'Sons of Anarchy' stars Theo Rossi, Tommy Flanagan talk that scene
In the Sept. 23 episode of Sons of Anarchy, “Playing with Monsters,” Juice (Theo Rossi) used Unser (Dayton Callie) to get Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) alone to ask him if there was anything he could do to earn his way back into SAMCRO. Chibs’ response was brutal: “If I were you, I’d get that gun, put it in my mouth, and pull the trigger.” Rossi and Flanagan talked to EW separately about the moment that Rossi says is a game-changer for Juice.
EW: That scene is the first one you’ve had with any of the guys all season, Theo.
Rossi: That scene was tremendously heartbreaking because all he wants is for Chibs to say, “Hey, listen, we’re going to make this right. I’m not saying that you’ll be in the club, but I’m going to get you outta here. I got your back.” He’s hoping he’s going to say that. And what I love about that scene is the moment after, with Chibs’ reaction. You see that he has this compassion, but he couldn’t do it in front of Juice. I don’t think Juice went in there with any expectations, I think he just wanted guidance. He wanted him, mainly, to tell him Jax is doing this on his own and that it’s not the rest of the club. Because in Juice’s mind, then he’d need to convince just one person, not everyone. So when Chibs tells him to put the gun in his mouth and take his own life, basically there’s no hope, that’s when I believe everything changes. I believe that one line dictates Juice for the rest of the season because at that point, he doesn’t care about anything anymore. I’m not going to come back. I can’t talk to anyone. You just told me the way it is: Stop trying. It’s over with. You’re gone, you’re out. Because of that, everything starts to go haywire.
Tommy, how hard was that scene for you to shoot?
Flanagan: It’s a heartbreaking scene, but Chibs won’t show anymore emotion to us. Juice has gone too far, now. And Juice was my prospect: I brought him into the club, I looked after him his whole life, and for him to betray the club and to betray me in such a foul and stupid and dumb way, it’s just become unforgivable. I’ve tried to help him and tried to save him, but he just went down that path. There’s no redemption, that I can see. Maybe there is, but I don’t see any redemption for old Juicey. And I really don’t know, ’cause I don’t know what Kurt [Sutter]’s going to do with him.
In your mind, what would Chibs have done if he’d followed Juice out of the diner?
If he followed him out, I think he’d probably have shot him.
You know, you can’t be a rat. I mean, it would break old Chibby’s heart, but he would’ve shot him. I think when Unser stops me, he’s not really stopping me. I’m stopping myself, you know what I mean? It’s like, “I wanna go after him, but I don’t wanna go after him. Thank you, Unser, for stopping me.” Dayton was so great in that scene. We did one take, and they went, “OK, let’s do another one,” and Dayton said, “What do you mean, ‘Do another one?’” He looked at both cameras and said, “You focused?” And the guy said, “Yeah.” “You focused?” “OK, we’re done!” That’s one of my favorite quotes, actually, of Sons of Anarchy: “You focused?” “Yeah.” “You focused?” “Yeah.” “Well f–k it, we’re done! Moving on!”
This episode also set up a working relationship between Chibs and Sheriff Althea Jarry (Annabeth Gish). Did you and Annabeth get any kind of chemistry test together?
No, it was just, you know, Sutter knows me so well. He met with Annabeth and whoever else, but he knew that Annabeth was a good match for me because she’s a great actor and she’s very game. She wanted to do a stunt when that hand grenade goes off [which we’ve seen in a promo], ’cause her husband’s a stuntman, so she was game for it, but they couldn’t let her do it. But I did it, you know, because I’m Chibs. Tough guy. But no, she’s very good, and she’s very game, and she makes it very easy and very comfortable to do whatever’s coming in the future, so yeah, big shout-out right there to Annabeth. It’s a good match.
Lastly, can we just talk about the Skankenstein scene, because you all seemed to be enjoying that. I think it was Tracey Anderson [head of make-up] who told me, like, “We killed Clay in fifteen minutes, but we shot that scene for hours.”
I know. I mean, really? Really. Really. Really? Really. That’s all I’ll say about that one: Really? But oh my god, what a show.
Do we get to see more Redwoody productions, or is that the peak?
You see a little more, but you’ll just have to keep tuning in, baby.
Kurt Sutter’s original series, starring Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, and Katey Sagal.