As Gemma, the fierce matriarch of the biker gang in the FX series Sons of Anarchy, Katey Sagal has shot and killed people, hit somebody with a skateboard, pulled a gun on a baby and done other horrible things. It’s all part of the challenge of playing the character, Sagal says.
“She does things in the name of loyalty, which I relate to, but she goes way beyond anything I would do.”
Sagal won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Gemma in 2011. According to the actress â€” who’s best known for playing the red-haired, sharp-tongued Peg Bundy in Married With Children â€” Gemma’s character is not based on any real person in the biker culture, partly because it was so hard to find research on the subculture’s women.
“It’s a very misogynistic culture and I say that with all due respect,” Sagal says.
Instead, she based Gemma on a variety of regal political figures.
“She’s the queen of the organization, so guys in the club are respectful of her â€” she’s sort of like their surrogate mother in a way,” Sagal tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “I think she pulls a lot of the strings behind the scenes, and she is privy to all the goings-on.”
“I got the gig as a singer and then I had to dance like in high heels and in a mermaid fin, and all these kind of crazy things. I just never thought I would be able to do it!”
Sagal is working on her fourth record, which will be out soon. The fifth season of Sons of Anarchy premiered on Sept. 11, 2012.
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