Some of the bikers in the show are actually real-life gang members. Can you guess who?
‘Son of Anarchy’ was a hit crime drama that ended in 2014 after a good seven-season run. About a gang of bikers and revolving around one Jax Teller, the series focused on Jax’s attempts to fulfill his father’s vision for the club he is a part of. It was about a gang of people lying on the fringes of society, and it had violence and heavy-handed action, with a blood count that could make your eyes water. In many ways, the show was an exploration of America’s biker culture, helped along with good writing and great characters. But while we watch these morally ambiguous people sailing on their tough bikes on deserted roads, we wonder which of the ‘Sons of Anarchy’ bikers are also real-life bikers?
- The showrunners roped in an actual Hell’s Angels member
- A reel adaptation of a real-life character
The showrunners roped in an actual Hell’s Angels member
When Kurt Sutter, the creator of the show, was doing his research while developing the show, he visited many bike shops as well as local clubs. These locations would eventually help him find real members of bike gangs and bring several of them onboard the series as consultants. Sutter found a few extras in this way, but now and again, he also found an ex-gang member who would turn out to be the perfect casting choice for him. And, as it turns out, one of the cast members is not just an actual biker, but he is, in fact, a former member of the notorious biker gang Hell’s Angels.
The character of the trigger – happy Happy, who enjoys murdering people so much that he even gets himself tattooed a smiley face every time he kills someone, is played by David Labrava, who used to be a member of ‘Hell’s Angels‘ Oakland chapter. He was originally brought on the show as crew, to serve as technical advisor, but when given the opportunity to act on it, Labrava dived right in.
A reel adaptation of a real-life character
The character of Rane Quinn is played by Rusty Coones, another member of Hell’s Angels whose real-life escapades, much like the character he plays, are quite outside the law. Owner of the bike shop Illusion Motorsports, Coones was based in and worked out of Westminster, California, before he tipped over to the wrong side of the law. Coones’ character on the screen is arguable a small screen adaption of his personality in reality. Coones has been imprisoned two times, one of which was for possessing guns and illegal substances.
For the part-time actor, working on ‘Sons of Anarchy’ was a way for him to establish himself as a custom bike builder and bring people’s attention to his work projects so that it would bring him more of those. Many of the bikes on the show have been, in fact, built by him.
Certain actors tend to take the role they’re playing home so that they can work on them. But for some of these ‘Sons of Anarchy’ bikers, work apparently didn’t have to come home. It was already at home in the first place!