x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Boone Junior on motorcycles and big-budget movies

Sons of Anarchy star talks about life in show business, while attending the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for the Middle East premiere of his film Life of Crime.

Actor Mark Boone Junior, left, with director Daniel Schechter. Jeff Topping / The National
Actor Mark Boone Junior, left, with director Daniel Schechter. Jeff Topping / The National

Jess Hill talks to Mark Boone Junior, the star of the ADFF opening film Life of Crime

Mark Boone Junior has starred in a lot of Hollywood blockbusters: Batman Begins, Memento, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Armageddon and The Thin Red Line, to name a few.

But he says his run of big-name studio pictures came to an end six years ago – and was only revived by his role as a bad guy in the Daniel Schechter-directed film Life of Crime, which is based on an Elmore Leonard novel, also stars Jennifer Aniston and opened the Abu Dhabi Film Festival on Thursday night.

“I am never concerned with being in the big movies,” he said. “I did a movie called The Governor’s Daughter and I was so offended by how the movie was being made that for six years I would not work in a studio picture.”

Among his complaints? Working with a police officer from the O J Simpson murder case, who didn’t know how to act. Boone also confesses that he doesn’t actually watch Sons of Anarchy, the hit FX show he has been starring in since he stopped making blockbusters, which he describes as “a soap opera of violence which is somehow based on Hamlet”.

In Sons of Anarchy, Boone plays Bobby Elvis, an Elvis impersonator with a big heart who starts off as a secretary within the club when the series begins. “It’s about a motorcycle club in northern California, where there really are a lot of motorcycle clubs. It’s brought me a lot of attention because people love the show and I am a central character.”

The part came naturally to the actor, who started riding motorbikes at the age of 11.

“Then I didn’t ride one for many years, but I bought a motorcycle the day the show was picked up because I knew I would have to ride again for this part,” he said.

Boone now owns two Harley Davidson Glides, which he describes as “big bikes with saddle bags on”.

“I get recognised all the time when I’m riding it, but I still ride it as my primary form of transportation. It’s a fantastic way to get around LA.” Boone works closely with Charlie Hunnam, who plays Jackson “Jax” Teller and who recently pulled out of the film adaptation of the hit book Fifty Shades of Grey.

“Charlie and I are very close. Everybody in the motorcycle club became close because we were spending 80 hours a week together when we were shooting.”

The sixth season of Sons of Anarchy is now broadcasting and fans will be pleased to hear that has Boone Junior confirmed that there will be a seventh season.