Charlene Amoia stars as Sandy in the PureFlix original series “Sons of Thunder: Redemption.”
A spin-off of the original “Sons of Thunder.” “Redemption” follows Jacob, a lone biker on the road, on his journey to share his faith, seek forgiveness and encourage others on a ranch in California while scraping by from job to job and spreading the love of Jesus to those he meets.
Check out our interview with Charlene!
“Sons of Thunder: Redemption” drops this week. How does it feel?
Charlene: Well, I’m excited to have it drop. I’ve gotten to preview some of it but I will be pretty interested to see how the audience feels about it. It’s a story about redemption and my character’s theme has a lot to do with forgiveness as my love interest shows up in my life again and I am confronted with just the feelings of hurt and betrayal all over again and really having to dive into why he’s here and open up my heart and potentially even giving them a second chance.
Did you have to do anything special or unique to prepare to dive into those emotions?
Charlene: I always use Stella Adler’s technique, which is really imagination based. I mean, I think hurt feelings and broken heartedness is something that most of us can relate to on some level and certainly it’s not hard to remember those things or relate to it. And this circumstance with her character is more typical. I mean, they were engaged and he was heavily involved in a gang and addiction. She was betrayed by someone very close to her. It was not something I’ve experienced, so I think just creating memories of falling in love and why trusting this person to begin with and then having that shattered was how I prepared for this role.
I want to backtrack just a little bit. I’m a little confused by this show, just in the sense of, is it season two or is it a spin off of the original “Sons of Thunder”?
Charlene: Yeah, it’s a spin off. It is confusing because on IMDb it shows up as a season two but it’s with completely new characters. And the only through line really is that there’s this gang and so the characters you meet in the spin off came from the same gang that the lead character in the first season was in.
Are any characters coming over from that series?
Charlene: No, not this season. There was talk of that for the third season.
This show is streaming on PureFlix, which to my knowledge is a lot of family friendly, more faith based media. How does this show fit into that genre?
Charlene: Yes, absolutely. It’s something that I think families can feel comfortable turning on and having their kids watch. This is both family friendly and faith based. I mean, it definitely deals with some adult concepts, but there’s nothing in there that would make anyone worry. That, I think, is the primary focus when they create the content, something safe for all members of the family to view.
Was that something that drew you to the show when you were auditioning for it?
Charlene: I didn’t know when I was auditioning, actually. It was an interesting weekend because I had gotten five auditions on a Friday and I was in Atlanta and I was flying back to LA. So, I had all these scripts as I was on the plane, looking at all of them. It’s very rare by the way, I don’t normally have five auditions like that. Sometimes you go weeks without any audition and then they all piled in on one day. It was so intense and I remember I was studying like 35 pages of script and so I just had to bang them out. So, when I was doing it, I didn’t know anything about any of them. I just had to do them and then this was the one that came in and I signed up for PureFlix. I watched the first season just to see what it was all about, what the network was all about.
How does this compare to the original season?
Charlene: I think the season is very exciting. There’s a couple of really good looking guys and really like exciting storylines. I just think it’s different from the first season. The first season was the protagonist’s main story and he was encountering different circumstances each episode and this one is more collective, like there’s a group of us. It’s more of a collaboration and you get to watch all of our storylines throughout the six episodes.
There were some horses in the trailer, and I love to talk about working animals. Did you get to work with the horses at all?
Charlene: Yeah, I didn’t get to ride the horses, though. I mean, they were always around and we did a lot of scenes with them. So, I think we all became friends with them. And it was, working on this ranch was probably one of the highlights of jobs that I’ve had, for sure, because there were the horses and then there was a dog and there were chickens and pigs and just all kinds of animals and it was just a beautiful view. The scenery was exceptional. So it felt like a dream job in that sense.
So was the whole show shot like on location?
Charlene: All of my stuff was on the ranch. My character was living on the ranch. There were some other scenes that were off the ranch for the bikers.
And Kristy Swanson is in this show, I’m a huge fan of hers. What was it like working with her?
Charlene: Lovely. Yeah, it’s funny because my boyfriend is too. He’s been a huge fan of hers from (Buffy The Vampire Slayer). He had such a crush on her. So I told her that when I met her. She was very kind and very nice to me. And we had a lot of stuff together, our characters were close in the series, so it was nice to get to know her personally. It was very easy to work with her.
What do you hope that people take away from watching this show?
Charlene: It’s funny because, you know, it’s called “Sons of Thunder: Redemption,” and it’s obviously a redemptive story. And I think that’s the big takeaway about it. My character is extremely angry and bitter in the first couple episodes and so, there’s a huge transformation as she sees that someone can change and that forgiveness is really the way to go for the person that you’re forgiving, but also for yourself because otherwise you carry around this baggage that’s stuck inside and kind of affecting everything else you do. It’s just not healthy or a good place to be. So, I think it’s just reminders of the stuff that maybe we know but find difficult to do when confronted with it in our own lives. There’s things that are very easy to say, but once it’s personal, and you’ve gone through something very difficult or have been very, very hurt, it’s hard to walk in forgiveness or open yourself up to that.… They’re just like human experiences that you know, we probably all go through on some level and there’s a number of ways that we can approach but if we close ourselves off and become hardened, it affects our future relationships. I think that’s the more painful path.