Spoiler alert: The Oct. 21 episode of Sons of Anarchy, “Greensleeves,” ended with Jax (Charlie Hunnam) receiving a box from August Marks that will haunt SAMCRO and viewers. Exec producer Paris Barclay, who directed the episode, takes EW inside filming that tragic twist and the other big moments. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Paris Barclay (1-7 of 7)
Spend close to 20 hours on location and set with the cast and crew of Sons of Anarchy, and you learn a few fun facts. EW‘s recent cover story (read it online) reveals some of them: among the objects in Charlie Hunnam’s backpack is a marijuana grinder; Katey Sagal is happy to talk about Justin Theroux’s jogging attire on The Leftovers. Here are 34 other things gleaned from EW‘s September visit.
IN THE MAKEUP TRAILER
• When you catch Tommy Flanagan (Chibs) singing “Hurt” on his way in at 6:30 a.m., it’s definitely the Johnny Cash version. “Of course, the Johnny Cash version,” he says later. “I mean Nine Inch Nails, fair enough, they did a great version, but Johnny killed it.”
• Everyone knows the fun begins when Kim Coates (Tig) arrives. On this day, he starts a lively conversation suggesting he’ll wear a Speedo to the show’s premiere screening that weekend. He and Flanagan claim they’ve never worn a Speedo, but Hunnam admits to having donned one as a child. READ FULL STORY
An act of retaliation is under way. That’s nothing new for Sons of Anarchy, the FX show famous for doling out death sentences to beloved characters—except this bit of revenge is happening in between takes. It’s a September morning at Stevenson Ranch in California’s Santa Clarita Valley, and Charlie Hunnam is shooting a scene in which his character, Jax Teller, dodges gunfire from an angry redneck. After a break in the action, Hunnam delivers a quick and dirty punch to the arm of his costar Tommy Flanagan—payback for an earlier prank where Flanagan left a band of bruises on Hunnam’s bicep for fun. Hunnam runs for cover behind a gun-laden cart a few feet away from where EW stands. “I will find you!” Flanagan bellows. For a moment, there’s a temptation to rat him out. But as any Sons fan knows, you never, EVER rat.
When Sons of Anarchy debuted in 2008, the adrenalized drama was quickly dubbed “Sopranos on wheels,” thanks to its darkly complex portrait of the gunrunning club known as Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (SAMCRO). But over the course of six seasons, fans began using “Hamlet on Harleys” to describe the Shakespearean drama of creator Kurt Sutter’s story about a son (Hunnam) who rises to lead his late father’s motorcycle club but can’t escape the grasp of his manipulative mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal). Now, as the show barrels toward its Dec. 9 finale, it’s earned the right to stand on its own. Sons may well go down as one of the most savage—and addictive—family dramas, even if the family is bonded by honor instead of blood. After all, in addition to TV’s fiercest matriarch, it features the most moving man-hugs (fan and onetime guest star Stephen King has crowned it the “best bro show ever”); the most brutal-but-beautiful montages (“ballets of death,” executive producer Paris Barclay likes to call them); and the only leading man with both the looks to land a Calvin Klein fragrance ad and the street cred to get props from tattooed fans in East L.A. (“You keep the hood safe on Tuesday nights,” one recently told him.)
That strange, special mix draws an average of 8.1 million viewers a week—an audience as loyal to the series as the members of SAMCRO are to their outlaw brothers. Blockbuster ratings and profitable merchandising (from branded bikinis to cigars) have made the show not just FX’s biggest hit but also its most valuable one. All eyes are now on the Men of Mayhem and Queen Gemma, with fans anxiously awaiting the answers to two looming questions: What’s going to happen when Jax finds out it was his mother who killed his wife with a carving fork to the head in one of the most gruesome deaths in TV history? And how will Sutter drive his series into the sunset? “I know how I want it to end,” says the showrunner. “I think the legacy is already out there: People have embraced the world. They love that they can have fun watching it, yet the next scene they can be bawling. If we can continue to do that, that’s really what I’ll be most proud of.” READ FULL STORY
Sons of Anarchy‘s season 7 premiere will be remembered for the brutality of the final scene, but as is so often the case with this show, there was also beauty in it. Exec producer Paris Barclay, who directed the episode, called into “News & Notes” on EW Radio (SiriusXM 105) and shared how the idea for a rainy night in Charming—a rare occurrence—came about. He always reads Kurt Sutter’s scripts slowly, so he can try to visualize what he’s created.
“Even though it wasn’t in the script, I just imagined it was raining for some unknown reason. I just imagined it had that low-barometric-pressure, the-sky-has-gotten-dark-earlier, rainy feeling. It hardly ever rains in Charming, if you’ve noticed over seven seasons, so I thought this would be something unique to do. But as I thought about it, I said, ‘Well, that means it’s gonna have to rain in every other scene in this montage,'” Barclay said. “And then it ended up raining when they buried the bodies at Chigger Woods, which was fantastically beautiful. So just by backing into that, thinking about the killing scene first just having the rain, it ended up giving us a lot of benefits for all the other scenes: The rain on Gemma’s face when she’s talking to Tara. And then I go to Paul Maibaum, who’s been our director of photography from the beginning, and I say, ‘Paul, if it rains, what does that mean for you?’ He said, ‘It means beauty.'”
As Barclay told EW previously, it was Charlie Hunnam’s idea for Jax to draw out the torture, slowly removing his clothing so he’s shirtless when Jax takes his revenge on the man Gemma’s blamed for Tara’s murder. Hunnam was inspired by a lengthy kill scene in the Paul Bettany movie Gangster No. 1. “To see that spectacular torso just cluttered and clumsily splashed with blood of this innocent man I thought was super, super compelling,” Barclay said. During a meeting with Sutter to discuss the tone of the script, page-by-page, Sutter weighed in on what he liked and didn’t like. “So by the time we came to shooting it, we had something that was pretty well worked out—a ballet of death, as I call it.” READ FULL STORY
This post contains plot details of “Black Widower,” the Sons of Anarchy season 7 premiere that aired on Sept. 9. Read our full recap.
Sons of Anarchy‘s final season got off to a bloody start as Jax took revenge on the Lin Triad member Gemma claimed she saw leaving his house the night Tara was killed. Below, creator Kurt Sutter, who wrote the episode, takes EW inside the turns, and executive producer Paris Barclay, who directed the premiere, tells us about shooting that final scene—and shares two photos from the set. READ FULL STORY
FX has released video of one of the highlights of Sons of Anarchy‘s Sunday Comic-Con panel: Creator Kurt Sutter being moved to tears as fellow exec producer Paris Barclay expressed his and the cast’s appreciation as they continue filming their final season. Below, see the cast give Sutter a standing ovation and Sutter’s equally moving response. READ FULL STORY
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