Lou: I’m here with Ryan Hurst who plays Opie on Sons of Anarchy and he has allowed us an exclusive interview today at the Niagara Motorcycle show. First of all Ryan, were you surprised by the success of Sons of Anarchy.
Ryan: Not so much you know, pretty much knew from the get go that it was gonna be pretty much a sure thing. I think the thing I was most surprised by was just the older female demographic. And we knew that guys were gonna tune in but you know, women over 40 is a huge part of our viewing audience, and nobody sort or really expected that.
Lou: Were you at Comic Con last weekend? And how was that cause I saw full panel up there. I saw a couple of clips.
Ryan: Ya, that was insane, you know, they filled the hall up, they did the VH Hall up, like 7500 people there and people dressed up. You know there were a bunch op people dressed up as you know, the characters. and there was one guy dressed up as the Reaper, with the whole props and everything. It was great. Really nice to see you know so many fans out there.
Lou: Is Ron Pearlman really the worst rider?
Ryan: Oh completely. He’s dumped it more times than I can count. Ya, he still really doesn’t know how to ride
Lou: Do you think the show realistically portrays the outlaw biker lifestyle?
Ryan: No, not so much. You know, I mean I think it’s kinda impossible to really, um, it’s just a TV show. We do the best that we can. But also I think if we realistically portrayed what one percenter’s are like, I don’t think that any body would really believe it. Because, you know, we’ve, on and off set, we are friends with a lot of people from different clubs and hang at club houses, and it’s, you know, it’s one thousand percent more intense than we can put on the screen.
Lou: What do you think of your characters d e v e l opment over the series? Like you’re characters gone through some real struggles, you know the betrayal by Clay, that kind of thing?
Ryan: Ya, Um, well as an actor, thats the kinda stuff that you just dream about you know I mean, that you get to play really gritty gritty stuff. Every season, they just sort of keep upping the ante for how much shit that they can put Opie through and um, I love it. Its much more challenging as an actor to really kind of jump in there instead of just walking in there all hunky dory.
Lou Did you do any research into the Biker Outlaw lifestyle before you took the part? And how did you go about that research?
Ryan: Um, You know, I read Hunter S. Thompson’s Hells Angels back in the day and we got to hang out with some of the technical supervisors who are actually in clubs.
Lou: Sonny Barger is one of them?
Ryan: Ya, and we got to meet all of them, and hang out and you know. David LaBrava who plays Happy on the show has been enormously helpful in opening that door to letting everybody really come to know what that lifestyle is like.
Lou: Did you ride before you joined the show?
Ryan: No, absolutely not. That’s one of the reasons, one of the main reasons that I took the show to begin with. Was that I always wanted to learn how to ride and never had the chance to and they said now we are shooting in California and it’s about a Biker club, so do I get to ride? They said, Yes, I said I don’t even need to read the script. Just let me ride and I’ll do it. And now, you know, ever since I started riding, that’s my primary mode of transportation is on the bike.
Lou: Very cool. Thank you very much Ryan for your time.
Ryan: Thank you.