Soa Jax Clay
Credit: Michael Muller

When the Sons of Anarchy script called for Jax Teller to let out every last bit of hate he had for Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) this season, Charlie Hunnam didn’t just act it — he lived it. Off screen, Hunnam decided to avoid Perlman at all costs. If they were in the same vicinity, he’d flat out ignore him.

The trouble is, he didn’t let Perlman in on his plan.

“I decided as difficult as it was going to be, I wasn’t going to talk with him, not even say good morning to him and not tell him why I was doing it,” Hunnam told EW exclusively. “I just hoped he would understand, to know that it was just about work and that it wasn’t anything personal.”

He didn’t talk about his motivation for giving his co-star the cold shoulder until he did press for Frankie Go Boom, an indie film he starred in with Perlman this year. Only then did Perlman learn what his younger co-star had been doing.

“Ron came to work like three days later and said, ‘Chucky!” I was surprised he was talking to me. We had gotten through the worst of the season and only had two episodes left, so I started to give him the old nod or good morning or something. At that point he was like ‘f–k this guy. I ain’t talking to him after he’s just ignored me for four months.’

” But then he goes ‘Chucky.’ I said what’s going on? He said ‘I just want to tell you how much I love you and how relieved I am and how grateful I am to work with you.’ I was like, where is this coming from?’ And he said he just saw an interview that morning that explained what I had been doing for the last six months! He said he wished I had told him but he was so happy that he could consider me his friend again.”

For more:

For more on Sons of Anarchy, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now. For an exclusive video of Charlie Hunnam shooting his EW cover and talking about his inspiration for Jax Teller, visit EW’s Facebook page. Check out our gallery of nine pics of Hunnam from the shoot. And keep checking back to our Inside TV blog where we’ll feature exclusive interviews with Perlman and Ryan Hurst (Opie), who talked about his character’s tragic death this season.