Katey Sagal on ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 2 Premiere

Katey Sagal on ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 2 Premiere

So … did I exaggerate? Was last night’s Sons of Anarchy season two premiere every bit as good as season one, if not better? And was the vicious attack on Gemma at the end of episode some of the most graphic, brutal and heartbreaking moments on TV this year?

Katey Sagal, who plays SAMCRO matriarch Gemma, continues her incredible, should-be-nominated-for-an-Emmy performance, and the episode itself was an example of series creator Kurt Sutter‘s best, most layered writing. The contrast between tough-as-nails Gemma kindly waiting with Chief Unser after his cancer treatment and the debauchery of SAMCRO’s welcome home party for Bobby Elvis was a good little “day in the life of Gemma” piece, and made the episode-ending attack on her that much more powerful, shocking and crushing.

And as I said in the intro to my interview with Sagal, the show, and Sagal’s performance, just keeps getting better throughout the season.

I had to leave a few things out of the post of my interview with her yesterday, so as not to spoil anything in the premiere, so here, now, are a few of her thoughts on what happened to Gemma, and how it will affect the rest of the season.

SPOILER ALERT: Sagal discusses a minor plot point from next week’s episode below, so if you want to remain totally spoiler free, skip it. But it’s something her co-star, Charlie Hunnam, discussed in greater detail at EW.com, so I’ll go ahead with it here.

And there’s still more to come from Sagal, after next week’s episode.

The attack on Gemma in the season premiere was a powerful moment, very difficult to watch, but it seems like it’s going to open up a lot to viewers about her character, her past, her motivations. What did you think when you read the script for the episode?
Well, I knew it was coming. Kurt (Sutter, Sagal’s real-life husband) had told me what was going to happen. You know, I was a little intimidated by doing it, but, it’s like everything I’ve been learning while doing this show … there are things where I think, ‘Oh, wow, I don’t know if I can do that,’ and then I do it and I’ve learned more and I get better at what I’m doing, and I feel more comfortable. So that felt really great. Ultimately, being an actor, you just want to keep trying new things.

And then, the season … what happens to Gemma really sets up the arc for the season. The fact that she is not going to tell them what has happened to her is very important in what goes down, because the season is all about loyalties. Everybody’s falling apart a little bit. It’s all about secrets. Secrets can destroy things. So we’re going to have to spill secrets at a certain point.

Were those scenes in the premiere, and all of the scenes that make up the aftermath of the attack for Gemma, more difficult to film with your real-life husband on set?
Oh no, I felt very comfortable around him. Kurt’s an actor as well … so no. I felt comfortable with everybody on our set. It’s a very safe environment, and the show goes into some dark, risky places for everyone. So it’s a pretty cozy set. If anything, I felt safer being there with them.

One of the things that’s so heartbreaking about the attack and its aftermath is that it makes Gemma so vulnerable, which is, clearly, her least favorite state to be in. Is that going to catch up with her?
Yes, you’re going to see her act out in some ways, definitely. There will be circumstances in which her behavior will be very uncharacteristic of who we think she is. And as a character, her own behavior startles her.

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