Stephen King on Sons of Anarchy: How it happened

Stephen King on Sons of Anarchy
Stephen King appeared on Sons of Anarchy. Pic credit: FX

Stephen King is one of the top-selling horror authors of all-time, with over 60 novels to his name.

While King released some of the best horror novels of all-time, he has also made his name thanks to movies. However, it was almost always with films based on his books.

Then, in 2010, King shocked his fans when he appeared in the hit FX television series Sons of Anarchy.

Here is everything you need to know about his appearance on the show, including how it happened and what his role was all about.

How did Stephen King appear on Sons of Anarchy?

Stephen King wrote a column at the time for Entertainment Weekly, and in one of his columns, he praised Sons of Anarchy. In that article, King said:

“I like the show, it’s one of those shows which seems to have gotten better as it goes along, it’s found its groove.”

With that praise, King revealed that Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter contacted King and asked him to be on the show in the future.

King himself said that:

“[Creator] Kurt Sutter got in touch with me, [and] said if you’re ever out here, we’d like to have you on the show,” King said. “Ordinarily, I would say no, but he said he’d put me on a Harley, so here I am.”

King also wrote up something for his website about the experience.

“I was in Los Angeles, where SOA films, to accept a library award; creator Kurt Sutter assured me that he’d write me a suitably nasty part (in various films I’ve been stuck playing a series of mentally challenged country bumpkins),” King said. “Most important of all, he said he’d put me on a bitchin Harley. How could I say no?”

King said that he got to meet members of the cast, with Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman being the two he was most excited to meet.

Perlman himself was cast in two of King’s movies (Sleepwalkers and Desperation), and King said he got some Hellboy photos for his three grandsons.

“I also got to act with Katey Sagal, who plays Gemma, the scary matriarch of the Sons clan, and Kim Coates, who plays Tig,” King said. “They treated me like a professional, which I most assuredly am not. So did director Billy Gierhart (who also worked on The Mist).”

Stephen King’s past acting experience

King has a point when it comes to his acting experience.

His most famous role came in the anthology movie Creepshow, where King portrayed hillbilly farmer Jordy Verrill in the “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill,” based on King’s short story Weeds (from Cavalier magazine in May 1976).

A lot of fans also remember King from the opening of Maximum Overdrive, which was the one adaptation that King himself directed (based on his short story Trucks).

Other notable appearances include a minister in Pet Sematary and a shopkeeper in the 2019 film It Chapter 2,

Why the name Bachman?

Stephen King played a cleaner named Bachman in Sons of Anarchy.

This is a massive nod to King’s life as an author.

After King hit it big with Carrie, he wanted to prove he could write in a different style. He knew he was pigeonholed into a role as a horror author and wanted to prove he could sell books even if no one knew it was him.

King was also a fast and prolific writer and wanted to release more than one book a year, whereas his publishers said more than one King book would glut the market.

King created the pseudonym Richard Bachman and released his first novel under that name called Rage in 1977.

King even created a biography for Bachman.

After releasing five novels as Richard Bachman (Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork, The Running Man, and Thinner), a bookstore clerk named Steve Brown began to guess that Bachman was Stephen King, which he proved through research.

King then reported that Bachman died in 1985 of “cancer of the pseudonym.”

Stephen King referenced this in his later novel The Dark Half and then released two more books with Bachman’s name on it (The Regulators and Blaze).

Bachman on Sons of Anarchy

Stephen King appeared on Sons of Anarchy in the Season 3 episode Caregiver.

He played a “cleaner” named Bachman, who Tig hired to come in and dispose of the body of Gemma’s father’s live-in caretaker, Amelia Dominguez.

In the episode, Amelia was dating Tig and learned that there was a warrant and reward for Gemma’s arrest. Gemma stopped her and duct-taped her to a chair in the basement.

However, while Tara was caring for Tig, who was accidentally shot by Gemma’s father, Amelia escapes and attacks Gemma, dying in the fight.

Tig then calls in Bachman, who arrives and disposes of Amelia’s body down a slip sink in the basement.

Bachman finished the job and accepted only $1,600 for payment and took the remainder in allowing him to take something from the house, where he chose a golden pair of praying hands and then drove off on his bright red Harley-Davidson Road-Glide.

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