There are some heavy scenes in TV series Sons of Anarchy, but one sticks out in particular for star Charlie Hunnam. Over the course of seven seasons, Hunnam’s character Jax Teller goes through the wringer in the drama series, and some of this comes to a head in one poignant moment.
Hunnam breaks it down for Vanity Fair, pointing out how major it was for his career. “The scene that I think I’ve been most nervous about in my whole career,” he starts. “It’s about nine pages of dialogue, and I said I’m not rehearsing it, I just need to go away and prepare, and we’re just going to do it.”
In the sequence, Jax is confronting Juice, played by Theo Rossi, a former member of their biker gang SAMCRO, over some rather galling deception. Jax’s mother has killed his partner, Tara, and Juice helped cover it up. This scene is part of Jax trying to understand and unravel all that damage in the thriller series.
“Life became what was happening, like we were actually in that room, this was actually happening to us,” Hunnam describes. “I just broke down, and started wailing inconsolably, and sort of being violent with my guy.”
The result was something that was above Hunnam’s high expectations – and it might’ve been so for us too, if it was caught on film. “Peter Weller was directing the episode, came in and went ‘I don’t know what that was, but it was the single greatest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s a wrap, we’re not shooting it again,'” Hunnam recalls. “Then our beautiful cinematographer Paul Maibaum came in white, and he said, ‘Actually we are shooting that again, the camera didn’t roll.'”
The version that made it to screen doesn’t live up to what was done that first time, but “them’s the breaks” adds Hunnam. What could’ve been!