The new season of “Sons of Anarchy” started out with a bang, as new character Damon Pope arrived and turned the entire series on its head. On Sept. 11, The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Harold Perrineau about his role as Pope, and the plans for his character.
“I think I’m the last person you think could play this character,” Perrineau said. “For me, it’s not that hard because it’s not that different from ‘Lost’ because I’m playing a grieving father.”
On “Lost,” Perrineau played Michael Dawson, a man whose only concern was getting his son Walt back from The Others. To do so, he betrayed his fellow plane crash survivors. However, his character on “Sons of Anarchy” is a completely different beast. What he did in the Season 5 debut episode was horrifying and cringe-worthy.
In the Season 4 finale, longtime character Tig accidentally killed Pope’s daughter. Pope, the leader of the One-Niners, showed up in the Season 5 debut, wearing a dapper suit, riding in an expensive black car, and had Tig arrested.
He then manipulated a crooked cop to allow Pope to chain Tig up to watch as he doused his daughter in gasoline. Pope then tossed a lit cigar on her and Tig had to watch his daughter burn to death, all while screaming for her dad’s help.
This scene was easily one of the hardest to watch for anyone with a child of their own.
“Between you and me, I literally kind of froze. I got very, very distraught,” Kim Coates said about learning of the script plans. Coates has two daughters of his own. “When I got the script a couple months later, it was like, ‘f—, are you kidding me,’”
The scene easily stands as one of the most intense, and scarring, in recent television history. No matter the repercussions, this show will never be the same after Harold Perrineau’s debut episode.