Category Archives: CALENDAR

GCT Extra

SWFL’s Farewell to Sons of Anarchy

One-on-one with SOA actor Theo Rossi

By: Yohana de la Torre, Chief Editor
Sons of Anarchy, Theo Rossi “Juice”

Sons of Anarchy, Theo Rossi “Juice”

The incredibly popular television series Sons of Anarchy (SOA) is known for its adrenaline-rush action and comedic undertones.  The show based on the lives of a notorious outlaw motorcycle club’s desire to protect its livelihood while ensuring that their simple, sheltered town of Charming, California remains well, charming has taken the audience for an exciting ride for seven seasons.  

Everything from drug dealers to corporate developers, family life to overzealous law officers has pushed the story of money, power, loyalty and blood to the extreme.  And approaching its series finale episode has not been any different.

On Tuesday, December 9, SOA fans will experience the fate of our rough and tough MC, and see if a father’s legacy is fulfilled.  And Southwest Florida is getting in on the action with a once-in-a-lifetime experience!  

Six Bends Harley-Davidson is hosting a Sons of Anarchy finale event, where just 400 fans will enjoy a private viewing party in the company of the FX SOA series stars, Kim Coates “Tig” and Theo Rossi “Juice.

Rossi chatted with GCT about the shows finale, the evolution of his complex character and his branching out as a film producer.

YD: The motorcycle culture is a huge phenomenon.  Some actors embody their roles wholeheartedly and go through incredible lengths to prepare.  How did you prepare for your role as Juice?

TR: “I did a ton of research. I grew up with a big, big motorcycle rider uncle who basically stepped in and was a big part of raising me.  So, I was around the culture a lot and I was able and lucky to pull from that.

“Juice however has changed tremendously in seven years.  Kurt has a very specific vision and he knows exactly how he’s maneuvering these characters.  That makes it a lot easier as an actor because it’s really, really good writing that does the work on its own.  Yeah, you go in and make your choices on it and do what you can, hoping to embody it correctly, but truly you’re following the roadmap that Kurt laid out.  And I’ve been extremely lucky to have some absolutely incredible stuff written for me and I’ve gotten to cover all spectrums of human emotions as Juice.”

YD: Are there any similarities between Theo and Juice?

TR: “I think the main one would be his loyalty.  I’m very loyal to my hometown, my friends, the people who work for me and the people I work for…”

YD: Well, in this final season, you say that the ace up your sleeve was to divulge club secrets to basically stay alive.  Was that tough for you, as Juice, to give up that loyalty?

TR: “I always remind people the most important thing— it’s a television show, its not reality.  (Chuckle)  Its always right for the character, no matter what they’re doing.  Sometimes as a character you have to kill someone, lie, be put in uncomfortable positions, but that’s what’s right for the character.  My belief is that as an actor, you fulfill the material that is given to you.  So, I would say that it was a little bit more challenging to get certain places emotionally this season.

“However, I think that’s why the character resonates with people so much.  At the end of the day, Juice was never doing things to save his own life; he was doing things to save other people’s lives.  I think Juice stopped caring if he lives or dies years ago.  But he didn’t want to see anyone else get hurt and ultimately when he was in a position to set up the other characters, he realizes none of it matters anymore.”

YD: Are you gonna miss your lightning bolts? 

TR: “Everyone thinks that, but they’re actually not lightning bolts.  They’re the same tattoos that Kurt has on his arm.  There’s a part of me that is going to miss a lot about Juice.  I will always have a tremendous love for him, not just as a character, but what he represents in my entire life, my entire spectrum.  That’s because my entire road of where I’m going and what I’m doing has changed because of that character.  So, I think about Juice all the time.  We finished a couple of weeks ago and I have major fond memories of that character that I will always hold on to.”

YD: We are very excited about the next step in your career.  I understand that you branched out as a film producer.  Can you tell us a little about the project you are working on and has your time as an actor given you a different perspective to produce?

TR: “Great question!  Yeah, 100%…I’ve learned, in 15 years of acting, from some of the greatest producers in the business and some of the most amazing creative people and business people.  But I especially learned that I wanted to make real story-driven film that makes people feel something.  I learned that with Sons of Anarchy.  It does that.  It sits with you all day and all night.

“So, our production company Dos Dudes has a film coming out titled Bad Hurt set in 1999 Staten Island.  We are really excited about it.  It’s a real life, gritty kinda story that takes you on a journey about human relationships, debuting at a not yet released film festival.  We got to partner with some amazing producers and we have myself, Karen Allen and Michael Harney from Orange is the New Black.  Really exciting!”

YD: Finally, you’ll be in Southwest Florida for an exclusive finale event.  Have you ever been here and what are you looking forward to most?

TR: “I’m super excited!  I’ve been to a bunch of different parts of Florida, but not Southwest Florida.  I’m super excited to come because Florida has one of, if not, the greatest riding cultures in the country next to California.  I’m the owner of three motorcycles myself and a guy that rides daily…so I’m into that culture.  I’m also excited because for Tig and I, who are brothers in life, this will possibly be our last ever appearance as Juice and Tig together.  So, this means so much to us because we get to experience that surrounded by our fans.  It’s bitter sweet and also really, really cool.”

- For more information or to purchase tickets to the December 9 Sons of Anarchy Finale Event, visit www.sixbends.com/event/sons-of-anarchy/.

 ——————————————————————————————————————————————

19th Annual Jewish Film Festival

François Margolin’s The Art Dealer

François Margolin’s The Art Dealer

From January 15 – February 10, Southwest Florida will feast their eyes on a wide range of international and Israeli films at the 19th Annual Jewish Film Festival.

Hosted by the Jewish Federation of Lee & Charlotte Counties, the film festival offers patrons a rare opportunity to view high caliber independent movies created by Jewish filmmakers.  Built to raise awareness and appreciation for the Jewish culture, history, values and talent the festival plays to sold out audiences every year.

And this year’s film will include stories of loyalty and betrayal, political intrigue, a solitary struggle about outlasting the Nazi occupation, art, heritage and much more.

François Margolin’s The Art Dealer is one of this year’s featured selections.  The film is a stylish Parisian thriller that takes the form of a modern day detective story, as it explores the sensitive issue of art stolen during the Second World War.  In it, a young journalist, Esther Stegmann, finds herself caught up in a web of betrayal and complicity as she investigates stolen family paintings, and uncovers a story that has been carefully buried for decades by those closest to her.

Margolin is a Jewish filmmaker that began his career as the assistant and editor to the renowned photographer and documentarian, Raymond Depardon.  A little over 12 years ago, he had the interest in making a documentary about stolen paintings from French Jewish families during WWII and the lack of restitution.  However, descendants of looted collectors would not speak openly because of fear.  This forced him to have to abandon the project.

As life would have it, the filmmaker stumbled upon Sophie Seligmann, the granddaughter of a great collector that was robbed at the beginning of the war and shot by the Nazis.  Her story served as the muse for Margolin and the approach of the subject into a work of fiction.

“I was immediately convinced that fiction was better than the documentary,” he says. “It allowed the film to overcome all barriers, that I had in my previous project.  Although the film is far away from Sophie’s family story, the major events are true.”

Inspired by some of his favorite movies Marathon Man from John Schlesinger and Confidentially Yours by François Truffaut, Margolin decided to make The Art Dealer a mixture of thriller and detective work.  It’s a feeling of what he calls “the Jewish paranoia that exists…a search for his heroine’s own history.”

“The investigative-thriller take on the film gives Esther the only logic that allows her to live.  Her approach at finding answers is necessary and vital in order to not question everything— her life, her family relationships, etc.,” the filmmaker explains.

The Art Dealer also opened up a conversation that was otherwise silent, Margolin adds.  When they started writing and shooting, there was no case of Gurlitt— the German found with more than 1,500 paintings stolen from Jewish families; there was no George Clooney Monuments Man film; and there was no work towards recovering the stolen goods.  But today there is.

For him, The Art Dealer was more than a Jewish tale.  It is a “universal story” about family history, something that links everybody, be they a person from the United States, France, Africa, Germany or China.  

- The 2015 Jewish Film Festival is brought to the community by The Jewish Federation of Lee & Charlotte Counties.  The festival will take place from January 15 – February 10, 2015 at 7:15 pm at the Regal Cinema Bell Tower located at 13499 Bell Tower Drive in Fort Myers.  For tickets or more information, please call (239) 481-4449 ext. 3 or visit www.jewishfederationlcc.org.