How does it feel to know you’re coming to the end of this journey?
It’s bittersweet. The sweet side of it is that this has really dictated the whole rhythm of my life for the last seven years. I’m excited to get back to more of a gypsy way of life than the regimented routine that I’ve gotten used to but it’s been one of the greatest experiences of my life. So it’s sad to say goodbye to all these guys and obviously say goodbye to the character. I loved playing this guy. I’m sure there’s going to be a moment of depression and having to re-explore identity and stuff coming out of this but I think it’s time. It feels like it’s time.
I don’t know. I suppose the relationship that Jax has with the club. I mean, the kind of experience that we’ve had through this show of kind of being a little club. We ride to work together, most of us, and hang out a lot and it’s that aspect of the kind of club life and the camaraderie that has really become a central dynamic between the guys that play these characters.
You all ride to work together on motorcycles?
Yeah. I suppose we ride home more together because we have different, staggered call times, but we all usually hang out and do a little post-mortem after work and decompress in one way or another and then ride home together. So, yeah, those rides, because we shoot all over the place and we all live around the Los Angeles area. We shoot f—ing miles away a lot so we often have a long ride home. So it’s fun. Tommy [Flanagan, who plays Chibs Telford] and Boone [Mark Boone Junior, who plays Bobby Munson] are the two guys that I’ve become really, really close with, like brothers, and the three of us always ride together.
Have you spent much time with real bikers?
Yeah, yeah, I mean I got to know some people really well. I have, through the show, spent an enormous amount of time in that world of bikers and clubs and the rallies and shit like that. … The most exciting and profitable period of time that I spent was in the initial rehearsal period when I knew nothing about this world and I went up to Oakland and hung out with a very well-known club that have a presence in Oakland.
What did you take away from that?
There was one kid in particular that I met that I wear this bullet for in the show. [Hunnam has a bullet on a chain around his neck.] He was amazing. He was Jax Teller. His dad was in the club and he had been in the club his whole life, he was 22. He had an amazing presence, he was like an old-school outlaw, cowboy, f—ing badass gunslinger, but modern day. A 22-year-old fearless kid. Everyone used to say he put his gun in his belt before he put his shoes on. He ended up getting killed the week before we started shooting so I got this necklace to wear like a memorial for him. Jax wears the jeans he wore, the shoes he wore, everything. I couldn’t find someone that would be more prototypically perfect than this kid so I just based everything on him.
Was there anything about the culture, or your character, you didn’t like?
Honestly, like, the thing I have had the most trouble with kind of putting myself in the shoes and understanding is infidelity. I grew up in an environment where it was permittable to use violence to solve a problem but was not permittable ever to call the police under any circumstances. There’s something very stoic I suppose about that and that way of life. But the infidelity and the sometimes lack of respect for women and the misogynistic flavour that seems to be pretty prolific in that world I always find a little tricky, because that was the flip side of the way I was growing up. I had a fierce father [but I] had an equally fierce mother that was not having any type of disrespect to women or any type of misogynistic viewpoints.
How much insight do you have into how the series might end?
I’m completely in the dark. You know, I don’t really want to know just because it benefits me none creatively to know where it’s going and it could hurt a little bit and so I prefer not to know. I don’t think Kurt [Sutter, the executive producer and creator of the series] will tell me anyway, even if I asked him, because it’s just not his process to commit himself to anything so far out.
Will you take a memento from the set of Sons of Anarchy after you’ve filmed your final scenes?
I have a long f—ing list of things that I would like from this: the motor bike, to begin with and my son’s rings are the three at the top of the list but I’ll take anything I can get.