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David Labrava Was Part Of Sons Of Anarchy From The Start

Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), and the other members of SAMCRO are all guys you don't want to cross. Most have at least several murders under their belt, whether it's someone from a rival biker gang or a loved one, like Jax's mother Gemma Teller Morrow (Katey Sagal). However, one SAMCRO member takes violence to a new level on "Sons of Anarchy," which is why he's often referred to as the club's assassin.

Of course, we're talking about Happy Lowman (David Labrava), the sergeant-at-arms who revels in torturing and taking out SAMCRO foes. In fact, for every enjoyable kill, he gets a new smiley face tattooed on his stomach. Season 1 sees Happy already boasting over a dozen of these grinning commemorations. 

While Labrava's "assassin" personality only comes out on screen, he does have something in common with Happy; years ago, Labrava was part of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and, as reported by The Missoulian, was arrested in 2008 for drug possession. He eventually stepped away from the outlaw life. He wrote, in part, on Instagram in 2019, "The only club I am a member of now, is the Human Race. I have chosen to leave the club in good standing, honorably, of my own free will. I am no longer a patch holder."

Still, Labrava's experience as an outlaw biker allowed him to become part of "Sons of Anarchy" from the very beginning, even before he was officially cast as Happy.

David Labrava was hired as the technical advisor before becoming Happy

In an effort to make "Sons of Anarchy" as authentic as possible, creator Kurt Sutter spent many days with real-life motorcycle clubs (via FX). This is when he encountered David Labrava, who was hired to be the show's technical advisor. "We spent some time together and then I asked him, 'Whenever you cast the show, I'd like a chance to be on it,'" Labrava said in a Behind the CUT interview. "He gave me a shot to be on it and here I am."

For seven years, Labrava served in a dual capacity, drawing from his Hells Angels experience to offer technical advice, while earning more smiley faces on screen. In fact, aside from Sutter, "Sons of Anarchy" has been part of Labrava's life for more time than any other cast or crew member. He told Red Carpet News TV, "I am the longest human being involved with the show. I'm five networks involved before FX got it in their hands."

Labrava never envisioned himself entering the world of Hollywood, let alone being part of such a major television show. He told Collider that his early ambitions were tattooing, painting, and writing. Labrava's passion for writing also was exercised for "Sons of Anarchy," when he co-wrote Season 4, Episode 10 ("Hands") of the series.