While Sons of Anarchy's Opie (Ryan Hurst) met a grisly, head-exploding death at the hands of prison inmates while guards -- and three fellow SAMCRO members -- watched earlier this season, the cast said goodbye to the character in a more symbolic way.
"If you wanna see a group of grown men crying like babies, there's a video you can watch," Charlie Hunnam, who plays Jax on the FX biker drama, told The Hollywood Reporter while promoting his new film Deadfall.
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"Three months after he had finished filming Sons, he still hadn't cut his beard off, and he hadn't shaved in 5 1/2 years since he got the role of Opie. He hadn't shaved once," said Hunnam. "It was a catharsis that we all needed for him to get rid of that beard and for all of us to just let Opie die."
Before taking a razor to Hurst's face, the cast chipped in on an oversized samurai sword as a parting gift for the actor. "Most samurai swords are 38 inches; this is a 44-inch sword -- an oversized sword -- and he's 6-foot-6, so it was perfect for him," explained Hunnam.
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In the clip, posted by Entertainment Weekly last week, Mark Boone Junior (who plays Bobby Munson on SOA) makes the first cut to Hurst's lengthy beard, while Hunnam steps in shortly after with tears in his eyes.
"It has some significance," said Hunnam, "because that's what a samurai would do at the end of their career; they would take their sword and cut their topknot off to signify the end of their life as a warrior."
Sons of Anarchy's season-five finale, "J'ai Obtenu Cette," airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday on FX.
Hunnam's Deadfall opens Friday in select theaters.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@thr.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci