Interview: Kim Coates Talks ‘Adventure Club’ And Leaving ‘Sons of Anarchy’ In His ‘Rear View Mirror’
Kim Coates discusses his family friendly film “Adventure Club” and why he’s moved on from “Sons of Anarchy.”
You probably know him from “Sons of Anarchy” with his role as Tig Trager, but Kim Coates has been in the industry for quite some time and carries a lot of diversity with his projects. We touched a bit on “Sons of Anarchy” and if we’d ever see him return to the role for the Kurt Sutter spinoff, but we also discussed a change of pace with his role in the family film “Adventure Club.” Read more below to understand why and how Kim Coates is such a talented individual.
Starting off with introductions and greetings, Kim quickly established his upbeat, charismatic personality.
“Ryan, Ryan Ryan…I’m good brother how are you?”
Tig Trager was officially my favorite character on “Sons of Anarchy.” Before starting the interview I had a quick fanboy moment to convey how much I loved Kim Coates’ performance on the show.
“As I should be, and thank you very much. (laughs) It’s such a…that show right? What a crazy seven years that was and I can’t tell you…all of us put our hearts and soul into [Sons of Anarchy] including the crew. We’ll never forget it but, mother f*cker, people sure loved Tig man. They loved that character and I’m just so tickled when people say that. It’s really sweet so thanks.”
Given that the “Sons of Anarchy” spinoff is moving forward, I was curious as to whether or not Kim would be involved and if he would be open to being involved.
“What a great question. This is all I know. The Mayans spinoff, they’re trying to create some magic in a bottle and I hope they find it because I’m a big fan of Kurt Sutter, I’m a big fan of John Landgraf. And Emilio Rivera, I love him. All I know is bro, I’ve moved on, we’ve all moved on. But the only two leads that survive ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ are myself and Tommy Flanagan. So we’ll leave it at that, it’s all I know. I’ve left it in my rear view mirror, but I wish them all the luck in the world, I really do.”
Going from a gritty show like “Sons of Anarchy” to a film like “Adventure Club” takes Kim Coates to both ends of the spectrum. What kind of challenges did he face going into these two diverse films?
“[Sons of Anarchy] ended a little over two years ago and I know that all of us, on that epic run that we had, were exhausted and yet I was okay to move on man. I’ll never forget playing Tig, but that was a long time. Being the actor I am, coming from the stage and movies and the odd arc on TV to series regular like Tig was a big leap of faith for me and I’m so glad I did it with Kurt Sutter, our crazy showrunner. But for me man, I couldn’t wait to get rid of the cut and get off my bike and get fat, get skinny, get back.”
“I just completed my ninth movie about a month ago since ‘Sons’ has been over and “The Adventure Club” was kind of right in the middle of these nine projects. I’ll never forget, when they offered it to me, Shayne Putzlocher and Sara Shaak from Twilight Entertainment up in Canada, they just said to my people, ‘I don’t know if we can afford Kim…’ and I said to my people, ‘No let me read it, I wanna read it’. And I read this script and Ryan, it was so good and it was so different, and like you just said, it was so family-oriented, and my character, Uncle Ozzie, to be able to create him…I wore four pairs of glasses and I was frumpy and I was funny and I got to work with these three brilliant little actors. Like Sam Arnold, Dalila Bela, and Jakob Davies, they play the three leads of this picture. Billy Zane and I and Gabrielle Miller from ‘Corner Gas’ and myself, we surround these kids. It was such an honor because it was so different. It was just so much fun.”
“Adventure Club” also took part in a particularly charitable act. Much of the ticket proceeds went to the Boys and Girls Club.
“Yeah, that was back in October. Shane [Putzlocher] and Sara [Shaak] have this beautiful kids club up in Canada and I think there was 100 screenings of [Adventure Club] back in October in different cities across Canada. And I don’t know how much money they made for this kids club, but it was a lot. When you work with people like that who give back to the community like Shane and Sara and their team, it’s an honor.”
As Uncle Ozzie, it seemed like Kim Coates was the character with the source of knowledge to further the adventure. He connects the characters to their grandfather’s past and is vital in keeping their journey moving forward.
“What happens in a nutshell is these three kids have their own club called ‘The Adventure Club’ and they go on adventures. They stumble upon this, for a lack of a better term, magic lantern or magic box box, and Sam Arnold who plays Ricky, our lead kid, his grandfather back in the past, he had something and Ricky didn’t know what it was and they stumble upon this box. And when they find this thing, they know it’s something weird and dark and wonderful and they don’t know what it is. “
“So they come to their best older dude called Ozzie, and they call me Uncle Ozzie. So they come to me for guidance and when they show me this piece of paper, Ryan, I know that this is ‘holy crapola’.”
Kim Coates has had a progressive, successful career in the entertainment industry. While his “Sons of Anarchy” role has captivated many, he has brought that same intensity to a variety of roles. A particular role I remembered was one from the movie “Waterworld” where he played a pivotal part in defining Kevin Costner’s character.
“All these movies and some small parts, there’s no such thing as a small part, but you know what I mean. Some are leads, some are 8-9 on the call sheet, some are like the one in ‘Waterworld’. I had one scene but it was the longest scene in the movie and it was halfway through the film and it was so pivotal for [Kevin] Costner’s character and Kevin Reynolds who directed me, he just let me go and I came up with this wacky Irish/English accent and lost all this weight and Jeanne Tripplehorn was scared shitless of me. For me, I’m an actor, I get into it and people still recognize me from that movie and ‘The Last Boyscout’ and ‘The Client’. Those old [movies] in the 90s when I was first becoming a Hollywood actor, I had some great little films that I was involved in and people still remember them.”
What kind of preparation goes into a role like “Adventure Club” which is more family friendly versus something gritty like “Sons of Anarchy?” As Kim stated, he played Tig Trager for quite some time, what was it like preparing for a role at the opposite end of the spectrum?
“I did Sons for so long, all the prep I did, I did on the job there. We got into it pretty fast and furious so you read your books and what club members are like and how do they sleep and what are their codes and we had a real guy on set who helped us out with that club life in biker clubs. That was a lot of prep early and I never stopped learning about my guy I played for seven years. But to be broken free of Tig Trager…I just completed my ninth film in two years and every single one has been so completely different. On so many levels I can’t even begin to tell you. It’s madness for me in the best possible way.”
“But Ozzie, when I got offered this guy I thought right away, ‘Well these kids, they come to him, so they trust him’. So why do they trust him? From the writing you could tell he loved his antiques and his shop and he still believed in old fashioned things. So I had all these glasses that I wore, like 4 sets of glasses. Now that’s A, it’s funny and B, that was just something to play with. And I made sure there was an old bike on set that I could ride around. This fifty year old bike that was so fun to just be on. It made me feel like old school. The clothes, the costumers did such a great job with my wardrobe. All frumpy and vests and bigger pants and loafers. And Jeff Anderson, the director, just let me go and working with these kids, I didn’t even really direct these kids. So preparation is different for every show, but I read a lot for this guy and to be a curator of almost like a museum and you take pride in knowing where everything is. I just walked around the set for a day before we started filming and got myself frequented with where everything was and I just enjoyed the experience so much with these three kids, it was something very different for me. That’s why I act, I love being different.”
Given that Kim is a veteran in the industry and has so many different projects, I wanted to discover what he was looking forward to.
“Every single one. I’ve got this one that I’m talking to you about, ‘Adventure Club’ [that I’m] so excited for because it’s such a family movie. Then you want to go the opposite spectrum…’Officer Downe’. It’s about as hard R as you can get. It should be almost an X. It’s that violent and that sexual and that crazy. The world I live in, coming from a comic book world. I play the title character, I play Officer Downe, do all my own stunts. I can’t tell you what that was like, it was brutally exciting. Shawn Crahan from Slipknot directed, his first feature, it’s nuts! No it’s nuts! And ‘Officer Downe’, open on video and demand. It did really well back in December but now they’re opening on DVDs, I’ll be doing a lot more press coming up for that in early March. So look for that one.”
“I’ve got this beautiful little movie with Carrie Coon and Holly Hunter called ‘Strange Weather’. It’s opening in festivals everywhere. I shot that a little over a year ago. I play the sweetest man on the planet. It’s such a sweet guy, my mom’s gonna be like not believing it, but there ya go Ma!”
“Goon 2, the big hockey movie I did four years ago. We did a sequel. We’re all coming back, Liev Schrieber, Sean William Scott, and Jay Baruchel directed this one and starred in it. Amazing to have all the boys back. Damn it’s funny! It’s coming out March 17th everywhere.
Kim Coates is an extremely fun person to speak with. Being someone filled with energy and remaining down to Earth, I cannot wait to speak with him again.
“Thanks Ryan. All the best, I’ll talk to you again!”