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October 8, 2015

Sons of Anarchy's Katey Sagal talks to TV Squad...again

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 8th 2009 11:05AM
Katey Sagal on the set of Sons of AnarchyI haven't been here from the beginning, so I don't know the exact number of times actress and singer Katey Sagal has sat down to talk to someone from our humble site. But within the last year, someone Squadder has either called her up on the phone or bumped into her in person to chat her up about the return of Futurama or her more serious but equally kick-ass role on Sons of Anarchy.

I'm seriously thinking that we need to institute some kind of frequent visitor punch card that rewards stars with a free pizza, a round of drinks or half off a new muffler (not including labor) for their 10th interview.

Sagal was nice enough to talk to us yet again in anticipation of the new season of Sons of Anarachy that premieres this tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central on FX. We talked about her character Gemma's place in SAMCRO and what she has to endure for the club, and why women are such big fans of the show.

DG: Thanks for setting this up. I guess this is our third or fourth interview. I can't keep track.

KS: I know (laughs).

DG: Are y'all done taping for the season?

KS: Oh no, we're on episode 11 (out of a 13 episode season), so we have another month or two to three weeks to go.

DG: How has the shoot been?

KS: Well there is a lot to shoot. It's a seven day shoot for a one hour episode and they're very ambitious episodes and a lot of physical stuff. But it's a long shoot and we're up for all hours. I think (Charlie Hunnam aka Jax) has the longest hours, but he's young. He can handle it.

DG: Well from what I remember from the first season, you have probably the least physical character. Are you going to have any bar fights this season?

KS: No, no bar fights.

DG: Not that I'm disappointed...

KS: (laughs)

DG: But you're kind of the moral center of this (series), almost the spirit guide of the people in the gang. How do you see your character?

KS: She's the matriarch. This season is a little bit different than last season, just in terms of Gemma. She has something that happens to her that sends her off on her own little journey that eventually affects the entire club. Is she the morality? I don't know if she's the morality. She's definitely the glue. It's interesting that you can look at a motorcycle club as sort of The Lost Boys in a way. They've lived on the fringe and formed their own little society and every society needs a matriarch.

DG: And it's interesting you mention that, because over your TV career, you've played all kinds of different moms. I hate to compare Peg Bundy to Gemma, but is there anything you take from those old roles or even your personal life to this one?

KS: Well I'm a mother in my personal life. I have three children. I know about loyalty to family. That I definitely draw on because Gemma's arc is about loyalty to her family and making sure they are united. Certainly the other parts I've played is that they are mothers. Mothers all have that same quality. This is definitely a different reaction to being a mother.

DG: So do you ever worry about getting killed off?

KS: (laughs) No.

DG: I don't want you to reveal any spoilers, but it always seems like the nice character or the one that keeps everyone centered (gets killed). Is that ever in the back of your mind?

KS: No, I've never had that thought.

DG: Well, ok. (Silence) That answers that one.

KS: (laughs)

DG: It's your husband's (Kurt Sutter) show. Do you ever have a say as to what your character gets to do or become?

KS: Not much. I don't feel a need to do that. He's very good at what he does and he is very entrenched in the story of all these people's lives. I'm pretty happy with what he comes up with for me to do. It's always a surprise. He just has a big overview of everybody. When I think you're the creator of a big show like this, it's not about one character. All the people and the stories have to intertwine with each other. I let him be. He's good at what he does.

DG: In terms of the story, is there a way that Gemma goes or changes?

KS: Yeah, she has a very interesting arch this year that stretches her in a direction that she doesn't think she could be stretched in and I don't want to give too much away. I think you really have to watch the season to see how she...she really surprises herself in the questions that she asks. To me, people don't change very much sometimes. In other words, we can go outside of our comfort zone and asks ourselves some questions, but we tend to remain who we are. That's kind of the journey she's on.

DG: Is there anything hard about doing such a gritty show?

KS: There is some stuff that you have to dig deep to convey the emotion in the storyline. It's just a different kind of work as an actor. You have to visit some darker places.

DG: Was there any moment you thought was just too far to be on television, even on FX? Is there an expectation for the writers to keep pushing things?

KS: I don't think that's where it all comes out. I think it comes from the kind of stories that my husband likes to tell. It isn't mandated by the network to walk a certain line or have a certain amount of edginess. I know Kurt gravitated towards a cable network because it allows him more freedom to tell the stories he wants to tell, which tend to be edgier. So I don't think he's trying to outdo himself or The Shield. He's just telling the stories he wants to tell.

DG: So how has this changed things for you?

KS: It's definitely opened up a new fan base....There is a pretty strong fan base growing for the show. A lot of people who ride motorcycles, that's for sure. For me as an actor, it's given me a whole different experience that I've been looking to have. It's been great in that way. I think a lot of people are watching it.

DG: Are there people watching it that you thought would never watch a show like this?

KS: Because my kids are in school, a lot of the parents at school tell me they watch it. A lot of women watch the show. It has a very strong female following. There is strong female characters on our show as well as some interesting, hot guys. (laughs)

I think that women enjoy the family drama of it all because that's what is fascinating about it. To me, I love all of the story lines but the actual, day-to-day workings of their lives, I find really interesting.

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Katey Segal is an incredible and amazing actress. I am thrilled to watch how she performs in this show. She absolutely makes me "go there" with her. When she slammed down the meat she had just cooked- wow. The rape scene this season was, I thought, a bit too much for me, but it was necessary to tell that part of the story. I have so much respect for her and I hope this show continues for quite a while. I've never really thought of myself as a big "fan" of anyone, but I have become a fan of Katey. I really love what she's doing on this show. Thank you, Katey!

(And Charlie Hunnam- hubba hubba! He was so great on the British Queer as Folk- what a new direction! It's awesome.)

November 11 2009 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

good opening show but do not disrespect kids that play in t-ball. i coached it this summer and had every race and disadvantegted kid on my team. by the end of the season when whe were done the kids had a aswome time just being who they r for those games and our pratice time as a group not individuals dealing dealing with our own problems. but i love the show just dont bring kids sports into it please? thank you.

September 09 2009 at 12:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dewy's comment

What does that have to do with anything?

September 09 2009 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You failed to ask her the most important question:

Will she return to LOST next season? I believe that Widmore faked her death to get Locke on his side...

September 08 2009 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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