'Sons of Anarchy' Actor Kim Coates Says He Initially Passed on Tig Trager Role

Kim Coates' latest badass role sees him as a mobster on CityTV's Bad Blood, but there is another killer role that many TV fans known him from: Sons of Anarchy's Tig Trager.

Coates, who currently stars as Declan Gardiner on Bad Blood, played the explosive, oddball biker on the FX drama for 7 seasons, leaving a lasting impression on S.O.A. fans. Knowing how beloved the character became, it is bizarre to hear that Coates initially passed on the role. However, as he revealed to PopCulture.com, he just was not into the violent aspect of the part at first.

"I said no the first time," Coates said in a Wednesday phone interview. "I said, 'Nope. Not doing it. It's too violent.'"

When Coates turned the part down, creator Kurt Sutter persisted. He explained that while Tig is violent, there was so much more to the character to be revealed in later episodes.

"He (Kurt) couldn't show me much," Coates said. "Kurt looked at me and said, 'Please come for this ride, because this guy, yep, he's tough. He's psychotic. Yeah. He's a bullet ready to be fired all the time. But he's loyal, and he's a dog, and he will protect people. He will be funny, and he will cry. He will end up being one of the moral compasses of this club.'"

Coates continued, "You know what? Kurt was right. He didn't lie to me. That's exactly what happened over seven years."

His trust in Sutter's word paid off tremendously, with Coates going on to appear in all 92 episodes of the hit series. He advised other actors to take that same "leap of faith" when accepting a series role, with hope of seeing the character's growth in time.

"You need to take a leap of faith," Coates said. "If you say yes to a series and it ends up being a hit, you just hope that that character will go maybe not even where you saw it go, but to a place where you're comfortable in playing, or at least stretching you as a character. That's what Tig did with me. I really got to stretch with that guy."

The latest full-time role Coates has accepted is Bad Blood's Declan, a mob enforcer who eventually breaks out of his position and becomes a mafia boss in his own right. While Declan was a co-lead in the first season, his character grew and developed into the main focus of the the series going into season 2. Despite this growth, Coates says there are even more layers to Declan's character than already shown.

"Declan Gardiner, he's a perfect example of this guy was born to be a mobster," Coates said. "But there's always someone darker, or worse, or more ruthless. That's what makes you want to watch these characters. ... Some of the scenes I had in the first season, I didn't say a word, but it was all seen through my eyes. In other scenes, I couldn't stop talking. He was a powder keg that didn't explode very often, because he kept all his emotions in."

He continues, "I'm still finding stuff out about Declan. For me, it's always in the writing. It's always in the storytelling. We got real lucky with casting and editing it, and the music. It's powerful stuff. I'm really proud of it."

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In Canada, Bad Blood season 2 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CityTV. Details on a U.S. release for the series are expected later in 2018.

Photo Credit: FX