During last week’s fantastic fourth season premiere of SONS OF ANARCHY, the Sons were released from prison only to return home to a very different Charming, CA from the one they left. So just what’s in store for the them during the rest of the season? While in town to promote the premiere of his very-well received film “Goon” at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, theTVaddict.com’s special correspondent Melissa Girimonte had the chance to chat with Kim Coates, the man behind Alex “Tig” Trager, who shared a bit of the dark truth about this season’s storyline, some insight into his complex character on the series and more.
SONS OF ANARCHY is usually a slow build each season, but the Season 4 premiere was very intense with a major twist at the end. What were your thoughts on that script when you first read it?
Kim Coates: I think that part of Kurt Sutter’s genius is his storytelling. Obviously he’s an amazing writer, but his storytelling is like no other we’ve been around. Ron Pearlman [Clay Morrow], my good buddy, says it as well. We think that Kurt’s storytelling is just shocking and so surprising. You’re expecting something and you get something else. This whole Russian element that we had last year at the end of Season 3, we thought that at the beginning of this year — even though we’d been in prison for 14 – 15 months — that we would have to sort out the Russian thing and get back in bed with [them]. It doesn’t end up like that. It does something completely different, and without giving too much away, the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes rocked my world. I thought it was the most brilliant ending to the first show of [a season] that I’d ever seen.
Given how explosive the first episode was, should fans expect the pace and tone continue throughout the rest of the season?
Yes. It’s SOS time. This is the most serious stuff that we’ve ever faced before. It’s a fractioning of the club. We are breaking up. Guys are dying. It is just so sad this year. We’re starting the 11th [episode] on Monday, and it’s been an emotional ride this year. It is non-stop, especially for Clay Morrow. It’s relentless for him, and very sad, but it’s riveting storytelling again. I don’t think people are going to be able to take their eyes away from it all year long.
Viewers are often conflicted about your character, Tig. He’s violent and cold-blooded, but at the same time, there’s this compassion and sexiness about him. How do you make him such a multifaceted character?
I’ve been in New York quite a bit doing press, and this one reviewer came up to me and she said: “The thing about Tig is we love to hate you, and we hate to love you.” And that’s it in a nutshell. I made a pact with Kurt Sutter before I decided to play [Tig], and said I don’t want to be a sociopath. I don’t want to just play a dark guy. Kurt looked at me and said, “That’s why we want you, Kim. He’s going to be funny, he’s going to be loyal, he’s going to be sexy and tough as nails for sure, but you’re going to have cracks in your armor. Please come along for the ride and we’ll discover what those cracks are.” I think Kurt’s done that in spades. I’m part of an ensemble and I know how that works, but I love playing the guy. I really do. I’m so thankful that I decided to play Tig and I’ve come along for this ride.
You guested in an early episode of ENTOURAGE’s final season, revisiting a role from a few seasons ago. Although it was only one episode, what your character did really pushed the rest of the season forward. What was it like to step into Carl Ertz’s shoes again?
It was an honour to be asked back. I’d played Carl Ertz before, three seasons ago, and it was fun to play. He [was] a coke addict and had a great scene in a restaurant with Adrian [Grenier]. Then three years go by, it’s their final season, and Doug Ellin, the creator, called my people and said we really want Kim to come back for one more splash, will he do it, and I read the script. Honestly, I was flabbergasted. I was like, “They’re going to do this on ENTOURAGE?” To go into the deep bowels of despair, of addiction, that my character had to go into and to do what I was able to do on that show, I think it will be a bit of folklore. It’s not really ENTOURAGE-y what I got to do on that show. This got really heavy, really serious, really fast with my character, and I think it’s [an episode] that people won’t forget.
You’re in Toronto at the moment for the premiere of your film, “Goon,” which I understand is a hockey movie with a bit of a twist. Can you tell us a bit about it and your character in it?
It’s written by Jay Baruchel … it’s a love story, it’s a hockey movie, it’s a comedy, it’s got parenting stuff, it’s crude and it’s violent. It really touches a lot of bases for what will hopefully become a really significant sports movie. I was very happy to be involved and play the head coach of this fictional AHL team called the Halifax Highlanders. I’ve got a half mullet, a bad goatee, a bad suit and a fat stomach. Michael Dowse (Director) really let me play, and I was really thankful for that and I hope people really enjoy [it].
You’re best known as an actor, but you’ve also been a producer. Are there any other roles that you’d like to take on some day behind the scenes, in TV or film?
Directing is definitely something I want to pursue. [On] a show like SONS OF ANARCHY, [it] is so incredibly difficult to get your days in … it’s a seven day shoot. Our show’s absolute mayhem, so I could never – nor would I want to – start my directorial debut on something like SONS, but I would love to do a little independent film, perhaps star in it as well, and that day is coming. Hopefully it won’t be too long from now.
Catch Kim Coates in Season 4 of SONS OF ANARCHY, Tuesday nights at 10 on FX, and coming soon to FX Canada.
New episodes of SONS OF ANARCHY air Tuesdays at 10PM on FX and stars Charlie Hunnam, Kim Coates, Mark Boone Junior, Katey Sagal, Tommy Flanagan, Maggie Siff, Ron Perlman and Theo Rossi. Catch up on pas episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv
Melissa is a Toronto-based TV blogger and music journalist. A TV fan since birth, it was only in recent years that she discovered her love for writing about what she was watching. After contributing to several online and print magazines as a freelance writer, she started her own TV blog, The Televixen, in 2008.