For years, Ron Perlman was one of television’s most fearsomely hardcore villains as Sons of Anarchy’s moral-lite patriarch Clay Morrow. His presence was such a major part of the show that one might assume he’d have continued keeping up with it after his insanely bloody death in Season 6. But that wasn’t the case, and apparently he didn’t even watch the finale to witness the fate of his many co-stars. Why not? He’d already moved on.
Anyone keeping up with Perlman’s thought process in his final years on the show knows he wasn’t that pleased with the fractured character arc that Kurt Sutter put Clay through, and how it took away from the SAMCRO leader’s inwardly noble cause. And so once he wasn’t wearing the patch anymore, Perlman didn’t feel the need to look back. Here’s the simple way he put it.
When I was done, I was done.
Now, it’s usually not surprising when actors reveal that they haven’t watched something they starred in, but Perlman wasn’t there in the final season, so he didn’t have to worry about watching his character continue to tumble downward. He’s a busy guy, sure, but this show gave Perlman one of his biggest career boosts, and like he put it to TVLine, it was “a gamechanger in terms of me getting a table at a restaurant,” which he joked is one of the most important parts about being famous.
Even though he didn’t watch, the events from the finale and the previous episodes were made clear for him via social media. And when asked what his reaction was to hearing about the deaths of the major characters, including Gemma and Jax, his response was perfect.
Inevitable, I guess. Inevitable. You know, the big logline was, ‘This is Hamlet on Harleys,’ so Hamlet died, everybody died. Gertrude definitely died. Claudius definitely died. Ophelia died…and the one guy who lives, [Sutter] kills him in Season 3, so that should’ve lit a big signal.
It is indeed a telling sign for where characters will end up when a series is partly based on one of Shakespeare’s tragedies. So maybe Perlman felt like he already knew where it was going, so he didn’t feel the need to watch it. Or maybe he was just tired of that particular brand of relentless violence. In any case, the final season’s ratings were big enough that missing out on one viewer wasn’t so detrimental. I wonder if he’ll tune into the spinoff.
If you’re interested in seeing what Ron Perlman has been up to post-Sons of Anarchy, you can find him as a judge with a particular type of God complex in the Amazon drama Hand of God, which debuts on Friday, September 4.