Interview: Theo Rossi on ‘Sons of Anarchy’, Playing Juice and Wanting the Show to “Run Forever” (video)
Juice! One of my favorite characters on Sons of Anarchy, Juice, is played by Theo Rossi. He’s got a huge fan base (I’m basing this on our search stats here on Daily Actor alone – we’re very scientific) and I can see why. I’ve had a chance to talk to him a few times now and he’s always been so damn nice, funny and cool. Of course, it’s hard not to be cool with a mo-hawk on top of your head.
I talked to him at Comic-Con in a roundtable interview about the new season, if he knows what will happen to his character prior to filming and if it feels like the show is coming to an end.
For the full interview, check out the video below.
Sons of Anarchy premieres on Tuesday, September 10th at 10pm
What are your favorite shows at the moment?
Theo Rossi: My favorite TV shows? Game of Thrones is tremendous. What am I watching right now? I watch Newsroom, I just watched the premiere. The Americans is probably my favorite show on television, it’s incredible, besides Sons, of course. Obviously. I don’t need to say that. The Americans is great, I just watched The Bridge, but I’m really invested in The Americans and Game of Thrones is so great. It’s just so… the world of it. There’s a lot of new stuff coming up that should be cool.
It’s funny, I remember when we started, we went to our first FX thing and I was a huge psychotic Shield fan and I watched… and I was with [Walton] Goggins and [Michael] Chiklis and all them and we were these new people coming up and I was like, “Man, if we could be half the show they are. If we could have half the audience they do.” And I remember them looking at us like, “Oh, look at these new guys coming in,” because they were the OG’s in the network. And now we’re the guys who when we see all these other ones we’re like, “Eh, get out of here you bastards.” So I want to be like Sunny in Philadelphia and run forever.
Can you feel the show coming to an end?
Theo Rossi: I think when Opie, I think the Opie episode kind of started that train rolling. You know what I mean? Where it was like, “Oh, ok. We’re not going to run forever.” You know what I mean? It was one of those, “We’re not One Life To Live. This is eventually going to end.” And I think that was kind of that deal.
So it’s like every script is so intense. It’s so intense and yet at the same time, the one thing that he does so well is there’s humor in them all. There’s funny stuff that kind of rears its head all the time because in the madness and in the intensity comes this humor, which usually happens in these really dire situations. So, I’m really lucky as the character Juice because I’ve been able to play kind of every emotion. I’ve been the funny guy, I’ve been the sad guy, the aggressive guy, and now we see this whole new kind of side of him.
Do you know what’s going to happen to your character prior to the season or when you’re turning the page you’re like, “Oh, crap.”
Theo Rossi: No, Kurt [Sutter] is so great with giving everybody a heads up and taking meetings and he kind of gives you the general layout. Obviously not the specifics because every script is not written, but you kind of get the overall arc of what’s going to go down.
And then for me, what I was just saying is so true. I love when actors say, “My character.” It’s not your character, Kurt created the character. I play the character. And I’ve never trusted a writer or somebody as much as I trust him. Whatever he writes, he knows it and he knows… and, again, I’ve been super lucky because I’ve kind of gone all over the map with the character, so whatever he does is fantastic.
So it’s really cool and this season is… I’m really… this is probably the most excited I am for people to see kind of the trajectory of Juice and kind of the whole deal. It’s really cool.
Can you talk about how you reacted to when you find out that Opie was going to die?
Theo Rossi: Ryan [Hurst] is one of my boys, so when I found it, when we all found out, it was one of those things. That’s an intimate team member. You know what I mean? This was a guy that we’re all there 14, 16 hours a day every day, 6 months a year and then in the off season we hang out too. So it was kind of a… it was that moment, like I said, where it was like, “Oh, ok. Well, this is kinda how it goes down. I’m not gonna have the Mohawk forever. I’m gonna actually have to have hair.” And it’s just one of those things where it kinda signifies… because you get caught up, man. You don’t realize we started this journey in ’08. It’s 2013 and it’s like you realize that things go. So it’s like that Shield reference where they looked at us and now we’re looking at the other thing. It’s just time keeps moving. So I think the Opie thing was a reality check.