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From biker to reanimated cop: 'Sons of Anarchy' actor Kim Coates talks new film 'Officer Downe'

Take Two's Alex Cohen with actor Kim Coates at KPCC, June 2016.
Take Two's Alex Cohen with actor Kim Coates at KPCC, June 2016.
Francine Rios

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The LA Film Festival line up includes a wide range of films, documentaries, comedies and dramas. 

But there's also a competition category known as Nightfall, reserved for dark films meant to be watched after the sun goes down.

Featured in this group is a movie called "Officer Downe." It's based on a graphic novel by the same name and it's set in a hyper-real Los Angeles.

It stars actor Kim Coates as a police officer who is repeatedly killed in the line of duty, only to be brought back to life by the LAPD a la Frankenstein's monster.

Coates, who is from Canada, is also known for his role as Tig on "Sons of Anarchy." He joined host Alex Cohen to talk about his latest role, that one time he was on "Miami Vice," and everything in between.

"Officer Downe" premieres Friday night at 11:15 p.m. in Culver City. A screening will also be held Tuesday, June 7 at 9:15 p.m. Events are open to the public. Click here for more information. 

Interview Highlights

How one of his earliest roles on the "Viking Bikers from Hell" episode of "Miami Vice" foreshadowed "Sons of Anarchy":

"I came right from Stratford, I went right to New York, all these agents were going, 'You have to come to New York.' I did happily, and then boom, I land, I go see Bonnie Timmermann, who cast me in 'Blackhawk Down' and two other movies as well, I love Bonnie. Anyway she goes, 'Yeah, that guy, yeah, he's gonna play this little biker here with Don Johnson.' I never was on a bike, though. Don Johnson came to visit me in a biker bar, and as fate would have it, Don kind of pushed me up against a wall, and I'm right into it, I do my own stunts as much as they'll let me, and I cracked my head wide open. I had to take a break and they put some band aid stitches on, finished the scene, then went and got a couple stitches in my head. I said, "Thanks Don!" He said, "Thanks Kim!" And I haven't seen him since... I'm proud of me in that I always went with my gut my entire career. That was 1987 with Don Johnson, maybe '87, '88, and you know, it was 18 years later with 'Sons of Anarchy,' 2006 when it started or maybe 2007 I guess. I've never planned anything, but I've always gone with my gut, and I'm really really glad that I decided to finally take the foray into being a lead on a television series like 'Sons of Anarchy.'"

Web extra: Kim Coates talks about playing Tig on 'Sons of Anarchy'


On how his "Officer Downe" role is taking him in a different direction:

"The greatest stretch for me was, forget about all of the stunts that we did so eloquently and beautifully, and on screen it looks absolutely crazy, was this guy. He is killed in the line of duty. He's a good cop. Good through and through, wears the badge smartly and beautifully. No girlfriends, no wife, no kids, no dog. He's married to the badge. He dies. Then they put him on ice for 20 years down in the depths of the LAPD. And finally its in the future a little bit and LA's gone to crap, way worse than Gotham City times 20, it's truly horrific stuff going down. And I'm this super cop, and they figure out how to bring me back alive. So I'm part Frankenstein, part RoboCop, part for sure human, dealing with emotions and I die four or five times in the picture and they keep brining me back, and the ending is spectacular."

Web extra: Kim Coates talks about acting in the changing media landscape


If LA felt any different in those moments that the city was the backdrop for real life, and not the film:

"It wasn't the city that was freaky for me, it actually gave me a breath of fresh air after everyday of being in makeup for three hours, getting punched around, and this that and the other. But what I am proud of, is we filmed it here, Alex, where we are, and we're showing it at the LA Film Festival. Joe Casey, who wrote it, said, 'No one's shooting this movie unless we shoot it in LA.' So that's what I'm really proud of, using crew, that we're not running away to another state or another country. We stayed right here in LA. And when people see this, they're going to recognize the streets, they're going to recognize the visuals, they're going to recognize a lot of things, and it's crazy." 

To listen to the interview, click on the blue audio player above.