UPDATE: Check out the entire audio HERE.
UPDATE: For all of you who don’t believe that Hunnam said what he said about”Sons of Anarchy” in the interview below, I’ve posted a sound file at the very bottom of the page. And yes, it’s really Hunnam, who in real life is British, talking. It’s not one of my editors putting on his best accent.
Another major Sundance distribution deal was for The Ledge, a thriller starring “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson and Terrence Howard. Hunnam plays Gavin, a man prepared to jump from a ledge, recounting to a detective (Howard) the events that led him up there. It turns out his neighbor Joe (Wilson) didn’t approve of Gavin’s tolerance of gays and affections for his wife Shana (Tyler).
Before IFC Films made their deal for The Ledge, I got to talk with Hunnam at the Sundance Film Festival. Sundance interviews tend to be brief, as talent races from place to place just like I cram four movies into a day. We still had time to discuss the deep themes of the film and get a scoop on “Sons.”
Q: You kept Jax’s hair for The Ledge?
CH: Yes, unfortunately that was one of the really big compromises that we had to make. I wasn’t able to cut my hair because of the continuation of story in “Sons of Anarchy” from season 2 to season 3 which is when we shot this. I had to keep the hair and I also had to keep a little bit of facial hair which we discussed at great length. It was a huge compromise and we were both a little disappointed that that was the case but it was one of those unavoidable things. There are certain realities to being on a TV show and most of them are positive. Some of them are a little negative.
Q: It wasn’t criticism, I just recognized the look.
CH: Yeah, you know, we were able to rationalize it in that he’s a little anti-establishment, Gavin, so maybe it was a reaction against the kind of vanilla cookie-cutter aesthetic that was desired from the hotel [where Gavin worked.] Him keeping a bit of the facial hair and the long hair was a little f*ck you to the man.
Q: How does it feel that there are at least two films with a homophobic villain?
CH: A homophobic villain?
Q: Red State also has a fundamentalist preacher killing gay people.
CH: I never thought Patrick’s character to be homophobic. I took him to be misguided and fundamental in his believes. Obviously, some of those were to do with homosexuality but he was much more fundamentalist Christian than an active bigot in his own right. I never really took that away from him which is why I was so shocked when you asked the question. I guess there are a couple scenes that deal with his views towards homosexuality but I never thought that was a tenet, pillar of his personality or a theme of the film. I may be wrong.
Q: Should we confront people like Joe?
CH: I think particularly for instance in politics, I don’t think faith should play a part in politics, in modern politics the way it does. I think there are a lot of outdated ideas that go with man’s interpretation of God’s will, of those amongst the believers that can be very, very dangerous in today’s society. I think that religion absolutely has its place and I very much live and let live. I do have a confused but real belief in some kind of energy, be it the universe or God or whatever. I don’t at all subscribe to any scripture or organized religion because to me, all religion, if there is a God, everybody is worshiping the same God and it’s just man’s different interpretation of God. So for that to cause animosity or wars or anything like that is really just kind of a terrible, terrible catastrophe, a concept that I think is very outdated, very, very dangerous.
Q: But even when it’s not a situation as tense as The Ledge, it seems like guys like Joe are dangerous. Is there a less dangerous way to confront them?
CH: Yeah, I mean any kind of fanatic is probably very, very dangerous to pick holes in somebody’s fanaticism. That’s why fanaticism is dangerous.
Q: Where does Jax need to go in Season Four?
CH: I think that he needs to assert himself and needs to control his psychotic mother who has no place trying to run a motorcycle club. If I was in charge of the writing, I would really, really pull back on that because that’s just a device that doesn’t ever ring true to me. So it’s very frustrating to me sometimes to be put in a position as an actor to have to play out scenes where I don’t believe the dynamic and I don’t believe that Jax would ever be taking orders from his mother, you know. So I hope that that is something that can be remedied a little bit.
Q: Will there be a bigger jump in time between seasons three and four?
CH: Yeah, because I don’t think that the show can sustain us being in prison and obviously we got to prison and it’s been well established that we’re going for two years. So probably be out in 18 months and so I don’t think we can sustain 18 months worth of prison storylines. So I think they’ll probably pick us up as we get released from prison would be my guess.