(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains major plot points from this week’s episode of Sons of Anarchy, “What a Piece of Work Is Man,” as well as Boardwalk Empire’s series finale. Read at your own risk.)
It was the most upsetting death of a TV Bobby since NYPD Blue’s Bobby Simone (Jimmy Smits): Sons of Anarchy’s lovably lethal Bobby Munson (Mark Boone Junior) was gunned down by rival gang leader August Marks (Billy Brown) after being held captive and tortured over the past two episodes. Boone chatted with Vulture about Bobby’s final ride.
When did you get the call that Bobby was going down?
A long time ago. I think it was in August. So I’ve been living with this for a while.
Did you figure it was coming eventually?
I believe I heard along the way that EVERYONE DIES!
Everyone in general or everyone on Sons of Anarchy?
Well, that, too. That was always something that floated around for pretty much the whole series. We all deserve to die. The Sons are kind of a horror.
How did you feel about the way Bobby died?
Oh, I thought it was like a Sunday afternoon walk in the park. [Laughs.]
It was kind of a long good-bye, wasn’t it?
Yes, it was a long Sunday afternoon walk in the park. It kind of stretched out over a little while. He seemed to weather it okay, until maybe the very end there. The broken-jaw bit was a little disconcerting. But the rest — who needs two eyes, you know? And two hands? You don’t really need your fingers for a suicide clutch.
What was it like shooting your final scene?
As Tommy [Flanagan, a.k.a. Chibs] was doing that bit over the blood, and I was stuffed in the van, after a couple of minutes, I screamed, “What the fuck is this? A 20-minute scene?” And then when I watched the episode today, I was like, “Oh, Jesus, what an idiot I am!” Tommy was so great there. Anyway, my last day was pretty tough. It was a lot tougher on them, it seemed, than it was on me, because I was dead.
Have you hung around the set after Bobby died?
No, they don’t allow me. I go to the gate, and they turn me away. It’s pretty sad. [Laughs.]
Because they don’t want you to know what happens next and spoil it?
No, those guys are done with me. Charlie [Hunnam] and Tommy, for two weeks after I got captured, they just started talking on the set as if I were dead. I was just like, “Hey, guys, I’m here still! I’m still kicking. You really don’t need to talk about me like that.” They just would totally ignore me. It really hurt pretty deep.
The fans still love Bobby. Why do you think he was embraced as one of the most popular characters on the show?
That’s what I hear. Truthfully, I really don’t know. I suspect it is because I adopted the attitude that somebody had to be right in this club, sort of. Not really right, but I tried to bring a positive attitude — or, I would say, a more equanimous attitude.
He was kind of the voice of reason. How will Jax function without him?
But he isn’t a reasonable person. He doesn’t do reasonable things. How reasonable was Bobby? I don’t know. Bobby knew everything, pretty much. When Jax doesn’t want to fess up to the fact that maybe his father killed himself, Bobby would’ve been all over that. Chibs lets him slide on that, but I know Bobby wouldn’t have. Maybe that’s why Bobby had to go.
The characters are all monsters, as you said. So why is the show beloved?
Well, as I called it for the first few years, it was the Robin Hoods and Their Merry Men. Even in the heinousness, there was some kind of justice running through it, until this last season, of course, when all their actions are based on a lie. That’s why Clay [Ron Perlman] was the awful force he was, because he was so duplicitous. There were many strangely redeeming aspects of things that came up on the show. The Sons of Anarchy were somehow responsible for keeping Charming, [California] charming. They kept big business out of it. That was really important for many seasons. There are many things that run through the series that are strangely counterbalancing to the murder. There’s a lot of murder in TV shows these days.
What’s next for you in your career?
Oh, man, I’ve been doing this for a long time. I made my first movie 36 years ago. I’ve done a lot of theater. I’ve produced, written, and directed, and I want to direct more. On Sons of Anarchy’s last day of shooting, I was doing another movie with Connie Stevens and Crispin Glover, in which Connie blew me away with a shotgun. What an unbelievable treat she is! I’m doing another movie starting tomorrow with none other than David LaBrava [SoA’s Happy] directing.
Your old friend and writing partner Steve Buscemi is free from his series Boardwalk Empire now. Any chance you’ll collaborate again?
I would love to do something with Steve again. We live on opposite sides of the country. Believe me, anything I do, I will get Steve in.
Have you spoken with him since Boardwalk’s finale aired?
I have not, actually. I’ve been just a little busy.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but you guys might be able to commiserate.
I know. People have told me. I talked with someone the two of us worked with, and he was like, “Oh, Steve’s down!”