The cast of Sons of Anarchy was an integral part of the show. The cast had chemistry, and each actor filled their role perfectly. But what if the show had been cast differently? It’s a little known fun fact that Scott Glenn was originally slated to play Clay Morrow. What if other actors had been slated to play Jax Teller or Bobby Munson? If there had to be replacements, these are the picks we’d want to see in an alternate casting of SOA.
Piney Winston: Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken is old. He’s a Hollywood dinosaur, but an absolute legend of a performer who has hit every note in the range between serious and comedic. He can be absolutely absurd, or thoroughly terrifying. Maybe if he was ten years younger back when the show started he could have made a good Clay. But given his age (and how dissonant this pick would be in all practicality) having Walken in a smaller role where he wouldn’t be overpowering would have been a spectacular addition to Sons of Anarchy.
Clay Morrow: William Dafoe
This is another odd pick. Part of Clay’s charm as a character was Perlman’s slinking and rasping. The way he could carry himself around like a coiled snake during the later seasons. He had a subtle, creeping menace that would feel entirely contrary to a Dafoe depiction. But that’s part of the fun of imagining it. Looking at how Dafoe performed in Boondock Saints, it isn’t hard to imagine him taking Clay in a more bombastic direction then Perlman. Instead of Clay possessing the same energy as a predator hiding in the weeds, he could have had the demeanor of a motorcycle cult leader. A sort of manic, charismatic vibe that would have grown increasingly more deranged as the story went on. While Sons of Anarchy was originally based on Hamlet, it could be exciting to see the story go a more King Leer direction.
Tig Trager: Adam Sandler
Okay, okay, put the pitchforks down. This might seem like an exceptionally odd pick for the show, but hear me out. Sandler is usually a comedian. Everyone knows this. But with 2019’s Uncut Gems, Sandler showed that he was capable of pulling off dramatic roles in addition to his usual comedic repertoire. While his character in Uncut Gems was a sniveling, conniving dirtbag with little backbone, it showed that Sandler was capable of tackling heavy scenes and dark themes. With Sandler’s well developed comedic chops, and clear dramatic talent, watching him portray TV’s most beloved sexual deviant wouldn’t be that big a stretch. Whether it be jokes about the endless list of Tig’s “-philia” interests, or the emotional weight of watching his beloved club crumble around him, Sandler could pull off the character in an interesting way.
Jax Teller: Norman Reedus
Norman Reedus has always excelled at portraying the intricacies of “white trash”. He was an integral part of Boondock Saints, a story about two irish-catholic twins who shoot up Boston’s criminal underground. He portrayed Daryll on The Walking Dead for what felt like aeons. As spectacular as Charlie Hunnam was in the role, Norman would have probably been a great alternative in a world where Charlie didn’t end up an actor. He’s already well versed in the type of character he would be playing, and while he wouldn’t have the same “pretty boy” vibe that Hunnam brought to his portrayal of Teller, Reedus would bring a unique feel to the character. His washed out, unseemly tweaker vibe that he brought to The Walking Dead would have blended perfectly in a show about white trash bikers.