“True Story”: Walton Goggins Explains In Depth His Sons Of Anarchy Character's Origins (2024)


  • Walton Goggins was responding to Sons of Anarchy's writer naming two actors he would not cast in the show, and Goggins was one of them.
  • The actor sent a message to Kurt Sutter, saying he would only play a transgender character on Sons of Anarchy, which led to his casting as Venus Van Dam two years later.
  • Venus Van Dam was introduced as a recurring character after season 5.

Walton Goggins has explained how he came to play his iconic Sons of Anarchy character Venus Van Dam. First appearing in Sons of Anarchy season 5 as a transgender escort who helped members of the show’s titular outlaw motorcycle gang blackmail a local businessman, Goggins would eventually become a recurring guest star until the season 7 finale. Forming a romantic bond with SAMCRO member Tig Trager (Kim Coates), Venus was last seen comforting Tig following the gang’s decision to pass a mayhem vote that placed a death mark on Jax Teller’s head.

During a recent appearance on one of WIRED’s Internet’s Most Asked Questions videos, Goggins explained how Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter approached him to play Venus. Revealing that Sutter once suggested that he would never cast Goggins or Michael Chiklis because they were too recognizable for their roles on The Shield, Goggins shot back that he would only ever play a transgender character for him anyway. Two years later, Sutter approached him with a genuine offer to play Venus in season 5. Check out his comments and the original video below:

Now this is my girl, Venus Van Dam. Kurt Sutter, the writer of Sons of Anarchy, was one of the main writers on The Shield. A very, very dear friend of mine. And the truth is, this is a true story. He did an interview where he said that the only two people that I could never have on my show are Michael Chiklis and Walton Goggins, because no one could ever see them as anything but their characters on The Shield.

Someone sent this article to me, I read it, I forwarded it to Kurt Sutter and I said ‘F--- you, man. I wouldn’t do your show anyway.’ True story. I said, ‘The only way I would do your show is if I played a transgender.’ Two years later, he sent me a text and he said, ‘were you serious?’

And I said, ‘about what?’ He said, ‘about playing a transgender.’ And I said, ‘do you have pages?’ He said, ‘yes.’ He sent them, I read them and it was one of the greatest things that I had ever read. And it made me laugh and it broke my heart.

While Goggins would play Venus Van Dam in Sons of Anarchy, his The Shield co-star Michael Chiklis was also offered a role in the show's final two episodes, playing the truck driver whose vehicle killed Jax Teller.

Walton Goggins’ Sons Of Anarchy Character Further Proves His Transformative Power

The Actor Is Well Known For Disappearing Into His Roles.

Switching effortlessly between comedy and more serious dramatic fare, his career has seen him portray everyone from post-apocalyptic gunslingers and career criminals to outrageous televangelists and undercover cops.

While Goggins may be experiencing a sudden influx of acclaim from his most recent role in Prime Video’s Fallout, the veteran actor boasts an impressive career as one of television’s most versatile and impressive actors. Switching effortlessly between comedy and more serious dramatic fare, his career has seen him portray everyone from post-apocalyptic gunslingers and career criminals to outrageous televangelists and undercover cops. However, his dedication to Sons of Anarchy’s Venus Van Dam remains one of his best demonstrations of his skill and flexibility as a performer.


Every Walton Goggins TV Show, Ranked

With hilarious comedies and insightful dramas, Walton Goggins has proven himself as one of the most versatile and talented actors on TV today.

Revealing that it would not only take four and a half hours in the makeup chair to be transformed into his Sons of Anarchy character, Goggins also explained that he spent nearly a month wearing high-heeled shoes around the cobblestone streets of New Orleans to prepare for the role. He was so dedicated to bringing the character to life, that he also forbade anyone else on the show from seeing his transformation into Venus aside from those directly involved in the makeup process.

Most importantly, however, his final performance was far from the stereotypical caricature that transgender roles have been historically seen in past decades. Deeply nuanced in a way that feels respectful to the broader transgender community, Venus’ ongoing association with SAMCRO members would even serve to overcome many of the other characters’ own prejudices. With performances such as Goggins’ outstanding turn as Venus in Sons of Anarchy, it is easy to see why he is currently being hailed by so many as one of television’s most impressive actors.

Source: WIRED

“True Story”: Walton Goggins Explains In Depth His Sons Of Anarchy Character's Origins (2)
Sons of Anarchy




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Sons of Anarchy, created by Kurt Sutter, follows a notorious outlaw motorcycle club, the Sons of Anarchy, as they confront drug dealers, corporate developers, and law enforcement to protect their livelihoods and their hometown of Charming, CA. Loosely based on William Shakespeare's "Hamlet," Sons of Anarchy explores what happens when the seduction of money and power comes between family. The show follows the Teller and Morrow family legacies, with Jackson 'Jax' Teller handling his duties as the V.P. of the club while dealing with the new president - his stepfather - Clay Morrow.

Kim Coates , Charlie Hunnam , Theo Rossi , Mark Boone Junior , Maggie Siff , Katey Sagal , Tommy Flanagan , Ron Perlman

Release Date
September 8, 2008

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Sons Of Anarchy

Kurt Sutter , Chris Collins

Kurt Sutter

Kurt Sutter
  • Sons of Anarchy (2008)

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“True Story”: Walton Goggins Explains In Depth His Sons Of Anarchy Character's Origins (2024)


How old was Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy? ›

Jax was born in 1978, so he was 30 years old in Sons of Anarchy season 1, and after that is when the timeline can get confusing, but Jax's age by the end of the series can be calculated thanks to his first son, Abel.

Why is Jax the only one with a SAMCRO patch? ›

Only one SAMCRO member at a time wears this patch, and that is the club's current president. A symbolically important patch, as only the original 9 SAMCRO members wear it.

What happens in Sons of Anarchy? ›

Surrounding the struggles of the motorcycle gang club SAMCRO and its young vice president, Jackson "Jax" Teller, the series tells the story of and the intense drama that unfolds around their gun-running operations and dealing with authorities, politicians, and even rival gang members.

Why did Sons of Anarchy end? ›

"There's a part of me that does see being able to tell this story in seven seasons, but there's a part of me that doesn't want to say, 'That's it,' Sutter said, noting that he's aware of FX's model and the idea that after seven seasons the overhead and above-the-line costs begin to exceed the profit value of a show.

Is Jax Teller based on a real person? ›

Sons Of Anarchy: The Real Life Biker Who Inspired Charlie Hunnam's Jax - IMDb. Jax Teller's character on Sons of Anarchy was inspired by a real-life biker that Charlie Hunnam met before filming started. Hunnam spent time with a real motorcycle club, including a 22-year-old biker who he considered to be Jax Teller.

What is Jax Teller's body count? ›

Jax is depicted dressing as unconventional compared to traditional bikers, specifically wearing white Nike Air Force 1 sneakers throughout the series. In season seven, retired Charming police chief Wayne Unser describes Jax as, "formidable, as smart as he is dangerous". By the series end, Jax's kill count numbered 46.

How many Hells Angels were in Sons of Anarchy? ›

Sons Of Anarchy Features Real Hell's Angels

Happy began as part of the Tacoma, Washington charter. He later became part of the Nomads, and then a full patched member of SAMCRO in season 3. After the Happy SOA character, three other members of the Hells Angels were cast, though in smaller roles.

What happens to Abel and Thomas after Jax dies? ›

Wendy, Nero, Abel, and Thomas escape from Charming to a farm in the country. That's not a euphemism! They presumably live happily ever after! But the survivors only get their happy ending because Jax died to make everything cleaner not just for his sons, but for his apostles.

Why was Jax Teller killed? ›

But in the series finale of the FX crime drama, Jax killed himself in a fashion similar to his father's death, riding his bike into the path of an oncoming semi-truck. While it's unusual for a TV series to kill its primary protagonist, Jax's death served as a symbolic sacrifice.

Why is Tara killed off in Sons of Anarchy? ›

Tara's murder at the hands of Gemma Teller Morrow changed the course of the series, sending it spiraling toward a tragic ending. Tara's death was a deliberate storytelling choice by showrunner Kurt Sutter, as it was meant to push Jax Teller over the edge.

What is the message behind Sons of Anarchy? ›

Themes throughout the show include love, brotherhood, loyalty, betrayal, and redemption. The series explored vigilantism, government corruption, and racism. The show's plot depicts an outlaw motorcycle club as an analogy for human transformation.

What does the bread mean at the end of Sons of Anarchy? ›

At the end, crows (the club members) were eating the bread which symbolizes Jax (the whole 'bread is my body' quote from Jesus). Jax is essentially the savior of the club, having delivered them from 'sin' and paving the way to 'heaven' (a good life without violence) for his children.

How old is Charlie Hunnam in soa season 1? ›

Charlie Hunnam was 28 when he first put on his black leather to represent SAMCRO during season one of Sons of Anarchy. A few buzz-cuts aside, his look remained fairly consistent throughout the series' seven season run.

How old was Clay in season 1 of Sons of Anarchy? ›

Morrow was born on February 14, 1949 (whereabouts unknown, although as of season 4, he had been a resident of Charming, California for "31 years"), and is 59 years old in Season 1. In 1968, he was one of nine members who were invited to join the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club.

How old is Opie in Sons of Anarchy? ›

Opie Winston
Harry Winston
Home TownCharming, CA
Age34yrs old
19 more rows

Who was older Jax or Thomas Teller? ›

Jax digs through some old pictures before finding what appears to be a manuscript about the club. Jax begins to flick through the pages and finds an interesting statement on the front about his deceased older brother, Thomas Teller, and himself.

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