Sons of Anarchy’s Rockmond Dunbar Teases Eli’s Downward Spiral
We’re only halfway through the fifth season of Sons of Anarchy, but already we’ve lost a major member of SAMCRO, learned one of Clay’s terrible secrets and had a death trigger what looks to be serious chain of events. Actor Rockmond Dunbar’s Deputy Sheriff Eli Roosevelt became drawn into the drama more than he ever intended in last week’s episode, “Small World,” and we’ve already seen his character have a major personality change as a result of it.
Following the airing of “Small World,” Spinoff Online participated in a conference call with Dunbar where we talked about how spoiler alert the murder of Eli’s wife and unborn child has changed him as a man. He couldn’t give much away, but he did promise we’ll see a very different side of his character.
“I can tell you, he definitely invites evil into his world,” Dunbar said. “This dude is spiraling out of control, and he’s literally taking no prisoners. He’s lost everything that he built his life for.”
He continued, “He took a job close to home where he thought that would bring his relationship to his wife a little bit closer. They’re trying to have a baby. She finally gets pregnant and then she’s killed. He has nothing. He has absolutely nothing. So, what do you do when you’re stripped away and who are you when you’re stripped away with all those things that you think created your life. So a lot of characters really need to be careful and to look out for this guy because he’s on the edge.”
At the end of “Small World,” we saw Eli take out his anger on Jax and other members of SAMCRO, but (as it was revealed at the end of the episode) the audience knows it was actually Clay who ordered the attack that led to the death of Eli’s wife. When we asked whether Eli would realize he has allies in the Sons or if he’ll still blame them for his wife’s murder, Dunbar wouldn’t answer.
“Oh, yeah, [creator] Kurt [Sutter] would like literally jump into my trailer tonight and scare me if I told you that one,” he said. ” You don’t want to blink. You don’t want to blink on this one. The way that they position the character, the suspense that they have with the storytelling is going to pay off and really worth wait; definitely.”
Dunbar said he’s still filming episodes of Sons, so we’re assuming that means that Eli will continue to live for at least a little while longer this season. But even he doesn’t know what’s in store for Eli or whether he’ll return in Season 6.
“I never know what’s going to happen until I get to the read-through and sit down with Kurt and the rest of the cast members and go through the script; I don’t know,” he said. “I didn’t know last year. I thought I was going to die after 10 episodes; a horrible death. That was it, but I’m here, and I signed on to do six episodes and ended up doing about eight. My character is finding a nice little arc.”
Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.