-how-it'll-happen news, Sutter would really like to make another show about the First Nine who formed the club. The show would take place in the '60s and the network has already been informed of Sutter's plans. Of course, no green light has been given at all. Sons of Anarchy will, in all likelihood, run for at least three more seasons. What happens after that is anyone's guess. But a biker show set in the Mad Men era? Sign me up for that!
All in all, the panel was good-natured, fun and insightful. Rossi's anecdote about scaring Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise at a film premiere where he came with his tats and hairstyle from the show was hilarious, and everyone on stage really seemed to like each other as professionals and human beings. Also: Sutter reiterated that he is to stay on social media platforms in the foreseeable future. So we have that to look forward to as well.
(Image courtesy of Paley)