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Sons Of Anarchy's Ron Perlman Found Himself Needing To Lie Down After Some Of The Show's Shocking Scenes

"Sons of Anarchy" is a show that thrived not only on complex, morally questionable characters but on pure shock value. Throughout its seven-season run, it never shied away from (often gruesomely) killing off main characters or going in unexpected directions. "Sons of Anarchy" focused on Jackson "Jax" Teller (Charlie Hunnam), the vice president of SAMCRO, a motorcycle club and criminal gang. The show deals with his growing disillusion with this life of crime and a desire to take the club in a more legal and legitimate direction.

Jax's plans were often at odds with Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), the president of the club and often the antagonist of the series, especially during its early years. Clay and the rest of the club would often engage in extreme acts of violence to protect themselves and their business interests, which is hardly surprising for a show about a motorcycle gang airing on a network like FX. However, some of these sequences were almost too much for Perlman, who would sometimes feel the need to lie down after reading what would happen. 

Perlman believes Sons of Anarchy pushed its violence pretty far

During an interview with Collider in 2008, Ron Perlman spoke at length about his overall career and extensively about his time on "Sons of Anarchy." While he loved working on the show, some of the early scripts he read for the series shocked him, especially when it came to the violence. In fact, some scenes were so much that he felt like he needed to lie down after reading certain sequences.

"Well, I'm not surprised by the level of violence in the show," Perlman said. "I knew these were pretty ruthless, rough guys, but there are certain things that we're doing that shock even me, and I thought I was shockproof. It's pretty hardcore. I mean, you start getting to the third episode, the fourth episode, the fifth episode, I mean, we do stuff that is like — I finished reading it and I was just like, I've got to lie down. It's definitely — the envelope is being breached."

Perlman's level of shock makes sense, especially since this interview took place pretty early on in the show before he had a real chance to adjust to the levels of violence and destruction that would come to define the series. Still, other shows that have aired on FX and other basic cable networks have definitely featured their own extreme levels of violence, like "American Horror Story" and "Breaking Bad." Being so close to a project like Perlman was with "Sons of Anarchy" also probably made it more personal, and thus, more shocking.