Since bursting onto the acting scene in the early 90s, Kim Coates has taken on many different personas. He’s played the good guy in shows like “Prison Break,” the oddball bad boy in “Sons of Anarchy,” a charismatic hockey coach in “Goon,” and everything in between and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down. After hanging up his hat following seven long years on TV, Coates has set out to shift his focus back toward film — and he’s doing so in a big way.
The Canadian-born actor has six projects coming down the pike in 2016, each one different from the last. He’s signed on to star in three comedies, two independent dramas and a graphic novel-based film. Coates tells International Business Times he was cautious about accepting roles after “Sons of Anarchy” wrapped in 2014. He turned down several roles until the right parts came along. The first of those parts came in the form of an essentially immortal Los Angeles police officer named Terrance Downe.
“‘Officer Downe’ was the first picture I said yes to after ‘Sons’ ended. It was right for many, many reasons — it was the perfect vehicle to do right out of the ‘Sons’ world. To play a cop, not a biker — I can’t wait for people to see it,” Coates explains.
By Coates’ account the film takes place in the future, 2030's, and follows his character, Downe, who dies in the line of duty. Given the dangerous climate in Los Angeles at that time, someone figures out a way to “put [Downe] on ice,” allowing the Los Angeles Police Department to repeatedly bring him back to keep the city safe. Coates notes that his character lives “by the badge” adding that he was careful with some of the decisions he made during filming to maintain Downe’s integrity.
“We’re in a delicate time right now with our officers in America. It’s a concern for me as a citizen and I’m sure it’s a concern for everyone. ‘Officer Downe’ doesn’t really have anything to do with what’s really going on right now, but I must say I was really conscious.” Even in a fictional world I was very careful to make sure that Terrance never fired his gun first. I made sure that I played this guy by the book — that he was the toughest guy on the planet.”
Coates may play the good guy in the Shawn Crahan helmed film in the hopes of shedding his Tig Trager image, but he’s far from escaping his bad boy image. Although he’s careful about what roles he will and will not accept, the father of two knows he plays a good bad guy and he’s not running from that. Coates tells IBT that his “intense blue eyes, cheekbones and big f—ing nose” make him the perfect fit for more sinister roles — perhaps that’s why in addition to playing a police officer he’s agreed to appear in “The Land.”
The film, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January, follows four young kids with a passion for skateboarding and a penchant for trouble. Coates plays Uncle Steve in the film — a reformed junkie who tries to lead his nephew, the leader of the young boys, down the right path while navigating chaos of his own. He stars in the film alongside Erykah Badu — which scored Coates some serious points with his kids and will likely have the same effect on audiences.
“Erykah plays Turquoise, my beautiful little hooker in the movie. My daughters went crazy when they found out I was going to be working with [her]. She was amazing — she brought it, man,” he says. “This is not my first rodeo — I’ve done 50 or 60 movies by now and that’s all I do is bring it. I haven’t seen our work together, but I hear it’s pretty powerful stuff. Erykah got sweaty like I did, she got dirty like I did — you need to not be afraid to fail and Erykah was certainly a part of that.”
Coates — who never actually set out to be an actor — has also developed a passion for comedy over the years. He’s currently slated to appear in “Goon: Last of the Enforcers” — the sequel to the 2011 hockey-comedy — as well as Netflix original “The True Memoirs of an International Assassin,” alongside Kevin James. He claims that comedy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear his name, but that it’s always going to be something he loves. Coates assures fans that all three films are “hysterical,” and is especially excited to get back to playing Coach Ronnie Hortense. He says that when presented with the opportunity to shoot “Goon 2” he “couldn’t sign fast enough.” He adds that filming the sequel was a lot of fun — especially because they got to shoot in the summer this time around.
“Every day was so funny — it was so fun to be on that set. This time we filmed it in the summer, so it wasn’t in Winnipeg, Canada, when it’s -30,” Coates continues. “When we got off the set we all went and had a beer — it was just the greatest.”
Another exciting venture for Coates? Delving into the streaming world. The former on-TV outlaw biker will be starring as President Cueto in Netflix’s “The True Memoirs of an International Assassin.” Coates notes that the film, which boasts incredible writing and an all-star comedic cast, is yet another home run for the streaming service.
“They’ve taken all the TV show streaming and they’ve got that down and now they’re doing movies as well. [Netflix is] ahead of the curve and I think other [streaming services] are figuring it out as well and they’re trying to do it. What is it? I don’t know, but all I care about is great writing and working with great people. It’s all about the part and the script and Netflix really has it going on.”
Official release dates for a majority of Coates’ forthcoming projects have not yet been announced, though they are expected at some point during 2016. “Officer Downe” will will be premiering at the L.A. Film Festival in June.