Jul 2012 26

by Damon Martin

For the better part of four seasons of the hit FX biker drama Sons of Anarchy, Ron Perlman’s character Clay Morrow sat at the head of the table as President of the charter that helped lead the small town of Charming, Calif. However, through numerous mistakes, back handed deals and betrayals, Clay went off the reservation one too many times during the last season and it finally caught up with him when his stepson Jax Teller found out that he was responsible for his father’s death many years ago.

Jax exacted his revenge by removing Clay from the leadership position as the head of SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original), but needed him alive to help bridge a continuing deal between the motorcycle outlaws and a group of Irish gunrunners dealing with the club.

As Season 5 of Sons of Anarchy kicks off on Sept 11 on FX, Perlman revealed some details about his villainous character as he embarks on a new story arc with less power, less family, and less friends than he’s ever had before.

“Clay only knows of one way and that is to be on top,” Perlman said when speaking to media at San Diego Comic Con. “He takes a backseat to no one, and he takes orders from no one, he lets no one else set the agenda. So we see him in the beginning of Season 5 and every single thing that he’s ever worked for in his life has been taken from him, except his life.”

And that’s where the story takes a twisted turn, because this evil man who would make Darth Vader cringe in his platform black boots was left alive – wounded and hurt, but still alive. Like any wounded dog left to defend his bone, Clay Morrow is a broken man seeking vengeance on all those who tried to take his power away but made the mistake of allowing him to keep breathing.

“He’s wifeless, he’s president-less, he’s lost the respect of his crew and his family, he’s lost the trust of his crew and his family, he literally starts off with nothing, but has to wonder why the fuck would you leave me alive? You gotta know I’m coming back,” Perlman stated with a steely grin on his face.

It’s that particular dynamic that Perlman finds so challenging as he enters the new season because for the first time in the show’s more than 50 episodes, he’s not sitting at the head of the table. He may not be the top dog anymore, but he still has plenty of fight left in him, and more than a few tricks up his sleeve.

“I think what’s amazing for me is that I’m getting to play the exact same human being in a completely different set of circumstances. It’s so much fun what Kurt (Sutter) has given me to do this season,” said Perlman. “Where we’re going I’m not really sure, but I do know that it’s going to be fraught with tension and wonderment as to whether it’s even possible what Clay is dreaming for himself for re-dreaming for himself.”

Sons of Anarchy creator, writer and executive producer Kurt Sutter has given the actors in the show the power to really take their characters to the next level, and it will be no different with Perlman in Season 5. This wicked biker who was responsible for the death of his best friend once upon a time now looks to conquer the son that took the power away from him.

As Perlman finished talking, he turned to his right and looked at co-star Charlie Hunnam, who portrays his stepson Jax Teller, and gave him a chilling message:
“Unless I’m dead, I’m not stopping. You’re not stopping me,” Perlman stated. “There you go Mr. Teller, don’t get used to that chair.”

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