Do you miss the UK?
"F**king so much. My dad's over here right now. I plan constantly the move back. While I'm locked in this show for a number of years, I'll stay, but when this is finished I think I'll move back. I also do a lot of writing and really would love to direct a film. Every idea I ever come up with is based in England so to come back over there would be brilliant."
Where can we expect to see Jax heading in season three?
"I think our creator Kurt has always had a very clear path that he wanted to follow with the show. I think it's pretty clear that the template that he's following is that of Hamlet. But I think he always had in his mind, one season, where he would break away from the mythology of that and the grand storytelling and have a season where it was really kind of a whim for him. It was a story he wanted to tell and it was very personal. But I thought it was really interesting in the show's overall life to have a season that breaks out of this place we call our own, this little town of Charming. It allows us to explore the international nature of these clubs and it's one of the things that's so fascinating about these clubs, they are giant entities. They are one of America's greatest exports. Ultimately, season three is all about retrieving the baby. Then at the end of the season things get a little bit more complicated. But that's all I'm trying to do in season three, saving my mum from herself and saving my baby from the bad guys."
Were you pleased that the show decided to change the location to Ireland for part of season three?
"It was very exciting. It was exciting for me as a Brit for it to be brought a little closer to home. I was really, really excited with the prospect of actually shooting in Ireland, but when they crunched all the numbers it turned out of to be far too expensive, so we shot it all in California... which was less exciting. But I think we pulled it off for the most part."
Are you still learning about the biker culture as the show goes on?
"Absolutely. I did do a lot of research because I knew nothing about it. Even for just designing the wardrobe and stuff like that. I needed to get out and see how those guys rolled a little bit. The more I've done it, the more I've been able to get out to things like biker rallies to do bits of publicity. Also just to do a bit more research. It's always interesting to get out into the real world and be reminded of the reality behind this show. Kurt went to great lengths to ground this show in reality and there's an authenticity in the clothing and the production design, the bikes we ride and the relationships. It's only the stories we tell that are larger than life. It's very good at balancing that line. It doesn't feel like a graphic novel or a melodrama because it's based in enough truth, but it's not a completely 100% honest representation of that lifestyle."
Watch a video for Sons of Anarchy season three:
Do you have more sympathy for the biker community now you've invested more time into it, maybe even an allegiance?
"I wouldn't say an allegiance. But it's become more and more familiar and a bigger part of my life. Right from the beginning there was something I really admired about this life that I thought was fantastic. The reaction against Big Brother and the refusal to live by society's rules and the freedom, outlaw mentality... it wasn't necessarily about crime, it was more about the open road and freedom and not letting anyone telling you what to do. And brotherhood as well. I really admired and respected and I was a little jealous of it. Of course there is the other side of this world, not always great treatment of women, the negative aspects that go along with it. I've always had a pretty rounded view of this world."
Kurt has said that he imagines the show running for seven seasons. Do you think that would be a good time frame for the show?
"In American television, they always move a successful show for seven seasons and as an actor you are contracted up for that run and they own my ass for seven seasons. But I'm delighted to keep making it because I f**king love it and I love all the guys that make it. I do think that we have a really, really strong seven-year arc. These networks do own you lock, stock and barrel in these TV shows so if it turns out to be something you don't like, you're kind of screwed. You are locked into this f**king disaster for years and years. So when I started, I spent a lot of time with Kurt finding out how serious he was and getting a sense of who he was. The original script, the original pilot I read for this episode was one of the best things I've read. Much better than the vast majority of films that I've read. I'm delighted to say that I actually think that this show has got better as the characters have got more rich and the dynamics have got more taut."
So you're not going to be hopping off the motorcycle any time soon?
"I'm super happy. I don't know where the character's going to go, but right now in series four, well, at the end of series three something happens that means there is a long gap between the stories in both seasons. Jax has had a lot of time to take some perspective on his baby being taken and he's got some hard decisions to make. I think ultimately if he was left to his own devices and his life wasn't too complicated, I think Jax would leave the club. However, I'm sure some information will come out that will no doubt draw him back into the club, deeper than he's ever been before."
You played Lloyd Haythe in Judd Apatow's brilliant cult comedy series Undeclared. Do you have fond memories of that show?
"Yeah, really fond memories. I had a whale of a time. It was an exciting time in my life, moving over to LA and stuff. I settled in with those guys and we became really tight friends. We just had a whale of a time. It was unfortunate the way Fox handled that show because it could have had a life. It could have turned into something. I think we shot 17 episodes and they aired 12 of them, or something like that. But over the 12 episodes they aired, it was on four different time slots and it never really got a chance. I look back on that with very fond memories."
It's baffling in the UK when we see shows dropped like that...
"I remember the big one when I was a kid was My So Called Life. That got one season and everyone in England was watching it and then they went and cancelled it and it was gone."
It always feels more ruthless than British TV...
"It's more political than anything. Judd Apatow was beginning to get really successful and sure of his product. They wanted to put a laugh track on the show and he refused and it got into a big p*ssing contest between them about that. It wasn't about the fact that people weren't watching the show, because they were, it just all became political and tangled."
Sons of Anarchy airs on Wednesdays at 10pm on 5USA.