Scottish actor Tommy Flanagan was famous for roles in films like Braveheart, He has had roles in Face/Off, Gladiator, and Sin City. The 48 year-old’s latest role is as Vice President Filip “Chibs” Telford on the FX drama Sons Of Anarchy, which enters its sixth season.
We caught up with him at Comic-Con in San Diego, where he shared with us in his colorfully thick Scottish brogue his personal encounters with fans.
“Oh, my God,” he says, “Well, for instance, I was riding my motorcycle and I had the filthiest helmet on and pulled up at a gas station and this couple recognized me beneath my helmet.”
“How the fuck did they?” Flanagan adds, “I have no idea. But, anyway, they came in the gas station and they’re like, ‘Oh, my God!’ Soon as you step off your bike and walk outside, it’s just, it’s crazy.”
We asked Flanagan what it was like to sign autographs here at Comic-Con.
“Well, no, we kind of do these things all over the country,” Tommy says, “We go and sign a lot. We go to a lot of motorcycle rallies and charities and doing these kind of things. I just got back actually. I was in Jacksonville or Louisville, sorry, guys, I apologize, but it was pretty crazy. The fans are just insanely in love with this show.”
Chibs is famous on Sons Of Anarchy for his friendship with Juice, played by Theo Rossi. We talked to Tommy about how Juice admitted to the club that his father was black and how the friendship of the club seemed to trump racism.
“To me, I was like, ‘This is why you fucking turn into this little shitbag rat because that’s, really, that’s stupid fucking ridiculous,’” Flanagan says, “That was my take on it.”
We asked Flanagan if he feels that sends a clear message to audiences to put aside prejudice.
“I hope so,” Tommy says, “I hear all prejudice or all racism or whatever, but it just part of this horrible world we live that’s not going to change. And the world that we live in this show, there’s so much hatred and bigotry and racism, and it’s kind of good that you can walk through that stuff and you think, ‘Oh, my God, I don’t realize how bad it was until you’re actually filming it, and then, you realized how fucked up this world really is.’ So I suppose it’s a bit of a wake-up call sometimes.”
We felt it’s an unexpected benefit for viewers to learn social lessons from such a seemingly gritty drama.
“Well, you kind of do, yeah,” Flanagan replies, “Because it’s so extreme, I think.”
We asked Flanagan to tell us what we are to expect from Sons Of Anarchy in the future.
“Oh, my God,” Tommy replies, “It’s so goddamn dark. I mean, to me, it’s a different show this year. It’s just so dark, and there’s so many things that happen that will just freak you guys out, I mean, freak you the fuck out, but yeah, it’s quite a season.”
We replied to Tommy that it was quite a statement considering how dark the series has already been thus far.
“Yeah, but you know what, forget that,” Flanagan says, “That was sunshine. Tie your boots. Tie your boots tight, because it’s going to be crazy.”