Charlie Hunnam Rarely Used a Body Double on ‘Sons of Anarchy’ — Except for This Iconic Scene
- Charlie Hunnam bared a lot of his body over his seven seasons as Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy.
- But one of the most iconic scenes of the entire series actually used a body double.
- Hunnam has admitted that after Sons of Anarchy ended, he had trouble leaving Jax behind.
Charlie Hunnam played motorcycle gang president Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy for seven seasons, from 2008 to 2014. During the series’ run, Hunnam immersed himself into the biker life and did everything he could to get into Jax’s mindset. He also rarely used a body double — except for this iconic scene.
British actor Charlie Hunnam transformed into American biker Jax Teller
Sons of Anarchy marked the first time Hunnam was the lead in an American TV series, and he threw himself into the role. The British actor adopted an American accent, wore flannel shirts like Jax, and refused to drive a car over a motorcycle.
He went so far as to buy the same model as Jax rode on the FX series. He also hung out with real-life bikers and admits to acting like a “maniac” on numerous occasions.
Jax Teller’s tattoos aren’t real
The one thing that Hunnam didn’t do was get real Jax Teller ink. In the series, Jax had several tattoos. Including the Sons of Anarchy logo on his back, a tribute to his father on his right arm, a tribute to his deceased brother on his left arm, and his son’s name “Abel” on his chest. The ink definitely looked real on screen, but they weren’t permanent tattoos.
“I have a tattoo actually on my back which is a huge pain in the ass because every time I need to take my shirt off in the show, they need to cover my tattoo and lay the other tattoo on top of it which is a really time-consuming process,” Hunnam told Atlantic City Blog in 2013.
Charlie Hunnam used a body double for an iconic scene
Hunnam rarely used a body double on Sons of Anarchy. But after the series came to an end, his body double revealed himself. According to the International Business Times, Hunnam’s body double Tyson Sullivan said he got the job before anyone knew what it was.
Sullivan also dropped a major bombshell — the famous tattooed hot back scene in the Sons of Anarchy opening credits isn’t Hunnam.
“I got booked as the body double of the guy on the show who is Charlie Hunnam, but at the time it was this show that nobody really knew about,” Sullivan explained. “I just went in, there were like five or six of us and they’re like, ‘Take off your shirts, let us look at your backs,’ and that was like the main part.”
Tyson Sullivan’s hands are also in the ‘Sons of Anarchy’ opening credits
In addition to using Sullivan’s back in the opening credits, the show also featured his hand opening the knife and revving the engine of the bike. All of these years that fans thought Hunnam was in the opening credits, and it turned out to be a body double the whole time.
However, those numerous sex scenes that Jax appeared in repeatedly were all Hunnam. Fans got plenty of chances to see his sexy back and much, much more.
Charlie Hunnam had a hard time saying goodbye to Jax Teller
When it came time to say goodbye to Jax, Hunnam admits he had a difficult time letting the character go. According to Looper, the actor revealed that he actually returned to the set after the series wrapped so he could get some closure.
“It was actually quite emotional for me, living and loving that guy for eight years, to have to finally put him to bed. I found myself going back to set a lot. I knew the security guards and for a couple of days said, ‘Oh, I forgot something,’ so they’d let me onto the set, and I’d just walk around at night because I wanted to be in that environment and go through a personal process of saying goodbye.”
All seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy are available on Hulu.