When season five ended for “Sons of Anarchy,” a lot was left up in the air. One of the show’s main stories was Clay (Ron Perlman) being framed for murder by his fellow club members, Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and Tig (Kim Coates). When the new season begins, it will find Clay in jail for the crime, which is something Perlman is having difficulty coming to terms with.
While promoting the new season of “Sons of Anarchy” at Comic-Con, the case, including Perlman, sat down some some members of the media to talk about the show. Perlman was especially candid on Clay and his feelings about where the character is headed.
“The rules have completely changed and it’s very uncomfortable when you sign on to a show and you sit at that table and you’re part of this family. Not only a part of it, but a very vital part of it as president. And you go home and you have this old lady who love you and you love her, you have the respect of the community,” he explains. “And now I’m playing a guy with nothing, who every moment of his life could be his last.”
It certainly is a huge shift for Clay, who has always had some level of control on every situation he’s encountered. Now, Ron says, “He has no country, no family, no possessions. Every single thing that he’s worked for in the entire trajectory of his life has been taken from him.”
It’s not only Clay that is suffering though, Perlman is having to deal with a dramatically different work experience. “I feel like I’ve lost everything, as Ron the actor playing Clay,” he says. “I used to hang with the boys, be at the table and be on rides, be Gemma’s old man. Now, I’m off in Siberia, I’m in complete exile.” Perlman notes that he hasn’t filmed much with the rest of the cast for season six so far, lamenting, “I’m no longer part of that world.”
Beyond the job itself, the character is something Perlman is having issues with. “I’m not playing the guy I signed on to play and I’m completely not in control of what he chooses to do and what happens to him as a result of that,” he says, adding, “I’m a bit of a control freak and I don’t like that I’ve become as hated as I am on the show.”
At the same time, Perlman also realizes creator Kurt Sutter has a vision for the show and that it’s his job to follow it. “That’s the gig, man.” He does concede that his character is the only one on “Sons” that has experienced all of the facets of power, from wanting it through losing it, which is something Perlman believes Sutter wants to illustrate. “With Clay you get to see the ultimate price of flying too close to the sun.” All hope isn’t lost for the former leader of SAMCRO though, as Sutter assigned one word to each character in season six, labeling Clay as “redemption.”
Even if he isn’t thrilled with the direction his character is headed, at the end of the day he admits, “I’m a professional actor man, and it took me a long to learn how to play the game when they say action and walk away from the game when they say cut. That’s what keeps me sane.”
“Sons of Anarchy” season six debuts September 10 on FX.