Sons of Anarchy's Theo Rossi Breaks Down New, 'Animalistic' Juice: He's 'Gone to a Different Place'

TheoRossiSOAThis story contains spoilers from Tuesday’s Sons of Anarchy. Head to a different TVLine article now if you’ve yet to watch…

There’s something you need to know about Sons of Anarchy‘s Juice — and his portrayer Theo Rossi is here to share it with you.

You see, the fun-loving SAMCRO stud of yesteryear is most definitely no more — a fact that should have become abundantly clear in this latest installment of the gritty FX juggernaut. In his place, explains the actor, stands an “animalistic” and “violent” man who is merely “trying so hard to show everybody that he’s here” to be part of this club, by whatever means necessary.

Here, Rossi breaks down Sons of Anarchy‘s Juice-y twist, from what’s causing his alter ego’s transformation to where this change is (very unfortunately) going to take him.

TVLINE | You told me back at the premiere party that I should be scared for Juice, but now I’m actually a little scared of him.
If you think that’s dark, Meg, you’re in trouble. [Laughs]

TVLINE | This week was definitely the start of that more violent side you’ve hinted at.
And I said that before I knew a bunch of other things! So, yeah…

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TVLINE | So what we’ve seen so far is really just that violence bubbling on the surface?
What’s so brilliant about our show is that nothing is ever [left] unresolved; we always delay something…and then all of a sudden we lay something else down. The beginning of the season, where Juice had to kill the girl with the pillow – or where he killed the girl, whether he had to or not – was the beginning of a different time for Juice. And what you start to see in this week’s episode is him trying to figure out how he’s going to fit into this [club]. Does he have to become this violent, animalistic-type character? Is that what the club wants from him? Because if it is, he’s going to do that. But his innocence is always going to be there, and you’re going to see this complete battle within him. Episode 6 is just the beginning of how that all starts to play out and the repercussions that [will eventually] come from it. That’s the best way I can say it.

TVLINE | You also told me recently that you think Juice’s fight with Chibs made him snap. That’s mentioned briefly this week, but will we actually see more of that issue come to light?
That beating is a factor, among a couple of other things that have occurred. The Clay thing was also huge for him. Sitting in that house with Gemma [last season] and being the one who planted the gun and got Clay’s fingerprints on stuff – his involvement in that has a huge [impact]… Chibs cared for Juice greatly and then beat him senseless, and what Juice came to realize in that moment was that maybe there’s nobody. Maybe nobody cares. And maybe the only person who did care was Clay. But then I go back to that Juice is super gullible, and he wants to believe that everybody is doing the right thing for him and never questions if they’re using him. What he’s battling here is what he’s been battling since Season 4, which is [trying to find out] where he fits in. The way Episode 6 goes, it’s Juice trying to be this guy. He’s never been this guy. And when Jax tells him to slow down, he thinks, ‘OK, well then what guy do I be?’

TVLINE | Even when Juice was just in the background this week, he had a seriously deranged look in his eyes. What was happening there? Just adrenaline from that police chase?
[Laughs] A couple of different things: You’re completely correct about the adrenaline high. He’s thinking, ‘This makes me feel good in the moment, this violence.’ And at the same time, how much of it is that he’s snapped? I believe in my mind, and I believe that it was shown in a brief moment on that couch in the second episode, that Juice has gone to a different place. I don’t think he’s the same guy anymore. At all. There are moments of him… Somebody saw a preview of the chase scene from tonight’s episode and said how nice it was to see Juice laugh again. [Laughs] And it’s funny because it’s true. He was this innocent guy with this lapdog humor to him; he was just so happy to part of everything. And then obviously in Season 4 everything went down the tubes. Juice has fought before and killed before, sadly. [Laughs] But this is different.

I just have to echo what [Sons creator] Kurt [Sutter] said recently in tweet, something like, before you want to talk about this season or judge this season — in a good or bad way – watch the entire season as a whole, and then talk about it. This truly is one of those seasons where it almost has to be watched as one piece – and sadly that’s not the way it works on television because you have to wait every week. [Laughs] But to watch it all as one piece, this whole story that Kurt has created this year is absolutely masterful and I can’t wait for everybody to see it. I really can’t.

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TVLINE | Will any particular Son confront Juice over his behavior?
Everybody right now knows everything from Juice’s past, so every move he makes is in the spotlight for every member. And that’s why he’s really trying so hard. He’s trying so hard to show everybody that he’s here to do this.

TVLINE | More generally, can you talk about the dynamic within the club now that Bobby’s back with these new members?
Jax said it to August Marks: ‘Our club is anemic at this point. We don’t have anyone.’ We need to strengthen, especially being the original Sons of Anarchy club. What Bobby does by bringing them in only strengthens us. But at the same time, just like anything, change is always something people have to get used to. Or at least try to figure out.

TVLINE | Overall, this was a lighter episode with a noticeably lighter ending – is all as well as it seems with SAMCRO ending its gun run?
Well, that’s always the most dangerous thing on our show, right? [Laughs] When things end on a lighter note? Kurt has said this is the most violent season, and it is. I’m not saying that in a way of, ‘Ooh, it’s so violent! Watch what happens!’ It’s just a violent season because this world has been set up for five seasons now. We don’t have a lot of time left in the show. A lot of things need to be answered. So, when things end on a lighter note, I mean, we both know that’s not a good sign. [Laughs]

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21 Comments
  1. Pat D. says:

    YES! Venus is back!!!!
    Katey was awesome visibly trying to keep a straight face during her serious scene with Walt, LOL.
    My favorite moment, though, was Jax asking the cop to apologize to the crew, and then happily elbowing him in the face.

    • AshleyRae says:

      I really LOVED this ep. i was scared for juice and now knowing that he’s taking a bit of a turn…….chibs did a real good job giving him that beating. Tara divorcing jax hahaha i knew it…….so much for thier so called ‘love story’ that B.S is NOW out the window.
      Glad to see bobby back and along w/new members. Tig and that whole smokey the bandit movie thing got me cracking up……and Venus van dame is back YAYYYYY!! walton gogins is awesome as her!

      • Matt says:

        Tara divorcing Jax has nothing to do with her not loving him. Nothing. If she goes to jail she wants her kids out of Charming. Tara loves Jax so much that she’s willing to go to jail for him.

        • AshleyRae says:

          Well it seems gemma knows something cuz she’s gonna kick her ass (tara) in the next episode.DA patterson is gonna give tara a fight in court wheather she likes it or not…….she’s SCREWED!

        • Italia says:

          Why is she faking a pregnancy? Why is she confessing to Unser, she knows he will repeat everything to Gemma. Something does not fit with this story line. Jax and Tara doing a sudden 360 after telling each other everything. What happened to her in jail that made her not want to see Jax.

          • Rae says:

            I think she’s faking it to get back at both gemma and jax. And i’m going to stick to my theory that she was probbly ‘raped’ or assulted in jail and she probbly DIDN’T want to see jax cause if she tells him…..of course he”ll tell the rest of the MC and go kill the S.O.B(s).

          • cheryl says:

            I think she is faking the pregnancy to have a reason to be at the hospital all of the time. After a while, Jax or Gemma may suspect something is up.

      • webgerl says:

        “Yeah Ive seen Smokey and the Bandit 1000 times…. I love that movie”

    • Eliza says:

      It was nice to see Venus again! Ha! And seeing Walt Goggins made me wish Justified was back already. I seriously love that show!

    • Jeanette says:

      Dont forget when Chibs stands up on his bike yelling “that boy aint right” about Juice. That was pretty funny.

  2. James D says:

    good episode it’s nice to see bobby back again. Juice is definitely turning i can only imagine what kind of crap is going to go down with him. Terra seems pretty screwed, not sure how that’s going to play out. Walton Goggins you beautiful SOB why can’t you be on my TV screen every second of the day, even if it’s Venus.

  3. Pat D. says:

    Also, Kudos to FX for giving the green light on all of these extended eps. Even the 90 minute (or whatever with commercials) ones go by leaving you wanting more.

  4. elaine1014 says:

    I can’t believe there are only 8 comments thus far! I thought this was a great transistion episode from the catastrophic explosion the week before. I knew Bobby was going to come back home to SAMCRO, I wasn’t expecting him to bring recruits with him however so that was a nice surprise. And VENUS! I was thrilled to see Walton Goggins again…the only thing that would have made it better would have been a Tig/Venus reunion. <3

  5. Shaun says:

    Best episode in awhile.Jax had some great moments.Kinda like season 1 again.

  6. Terry says:

    Great episode all the way around and I like it that the sheriff doesn’t believe Nero is guilty. He is trying to be a stand up guy even though he knows what the club is all about. Hope they spring Nero soon and he doesn’t turn against the club.

  7. webgerl says:

    I loved this episode, yes it was a transitional episode but there was some fun again for the first time in a while. Greatt to see Bobby back, great to see Chibs and Juice making up and “Yes sir I’m sorry for my behaviour today”

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