Ally Walker is happy to be leaving the angst behind.
Well, most of it, anyway.
After her stints as the tormented sleuth on NBC’s “Profiler” and the corrupt, love-to-hate-her ATF agent on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” the actress displays her lighter side as she returns to series work in “The Protector.” Premiering Sunday (June 12), the Lifetime show casts her as Gloria Sheppard, a divorcee and police detective raising two sons while working homicide cases.
“My agent called me after he got the pilot script and said, ‘This is kind of weird … she reminds me of you,'” the lively Walker tells Zap2it. “It’s nice, because it involves comedy. I had done a lot of comedy before ‘Profiler.’ June Stahl [on ‘Anarchy’] wasn’t like me, and Sam [on ‘Profiler’] didn’t have the happiest of lives, but this character is right up my alley.”
Walker says “Profiler” came her way “at a time when I had just lost a really good friend. Sam didn’t say much, she just understood things, and I liked that about her. I saw a lot of myself in her, but I see more of it in this [‘Protector’] character because she’s so snappy and fun, and she has such a great sense of humor about things.”
“Profiler” ended in 2000, though Walker left it a year earlier, with Jamie Luner assuming the lead role for its final season. The show pre-dated such similarly dark crime procedurals as CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Criminal Minds,” and Walker agrees it was ahead of its time.
“Oh, definitely. It really did create a new genre on TV, if you think about it. You didn’t have that kind of stylized flashback sequence before ‘Profiler,’ and black-and-white flashbacks, no less. And just that single woman who’s so misunderstood and so alone, yet she understood so much; you see that everywhere now. It must be very flattering for Cynthia Saunders, who created ‘Profiler.'”
In doing “Sons of Anarchy,” Walker essentially was working for her husband, since John Landgraf is the president of FX. She still marvels at the type of response her portrayal of Agent Stahl generated: “That was the scariest thing. I have never been treated like that. They warned me, too. They said, ‘Look, you’re probably going to get some weird mail,’ because she was so hateable.
“I was like, ‘Ehh, no,’ but I got some of the worst mail and meanest blogging. And they made it personal. I don’t necessarily have people talking about me, Ally Walker, but about the character. I kind of like that … but on ‘Sons,’ people went outside the norm with things like, ‘Ally Walker is so ugly! She’s such a b****!'”
With Stahl having been killed off last season, Walker chalks “Sons” up as “a different experience for me. I’m kind of glad they didn’t like the character, but they could have gone a little easier on me.”