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Sons of Anarchy - Season 5 - Kurt Sutter Interview

Question: When did you know Opie’s fate, and when did Ryan Hurst know what was going to happen?

KURT SUTTER: He was looped in. I didn’t just send him the script. I started thinking about it, in terms of that arc between Jax and Opie, really towards the end of Season 3. And then, it all came together with the death of Piney, last year. I got to the end of that season and realized that there was this circular dynamic that was happening with Jax and Opie that I felt was very difficult to get out of, in terms of where their arc was going. Ryan is an extraordinary actor. As we came into this season, knowing that this is really the first season I’ve had to think about the end game, and knowing where I want to take my hero and knowing how I want him to get there and the road that I want him to travel, I felt that Jax needed the emotional upheaval. One event that happens in a man’s life that can change the course of his destiny, and I think the death of his best friend was that event. I really wanted to do it at a point in the season that was organic, but I also wanted it to happen earlier rather than have it be the finale. And then, as far as bringing the actor in the loop, I did that before we even started writing. As we were breaking the stories, I brought Ryan in. It’s a difficult thing. He’s very plugged into the show and loves the character. Ryan is a super sensitive dude, and it was difficult for both of us to figure out how to do this. I think when he read the script, and reading the episodes that follow, he understood the nature of it and the importance of it, in the mythology of the show.

Source and more: Collider

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