Walker Stalker Con 2017 at the New Jersey Expo and Convention Center had plenty for the fans of The Walking Dead to chew on. However, in addition to the zombie extravaganza, the convention brought together some of our SAMCRO faves – Ron Perlman (Clay), Tommy Flanagan (Chibbs), Mark Boone Junior (Bobby), Kim Coates (Tig), and Ryan Hurst (Opie) from the hit series Sons of Anarchy.
They came out like rock stars, Perlman flipping double birds to the excited screams of the audience. The questions started right away from the moderators (the boys gave them a bit of a hard time at first – all in good fun):
Q: Do you miss each other? Do you miss working together?
Ryan Hurst: That’s the best you got? Bring it.
Tommy Flanagan: Ask something interesting or you are getting thrown off the stage.
Q: Give us a war story from SOA Give us a tidbit, a little bit of juiciness. Let us into your life.
Ron Perlman: Not one of us have anything to f***’in give you.
Q: We were pretty affected by some serious deaths. My question to you is… who is the most monumental death or the most heartbreaking?
Tommy Flanagan: (pointing) When he died, loved it, when he died loved it, and when he died… When we got the call for Opie. For whatever reason, Sutter wanted to start the death process, a juggernaut in Opie. It was really, really f***’in painful.
Ron Perlman: When a show goes as long as ours goes, it’s no longer just a job, it’s a family. We go to each others bar mitzvahs and stuff. Its very emotional, very heart-wrenching. We did not realize what it was going to be like until we lost Opie.
Mark Boone Junior: Wait. I didn’t get invited to any bar mitzvahs or weddings.
Ron Perlman: You don’t answer blocked numbers.
Q: During the course of the show, you were put in precarious situations that were not morally sound. What was hard for you?
Tommy Flanagan: The school shooting.
Ron Perlman: When we castrated the clown. We found ourselves at that moment, “Oh… that’s what the show is about.”
Ryan Hurst: Oh, that’s the show we’re making.
Ron Perlman: From that point on, shit got nuts. The home invasions. I never minded his ruthlessness, because there was a reason, but not that.
Mark Boone Junior: When we killed the guard that was responsible for the killing of Opie. His real wife was the wife in the show. That was brutal. Watching her see her husband die.
Ryan Hurst: Remember when I showed up? The actor was like, Oh Christ.”
Q: Is there any possibility of the “First 9” with Ryan playing Piney?
(Ryan Hurst liked that.)
Kim Coates: This is the agony. There were storylines that he would go down that was his storylines. What will they do to capture what Sons got in a bottle. That’s what they are trying now, so we’ll see.
Q: Do you think that any of the sons will show up in the new one?
Tommy Flanagan: (pointing) He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead, he doesn’t give a f***, and neither do I.
Q: Moving on to new roles, did you find it was hard to let go of the character, and how did it affect your new roles in other shows?
Ron Perlman: 6 years, it’s getting very repetitive at an artistic level, and you deliberately start looking for characters that are opposite. I want to play every form of humanity before it’s all over with, and never repeat myself if possible.
Mark Boone Junior: Had to purge and went out and did a lot of stuff that was hopefully different. You want to put that character and out hi in that cemetery. It’s great to do other things. I have a pet chicken.
Kim Coates: Can you imagine? 7 years of this stuff.
Ron Perlman: Are you getting the answer the question at all?
Q: Every character is so masterfully crafted. What were the processes?
Kim Coates: Perlman and myself were not in the pilot.
Ryan Hurst: This show is too good. They need someone to f it up.
Kim Coates: It was a growing process as to who this guy was. I learned from the writing, from reading these guys. And before we knew it, we were a master f***in hit. There was no improvisation. But as the guys in the writing room watched the show as a living breathing organism. There a lot of stuff we did, we showed strengths. The writers wrote for us.
Tommy Flanagan: How many times were we having conversations on set that would show up on the script the next week?
Q: Any of you still ride after the show?
A: We all do.
Q: Would you ride with Norman Reedus?
A: We all would.
Ron Perlman: Kim got a lot of fan mail on SOA.
Ryan Hurst: All from prison.
Kim Coates: If I tell you, then I’d have to kill you. We were all in it together. When it wrapped for a season, we were like f*** off. Then we would start missing each other in January. The craziness of Sutter’s head, Charlie [Humman], Tommy, and me were exhausted in the best possible way. We’re never gonna forget Sons, but it was an intense 7 years.
Ron Perlman: There are 2 kinds of actors – actors who stay in character who I have no f***’in use for. Then there are the ones that the moment you say cut… “Can I get a brownie?” That’s me.
The guys were completely awesome and hilarious, and I wish I could hang out with them.
***Note to Norman Reedus: Please ride with the SOA guys!
[Photos by Daniel Torkel]
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