So far, “Sons of Anarchy” Season 6 has been an interesting one for Katey Sagal’s matriarch of the family and club, Gemma Teller Morrow. Between acting as a surrogate mother to her grandchildren while Tara (Maggie Siff) was imprisoned and putting her life with Clay (Ron Perlman) behind her, there seems to be more on Gemma’s plate than ever before. There’s also her new world, which includes her relationship with Nero (Jimmy Smits).
In a conference call, Sagal discussed several things about the show, her character and even life as an actress.
The school shooting that occurred in the premiere, and the subsequent fallout, are a natural topic that sends shock waves throughout the cast of characters.
Katey echoes the importance of the event as a plot point, saying that it sets up the entire season and “involves everyone’s ideas about guns.” “It’s a big statement about the mishandling of guns on a show about gun runners,” she adds. The involvement of Nero is a bit of a wild card when it comes to reactions, as the audience doesn’t fully understand his point of view just yet. Most of the characters have been around since the show began and, this far in, have extremely deep and personal ties to the club and its doings. It might be a little too much for Nero, as Katey explains he “is in a little bit further than he’s really comfortable with.”
Some of his lack of comfort is plainly shown in the aftermath of the death of the shooter’s mother, which Jax (Charlie Hunnam) attempted to pass off as a simple overdose, after recruiting Juice (Theo Rossi) to suffocate her. Katey says the audience will continue to see how these events are affecting Nero. What that says for the relationship between the two of them, as Gemma is very much involved with the club, remains to be seen.
As for her relationship with Tara, Sagal thinks Gemma is torn. She wants Tara involved with the club and truly becoming an old lady within it, but realizes that her learning Gemma’s tricks and ways can be used against her, which is a sentiment Siff echoed when talking about the relationship between the two.
Katey believes Gemma truly loves Tara, but also sees she may have created a monster, in some respects, something that could be applied to more than one connection of Gemma’s on the show. “The relationships are love and hate, a lot of them. I love Clay, I hate Clay. I love Tara, I hate Tara.” There is one relationship Gemma isn’t on the fence about, as Sagal concludes, “I love my son. I think she always loves Jax. She gets mad at him but she always loves Jax.”
Based on the way the season is progressing so far, that Jax fan club that Gemma is in keeps growing smaller and smaller, so she’d better turn up her support.
Sagal also spoke about how similar her career path is following Bryan Cranston, who is wrapping up his role on “Breaking Bad,” a show she’s a fan of. “I relate to Bryan because we were both comedians on funny FOX sitcoms,” she says. “I don’t know if he bumped up against it like I did, but it was hard for me to get past that.” Katey explains that she, “was really grateful for that job and I loved playing on ‘Married with Children’ all those years,” but getting drama work when so recognizable as Peg Bundy wasn’t easy.
In the end, she looks at “Sons of Anarchy” as “the role of a lifetime,” which has changed her entire career. It doesn’t hurt that her husband, creator Kurt Sutter, wrote it either.
“Sons of Anarchy” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX