15 Things You Didn’t Know about Sons of Anarchy

2013 Summer TCA Tour - Day 10

The FX drama Sons of Anarchy has been in the news a lot this last week. It was reported that rocker Courtney Love will be joining the show for the finale season that will be premiering this September. Love will be playing a teacher who takes a special interest in Jax’s (Charlie Hunnam) son Abel. She will also be butting heads with Drea de Matteo, who plays Abel’s mother. The multi-episode arc will begin with the fourth episode. While you are waiting for Sons of Anarchy to return, take a look at these fifteen facts about the show that helped make FX a top network.

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Premiere Of FX's "Sons Of Anarchy" Season 6 - Arrivals

1. Sons of Anarchy is loosely based on the Shakespeare play Hamlet. Series creator Kurt Sutter has admitted in interviews that though it is not a version of the play, there are similar connections. The character Clay (Ron Perlman) is based on the role of King Claudius. If you are not familiar with the play, Claudius murdered his own brother, who is Hamlet’s father. He did this to take the throne and marry Queen Gertrude. On Sons of Anarchy, Clay marries Gemma (Katy Sagal) and takes control over The Sons of Anarchy, which her husband ran when he was alive.

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2013 Summer TCA Tour - Day 10

2. Sons of Anarchy series creator Kurt Sutter was ready to focus on the next step of his career after wrapping up working on the FX drama The Shield: directing. His first gig was going to be the movie Awaken the Dragon. It is the remake of the 1973 film Enter the Dragon, which starred Bruce Lee. Awaken the Dragon still does not have a set date for production to begin, but talks about the remake began back in 2007. Korean pop star Rain may star in it. However, Sutter has been able to do some directing. To date, he has directed seven episodes of Sons of Anarchy.

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3. Ron Perlman, who plays Clay Morrow, looks like a baddie on top of his motorcycle during scenes of Sons of Anarchy, but that was not always the case. The actor was scared to ride the bikes at first and said in an interview with Ok! Magazine that he knew nothing about motorcycles prior to Sons of Anarchy. “It’s terrifying. It’s a 1,000-pound bike. I’m an old dog. It’s hard to learn new tricks,” the actor admitted. Kurt Sutter said some of the on-set mishaps with Perlman were near death experiences. Perlman took extra riding lessons to help him feel more comfortable on the bike.

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Premiere Of FX's "Sons Of Anarchy" Season 6 - Arrivals

4. Could you imagine watching a show called Forever Sam Crow? That was the original name of Sons of Anarchy when it was greenlit by FX back in 2007. The reason for the name was because the full name of the Motorcycle gang is The Song of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original. The acronym for this extremely long name would be SAMCRO, which sounds like Sam Crow. The network thought the name change along with motorcycles in the promotions for the show would attract their core audience: men. It helped that FX generally targeted towards a male audience already.

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Premiere Of FX's "Sons Of Anarchy" Season 6 - After Party

5. Sons of Anarchy is set in the Central Valley of Northern California. A majority of the footage for the show is actually filmed in North Hollywood at Occidental Studios. The main sets that can be found at Stage 5A include Jax’s house, the clubhouse, and St. Thomas Hospital. The Charming police station is also the production room where the writers will work when the set is not being used for filming. Other scenes for the series are shot in Tujunga and Sun Valley, which are both close to the studio. Any interior scenes of Northern Ireland were also filmed as Occidental.

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6. Scott Glenn, who is known for his work in The Silence of the Lambs and The Bourne Ultimatum, played Clay Morrow in the pilot episode of Sons of Anarchy. Kurt Sutter decided to take the character in a different direction than originally planned and recast the role. All scenes featuring Clay were re-shot to include Ron Perlman in the role. If you watch the first episode closely, you may notice that in the scene where the warehouse blows up at the end of the episode, Scott Glenn is playing Clay. Emilio Rivera is also show as a SAMCRO member.

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Premiere Of FX's "Sons Of Anarchy" Season 6 - Red Carpet

7. The first season of Sons of Anarchy was viewed by roughly the same amount of people who tune into shows like Supernatural or The Vampire Diaries which air on The CW. The series averaged roughly 2.21 millions viewers. Viewership has continued to grow every season. Season six, which concluded its run in December of 2013 was viewed by 7.3 million fans. In comparison, shows like The Following and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit were viewed by a little over 8 million people and were still ranked as top 50 shows for the 2013-14 season.

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Premiere Of FX's "Sons Of Anarchy" Season 6 - Red Carpet

8. If you like the music featured on Sons of Anarchy, you are in luck. There have been multiple soundtracks released containing songs used on the series. The first EP entitled Sons of Anarchy: North Country contained five songs, one of which was the extended version of the theme song. Sons of Anarchy: Shelter was the second EP released and also featured five songs. Both of those albums were released in 2009. In 2010, the third EP Sons of Anarchy: The King is Gone was released and included six different songs. Three additional releases have come out between 2011 and 2013.

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Premiere Of FX's "Sons Of Anarchy" Season 6 - Red Carpet

9. Sons of Anarchy has received numerous accolades during the six seasons it has been on the air. In 2011, Katey Sagal won a Golden Globe for her performance on the show. Additionally, she was the recipient of a Prism Award in 2013. Sons of Anarchy was also named one of the Top Television Shows of 2013 by the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards.  In 2009, the series received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. Plus, the stunt cast received a SAG award nomination in 2013 for Outstanding Action Performance.

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10. Johnny Lewis was the actor who played Kip “Half Sack” Epps during the first two seasons of Sons of Anarchy. He was found dead in the driveway of the home he rented from an elderly woman. The woman was also found murdered inside the home. Lewis was known to have suffered from a drug addiction and had been in a jail a few times before taking on the role of Half Sack. It is suspected that Lewis jumped from the second story of the house after the landlady had been strangled to death. His death is ruled accidental and no one has been charged with the woman’s death.

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2013 Summer TCA Tour - Day 10

11. Hurricane Sandy hit the United States in late October 2012. This was during the time the fifth season of Sons of Anarchy aired. In order to help the victims of the storm cope with so much loss, series creator Kurt Sutter purchased 5,000 online copies of the eighth episode for fans to watch. He sent out this tweet, “when power is restored back east, i will buy 5000 copies of SOA episode 508 on Amazon Instant for those who couldn’t see it because of sandy. i know 5k is only a fraction of people who missed it, but i wanted my peeps in jersey to know i care.”

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2013 Summer TCA Tour - Day 10

12. The phone tapping device that was used by agents working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation during season two is Pro-Tools software. Pro-Tools software is actually used to compose, edit, record, and mix music or sound for picture on a home computer. In the scene, the software is running off of a laptop and connected to an M-box interface, which is used to create music on your MAC or PC. The device is strictly used for recording music and in no way has anything to do with wire tapping. Pro-Tools software costs around $300.

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Premiere Of FX's "Sons Of Anarchy" Season 6 - Red Carpet

13. Charlie Hunnam, who plays Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy, was married to actress Katharine Towne for three years. The two met while auditioning for the teen drama Dawson’s Creek. The couple only knew one another for a few weeks before tying the knot. Towne was never featured on the Creek, but she did make appearances in other teen fare including She’s All That and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hunnam would also not appear on Dawson’s Creek, but did star on the FOX comedy Undeclared that featured Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, and Bones’ Carla Gallo.

"Sons Of Anarchy" Panel - Comic-Con International 2013

14. In 2012, the cast of Sons of Anarchy hosted the Annual Boot Ride and Rally. The event helps provide housing assistance to Veterans living in Southern California. The goal of having the cast host the event was to provide more awareness about the Boot Campaign cause, that also helps troops transition back to their lives in the United States. The cast presented a check to the organization for $10,000. People can buy a pair of boots for about $150, dog tags for $10, and drink coozies for $7 from the organization and the proceeds all go to the awesome cause.

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2012 Summer TCA Tour - Day 8

15. Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter is currently working on putting together another show for FX. This time the show will be a sitcom with the working title Diva. Clown. Killer. A pilot was ordered back in 2012 and will possibly star wife, Sagal. The project is described as a dark comedy focusing on an 80’s rock diva and her son who works as a clown by day and an assassin by night. Also in the works for Sutter is the drama Southpaw about a boxer trying to make it to the top of the sport. The film is set to star Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, and Lupita Nyong’o.

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