Accents can be tough in acting. For Tommy Flanagan, leaning into his natural Scottish accent on TV series Sons of Anarchy made life a little tougher for his character, Filip ‘Chibs’ Telford. Talking to us on the back of Power Book 4: Force, Flanagan explains that for the first two seasons of the biker show, Chibs got sidelined because people had trouble understanding him.
“No one could understand a word that came out of his fucking mouth, which was my choice,” he says. “They said, ‘No, we want you to do a Glasgow accent’. And I said, ‘Well, if I’m going to do a Glasgow accent, then I’m going to do a fucking Glasgow accent, and if you don’t understand what I’m saying then go and fuck, innit?’ and they didn’t understand a word I said. So, for the first two seasons, I sat on the bench not seeing a fucking word.”
Things improved as the show went on, with Chibs playing a larger role in later seasons. Mild spoilers, but he eventually becomes leader of the SAMCRO chapter of Sons of Anarchy, all with that signature Celtic curl on his voice.
Flanagan reprised the role of Chibs once since Sons of Anarchy ended in 2014. That was for an appearance on spin-off Mayans MC. Since then, he’s gone on to feature in a number of other shows, like sci-fi series Westworld, and Netflix series Wu Assassins.
Right now, he’s the main antagonist of Power Book 4: Force, where he’s portraying Walter Flynn, a ruthless Irish kingpin in Chicago. He’s starring opposite Joseph Sikora, who makes his triumphant return to Power as Tommy Egan, the protagonist who wants to have Chicago all to himself.
They’re joined by Isaac Keys, Gabrielle Ryan, and a number of others for the latest iteration of the Power universe. You can catch Power Book 4: Force starting February 6 on Starz.