Gangland Undercover (season 2) moves away from Falco’s memoir

Damon Runyan and Ian Matthews, part of the cast from Gangland Undercover, shed light on biker culture and not judging a book by its cover.

Imagine TV Network

Damon Runyan and Ian Matthews reprise their roles as Charles Falco and Darko respectively in the second season of Gangland Undercover. The American television series is based on a memoir by Charles Falco, a confidential informant who had previously infiltrated motorcycle gangs in Southern California for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Image credit: HISTORY

Runyan and Matthews had no history (pardon the pun) with either gangs or motorcycles but they both concur that learning to ride a bike and understanding the bike culture were indispensable to giving a realistic portrayal of their characters.

Nevertheless, it suffice to say that the biking has rubbed off on them and their reel life has an tangible impact on their real life. "We have been wandering around on this tour wearing matching t-shirts that says 'I want to ride all of the motorcycles' and I think that's pretty accurate," Matthews remarks.

For Runyan, however, biking was a thorny issue between him and his wife. He explains that he had a big argument with his wife because he wanted to get a bike if he got the role of Charles Falco. "So after the 'war' ended, I went out and purchased a bike," he added. (He eventually bought a Triumph Thruxton.)

Image credit: HISTORY

Having been part of Gangland Undercover for two seasons, Runyan shares that the television series is a 'light' version of the biker gang culture. "Lighter on the sex, lighter on the violence, lighter on the drugs," he says. The book that Falco wrote, on the other hand, portrays the gang and its culture in a much darker light. He notes that the events in the first season were largely based on the book but the second season "evolves into [a] more fictionalised story."

In contemporary society, the term 'motorcycle clubs' is associated with nefarious activities but Matthews clarifies that criminal psychopathic elements are present in all segments of society. Even though the television series represents many of these elements, it is after all a drama. "Most of the guys involved in this life, it is a dedication; it is a philosophy and a way of life." Runyan shares that a bike gang is not as clear-cut as it seems. "It's a grey area, it's not black or white, it's not good guys and bad guys."

Gangland Undercover (season 2) airs on HISTORY (StarHub TV channel 401) every Friday at 10pm.



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