There’s never a shortage of testosterone on the set of FX motorcycle club drama “Sons of Anarchy,” and that’s just fine with Katey Sagal.
Sagal, who plays tough-as-nails Gemma, relishes in adding a feminine touch to the guys who crinkle with every move — their leather jackets and vests displaying the “Sons” logo.
“It’s fun,” says Sagal, whose Peg Bundy of “Married With Children” wouldn’t survive a nanosecond with this bunch of drug dealers and gun smugglers. “Everybody hangs tough, but they’re very respectful of me. There’s a great energy here.”
Although it provided her with a steady income, “Married” left Sagal with a stereotype to battle since the series ended in 1997. Following stints in “Lost,” “Boston Legal,” “CSI” and “Eli Stone” — plus a run on sitcom “8 Simple Rules” — she’s been able to shed the bouncy, brazen redhead persona that helped establish Fox as the fourth network.
But it was casting directors and showrunners who had a more difficult time giving her something fresh for the TV-viewing audience.
“The truth is, yeah, it was hard (to find new roles) when you’re in people’s living rooms for so long,” she explains. “Yet the perception of people in the business is not as broadminded as the public, who are more open-minded.”
Sagal researched Gemma not by jumping on the back of Harleys but by reading up on clubs. There wasn’t much in the way of how the bikers’ wives behaved, so she and exec producer Kurt Sutter — who is also Sagal’s husband — figured out who exactly she was.
“I really don’t know if a woman like Gemma is actually true to that world,” Sagal says. “It’s sort of creative license.”
Yet she’s now as real to the “Sons” universe as a noisy hog cruising down the interstate.
What do you like most about your character?
“I like her loyalty, her sense of right and wrong in her world. What’s so interesting about a motorcycle club is the set of rules they live by, and there are definite ways of behaving. She definitely loves her own family, her extended club family, and she would do anything for them.”