Sons of Anarchy's Clay Morrow may be cooling his heels behind bars, but Ron Perlman is heating up his career with deals to produce and direct films and write his memoirs. "It's the busiest time of my career," says Perlman, who's hosting the SAG Foundation's first tournament at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York today. "If I'm on a roll, I'm going to continue to ride it until it ends. I'm really enjoying myself."
Through his company Wing and a Prayer, Perlman will produce ten films in the next five years, including his big-screen directorial debut, Wooden Lake. "It's a sweet little drama about a family," says Perlman, who will not act in the film. "It's like a soufflé — it takes a light hand — and there's a very powerful, emotional punch at the end."
He's also just signed with Da Capo Press to pen his autobiography, which will be entitled Easy Street the Hard Way. It will cover his life and career from his childhood in New York City to his current run as SOA's deposed biker gang leader Clay.
"Sons has always been difficult for not only the audience but the cast because you want some stability — you want to know the world you're living in and [creator Kurt Sutter] keeps pulling the rug out from under us," says Perlman. "We're always uncomfortable and we're being asked to play uncomfortable people in an unstable world, and that's probably the thing that makes it most compelling. It's harrowing — it's not like any other TV show I've ever done. You think you know the rulebook, then they hand you a new one."
Perlman also just shot a role in The Jesuit, an indie costarring SOA's Tommy Flanagan. "It's a very cool, hardboiled indie — pretty raw and violent," he says of the thriller, which is now filming in Mexico. "I play the baddest guy in the movie. Everybody's a bad guy in this movie, but nobody's badder than me."
But in real life, Perlman supports good causes like the SAG Foundation: "It's one of the organizations nearest and dearest to my heart," he says of the group, which provides assistance to actors in need. "It's one of those 'there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I' kind of things. We try to help people who hit hard times and need a hand through troubled waters. It means a lot to me."