‘Sons of Anarchy’: One Star Almost Turned Down Role in the Series

by Chase Thomas

Sons of Anarchy was an iconic show for FX for so many years. Part of that reason is that fans became so enamored by the world that Kurt Sutter, the showrunner, created, but also because folks loved spending time with the characters in Charming. Folks were swept up in the future of SAMCRO and where it would all lead. How would Jax Teller get out of this club and this town, if that’s even possible? These were all fair questions to wonder. Now, the show is gone, but new tidbits about the program still trickle out from time to time. For instance, did you know what Sons of Anarchy star almost turned down starring in the series?

Filthy Phil was almost never a character that made it onto Sons of Anarchy. Chris Reed, who played the character on SOA, told Redditors, “I knew they were interested. I had auditioned for a different part (ray Porter got that one) and they called me back. After the call back, i was walking to my car and a PA chased me down to ask that i cold read for Filthy Phil. The sides (audition material) were a scene that never was in an episode, Phil talking about how important the club is to him and what prospecting means. I read it for Kurt, Guy Ferland (episode director), Wendy O’Brien (casting director) and some FX folks. I knew they had liked me but had no clue what the part was.”

How wild is that, Outsiders? That’s how life can work sometimes, though.

It Almost Happened

He continued, “It sounds super stupid to type but i was considering turning SOA down, I had been cast in a play that I had signed up for that summer at a theatre i really love. Luckily my agent wasn’t having it and we made both work.” The timing was not the best and Reed had to make a difficult decision about the two roles, but we’d surmise he made the right choice going with Sons of Anarchy.

Kurt Sutter on ‘Sons of Anarchy’

Sutter created an incredible world on Sons of Anarchy. However, how did he manage writing such an iconic and complicated character in Jax? Sutter told Variety that he had a “general sense of how I wanted Jax to evolve and perhaps what the end game might be.”

He continued, “I learned that the looser my grip was on that, the better the show was. Meaning, most of the time I hit all those [individual characters’] mile markers, and I moved the mythology forward in the way I wanted to, but what creatively got me excited about the work was that I never knew how we were going to get there. I never knew what the stories were going to be. I didn’t know how the characters would evolve.”

He concluded, “I didn’t know which characters would become essential in the revealing of the mythology.”

It was all ever-flowing for Sutter. He wanted to see it all play out a bit organically with the blueprint to fall back on.

Sons of Anarchy can still be viewed on Hulu.