Sons of Anarchy had a couple of cameos from some big names in the entertainment industry, but the most notable one is Stephen King, who appeared in one episode – but how did they get the famous horror author to appear in the series? Created by Kurt Sutter, Sons of Anarchy premiered on FX in 2008 and was very well-received from the beginning, allowing it to continue for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014. Sons of Anarchy explored different themes, most notably corruption and racism, all through the stories of an outlaw motorcycle club and their issues not only within the club but also with others.
Sons of Anarchy followed the journey of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, in California. The events of the series were kickstarted when Jax found a manifesto written by his late father, John Teller, one of the founding members of the club. This led Jax to question the club’s path, his relationships, family, and himself. Over the course of seven seasons, Jax and the club came across a variety of characters, both allies and enemies, as well as some people who only appeared briefly, but they served an important purpose during their quick time in the show. Such is the case of Bachman, who appeared for a couple of minutes in only one episode.
Bachman was played by none other than Stephen King, author of a number of horror novels, most notably IT, The Shining, and Carrie. Sons of Anarchy season 3 welcomed King in the episode “Caregiver”, where Gemma (Katey Sagal) had her father’s caregiver, Amelia, tied to a wheelchair in the basement, as she knew too much about Gemma’s situation. Amelia tricked Tara (Maggie Siff) into letting her go, which only triggered more chaos, and after a confrontation with Gemma, she stabbed herself in the chest, dying instantly. With Gemma running away from authorities and her father still in the house, she needed help to get rid of Amelia’s body, and so Tig (Kim Coates) called a “cleaner” named Bachman.
Bachman was a mysterious, quiet man with a leather jacket who didn’t make questions about the crime scene and simply did his job, saving Gemma, Tara, and Tig from even bigger problems than they already had. Although he’s best-known as a horror writer, Stephen King has appeared in a couple of movies, shorts, and TV shows in minor roles, such as when he played Jordy Verrill in Creepshow, Teddy Weizak in the miniseries The Stand, and a shopkeeper in IT: Chapter Two. King’s cameo in Sons of Anarchy was made possible thanks to him being a fan of the series, to the point where he wrote about it in Entertainment Weekly, calling it “one of those shows that seem to have gotten better as it goes along”. Upon learning about it, the team behind Sons of Anarchy offered King a cameo role, with Sutter assuring him that he’d write him “a suitably nasty part”. The result was the strange cleaner Bachman, who also gave King the chance to ride a Harley.
As for his character’s name, it wasn’t a random decision, and it actually comes from his pen name, Richard Bachman, under which he published novels like Rage and The Long Walk. Although Stephen King’s time in Sons of Anarchy was very brief, he left a big impression due to the eccentricity of his character and the somber circumstances around his appearance, and he joined an interesting list of celebrities who had a cameo or a minor role in the series.