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When it comes to the influence Clay (Ron Perlman) has on molding Jax in his role as president, Hunnam says, “I think there’s probably a certain degree is true that you learn the position from your predecessor.” However, the actor also realizes that the way his character has responded to the job can’t be placed solely on the shoulders of those who came before him, adding, “I think that much more importantly there’s a universal problem that power corrupts. I think that Jax struggled with that, the way all presidents do.”
Hunnam explains that the leader is counted on to represent everyone he governs over, be it a country or a motorcycle club and that leaves you with a lot of decisions to make. “It’s very easy to say ‘I know from my heart this is the right thing to do, so I’m not going to put it up for a vote.'”
Some of those decisions he’s made have left Jax more alone in the club than ever. His best friend, Opie (Ryan Hurst), is dead and Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) has stepped down as vice president. Bobby was, in many ways, the heart and soul of the club, the one who always tried to steer them in the right direction.
With Jax unable to lean on him, Charlie says the character may be in trouble. “I think you’ll see this season that he really lacks … He always had a strong conscience, he had his Jiminy Cricket, but I think he struggles without it,” Hunnam explains, “In the absence of Bobby Elvis in the early part of the season you see him really struggle.”
One thing Jax should be struggling with, though he seemingly doesn’t, is guilt. When the show began, his lady love Tara (Maggie Siff), was a respected surgeon with a promising future. As season five ended, she was being arrested for her part in the murder of a nurse who was killed by a club member.
Being with Jax has brought her almost universal chaos, with little guilt shown on his end. “I think right now it’s being clouded, that guilt, by a sense of betrayal,” Hunnam says, “I think if he was honest with himself he would understand where it’s come from and he would probably take some responsibility.” Still, Hunnam believes Jax will come to terms with what he’s done, as he says, “I think that will probably come back and there will be a reckoning for Jax, but right now I don’t think he’s at that place.”