Spoiler alert: In the Nov. 4 episode of Sons of Anarchy, Jax (Charlie Hunnam) made another play to get Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) back from August Marks (Billy Brown).
Bobby’s fate—a bullet to the head from the gun Marks had hidden on him before the no-weapons-allowed exchange—will have surprised the fans who voted SAMCRO’s de facto conscience the club member most likely to survive in a pre-season EW.com poll. “I took that as a great compliment that people actually wanted me to survive,” Boone says. “I think that this show does surprising things more than most shows, and that is one of the reasons why people find it such good entertainment.”
The actor—who has already shot a movie called Caretaker with Connie Stevens since leaving Charming, plans to be in Sons costar David Labrava’s film Street Level, and hopes to get back into the recording studio as well (his cover of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” feels even more poetic now)—spoke to EW about Bobby’s final ride.
EW: You weren’t told at the start of the season about Bobby’s fate. Was this one you would have predicted for him?
Boone: Seven years of this show, everybody got in the habit of not trying to predict anything. I think that was the way to go about life in this world. It was a shot in the gut, there’s no question about that. But I recovered fairly quickly, I think. [Shouts] Free! Free at last!
How emotional was this episode to film?
I just think the scene between Charlie and Tommy [Flanagan] over the blood is really indicative of how brutal they took it. And then you got DL, David Labrava, literally sobbing in the back of the van. [Laughs] I don’t think any of that was acting, really.
I talked with Peter Weller, who directed this episode, and he said none of those reactions were scripted. Kurt Sutter knew enough to let whatever those guys felt after seven seasons with you just come out. What was it like on your end to film scenes where you can’t show emotion because you’re playing dead?
To play dead, it’s really hard not to breathe. [Laughs] That’s about it. The jawbreaking was pretty brutal, because then I couldn’t talk. That was not very pleasant. But the effect of that [death] really hit me harder later. Even now that the filming of the series is over—that’s when it really took hold. Because I used to go to set and just think, “This is gonna be here forever.” And then last Thursday, it became very clear that that isn’t the way it was going to be.
Did you ask to see remaining scripts or go back for table reads?
I’ve been doing these interviews, and I told everybody else that they banned me from the set. But I’m lying. [Laughs] I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve done a couple of movies since I was eliminated. But yes, I went by a few times. I was there for the last table read and stuff like that. We had a party the last day of the shoot at the stages. That particular day, Connie Stevens killed me [on the set of Caretaker], so the death of Sons of Anarchy was another death for me….I had a partnership with Steve Buscemi for about eight years where we wrote and produced a lot of stuff together, so I kinda know what separation is. But [Sons] has been so intense and obviously just a social phenomenon. It’s just been a great ride and fantastic to be a part of.
One of the nice things that came out of Bobby’s scenes with Moses (Mathew St. Patrick) in recent episodes was getting to know a bit more of Bobby’s past. Are there things you and Kurt discussed for Bobby’s backstory, or that you dreamt up yourself, that we never got to see on-screen?
Not much of the history of Bobby and the club came out. But I certainly had a very developed story about Bobby’s relationships with John Teller and Jax. John Teller definitely brought Bobby into the club. Bobby was the oldest standing member of the club when he was killed. Bobby was very much an uncle to Jax when he was growing up—very involved with him when he was younger. That side was never really, really talked about or explored in the series, but those are things that functioned with me all the time. That’s how I approached every day with the Jax-Bobby relationship.
Looking back, that explains why Bobby took the most time at the spot marking John Teller’s death earlier in the season.
Absolutely. Bobby had the most connection to John of the ones left there. And yes, I spent a long time there. It was cut [laughs], but that was a huge moment for Bobby. The troubles that were going on at that moment were very heavy on Bobby’s mind, and I definitely talked to John while I was there.
What were you saying?
I was asking for strength and guidance through what was going on at that point.
We’ve talked before about how even though Bobby is a soldier, which he proved this season, he doesn’t necessarily enjoy the extreme violence. That’s something Kurt noticed in you and brought into the character.
It’s not something he enjoys in any way, ever. When he got into the club, it was all about the motorcycle.
That brings me to my last question: Theo Rossi took behind-the-scenes photos for us last season, and he said this one shot of you on Bobby’s bike is one of the ways he’d always remember the show. Is there a quintessential moment filming the show that you’ll always remember?
I don’t remember which season it was, but there was one week where we spent a lot of time in Acton with a lot of bikers. We had like 50 bikers out there at one point. That was an amazing display with the roar of the bikes. Whenever we were out at Acton, we actually got to ride. [Laughs] The difference from the first time we tried to ride together to now, ohmygod. That’s an Eight Stooges thing. Such a difference, and a beautiful thing. Charlie’s a very good rider now, and Tommy’s fantastic, and Kim [Coates], and DL, of course, he’s been riding a long, long time. Not that I see myself as a biker—I don’t—but I ride my bike every day, and that takes me right back to when I was 11 and got my first bike and loved it. I still love it exactly the same amount.