KateySagal.net

Interviews, Reviews and Announcements


Anarchy Afterword Live Chat

Katey Sagal with Maggie Siff and Kurt Sutter after the Season 6 Finale of 'Sons Of Anarchy.'


Howard Stern

Katey Sagal gets questioned about her sex life!


Conan O'Brien

Katey Sagal Offers Conan A Role On "Sons Of Anarchy"


NPR.org

October 31, 2012: Katey Sagal, Holding Court On "Sons Of Anarchy"

Terry Gross conducted an in-depth interview with Katey Sagal on the show "Fresh Air" from WHYY.

Read about Katey and the interview, listen to the audio and comment here: www.NPR.org


Cabaret Scenes

Katey Sagal
Having No Regrets
MBar
Hollywood, CA

Katey Sagal is a singer - not simply an actress who sings but a genuinely gifted singer. Her specialty appears to be rhythm and blues, which she performed extremely well in her thirteen-song set. Seven of the songs were originals, written by Sagal and a host of collaborators, and they were very personal - "about things I needed to hear at the time," she told the audience. "Writing is how I process things."

Her deep connection with the songs was clear from her vocal delivery and body language, which indicated she was really feeling each number. One of her best was "Can't Hurry the Harvest," a song about patience and delayed gratification written by Sagal, Bob Thiele Jr., (her musical director) and Phil Roy, which she said was written in the early 1990s. Her vocal was powerful and effective, as it was on every song - with strong backup vocals by Billy Valentine.

Her four-piece band also added strong musical support and effective harmonies throughout the set, including Dillon O'Brien (keyboard), Debra Dobkin (drums), Taras Prodaniuk (bass), and Thiele (guitar), and Sagal demonstrated good rapport with them throughout her show. Clifford Bell was producer and director.

Another strong performance on a self-penned song was "September Rain" (also written with Thiele and Roy) - which expressed her belief that everything happens for the best, though what's right often seems wrong - which she sang in a clear, declarative style, with a strong guitar solo by Thiele.

The show also incorporated songs by other writers, including a very strong version of "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," by Bob Dylan, for whom Sagal sang backup for two months early in her career, she said. The song, as she performed it, was a gentle ballad whose impact was boosted by the excellent musical and vocal support of her band.

Sagal also captivated on Stevie Wonder's "Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away" and on a too-brief version of "Smile" (Charlie Chaplin, John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons).

Elliot Zwiebach
Cabaret Scenes
August 1, 2009
www.cabaretscenes.org


An Interview with Katey Sagal

For music/concert bookings please email BandBmgmt@gmail.com or (323) 850-2994.

Question: An Entertainment Weekly music critic once described your delivery as "somewhere between Tina Turner's pop soul and Bonnie Raitt's tender R&B for 40-somethings." Would you call that accurate?

Answer: Oh, I like that! That's probably apropos.

Q: What can people expect at your show?

A: I write music, so most of it is original music and I have a great band. I do talk, but I don't tell jokes. Sometimes people get confused, they think, "Well, she's funny on television." But I share a little bit about myself.

Q: What themes do you explore in your songs?

A: I'm always fascinated with the concept of growing up, becoming an adult. It's still a startling thing to me, how life is never quite like what I thought it was going to be when I was a kid. I write about my family. It's not your typical love songs, it's more experiential.

Q: You've done two albums and sang on your former sitcom, "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." Despite that, are people still surprised when they discover this other talent?

A: People are surprised when I do anything other than be Peg Bundy -- which is fine. I loved Peg Bundy. But it's amazing how doing one thing on television for 11 years just carries you. I think sometimes people are shocked that I don't have big red hair. Sometimes I've been a little frustrated by people's lack of vision because they keep you there, but I lean toward it being a blessing. It gave me so many great opportunities. But when they see me in concert, I get surprised looks on people's faces.

Q: Of your performance as a biker mama on "Sons of Anarchy," the Hollywood Reporter wrote that it's now "impossible to imagine she ever played Peg Bundy." Is that a good sign for getting Peg to recede in the public's mind?

A: Yes, it's completely different. My husband (Kurt Sutter, co-executive producer of "The Shield") wrote it for me, and (the character) is a fiercely loyal mother to her children and her (motorcycle) club, and I'm kind of that way in life. Also, I have this recurring role on "Eli Stone," which is really fun, so perceptions are loosening up. Q: In the early '70s, you were a backup singer for Bob Dylan. What did you take away from that experience?

A: It was a very limited time I worked with him, only a couple of months. I learned that it's important to speak up for yourself, because at the time I was so starstruck, I was only 18 years old, I could barely say anything to him. In retrospect, I think, "I should have talked, made my opinions clear."

Q: What did Bette Midler teach you?

A: How to work hard. I never worked so hard in my life. And I haven't worked so hard since. She has an amazing work ethic. I went over all over the world with her, and I cannot tell you how many hotel lobbies I rehearsed in, because she would decide at the last minute that we would have to rehearse a number, that's just how she worked. Even though it's the same show every night, she was constantly perfecting it. Bette was such a consummate performer and my show is really not like a Bette show, not as theatrical as all that.

Q: Did any one singer specifically influence your style?

A: When I worked with Etta James -- musically, that's where my emphasis is. Etta was someone I was in awe of, musically.

Q: With roles in two TV series and giving more than 20 touring performances a year, is it tough to fit it all into your schedule?

A: It's hard times right now, and the fact that I'm working doesn't go lightly by me. I'm grateful.


ifMagazine Interview

By ABBIE BERNSTEIN, Contributing Writer, Published 9/4/2009

KATEY SAGAL DIGS BIKERS IN THE SECOND SEASON

The FX series is called SONS OF ANARCHY, but Katey Sagal's matriarch Gemma Teller Morrow, parent of brooding hero Jax and wife of motorcycle gang leader Clay, is so powerful that there's a case to be made "mother" should be somewhere in the title. Sagal is back for the second season of ANARCHY, the series created by her husband Kurt Sutter. Like her FUTURAMA voice cast mates, Sagal is also back on the Comedy Central series at last after the producers threatened to recast everyone. Indeed, as soon as Sagal finishes with this Television Critics Association press tour engagement, she says she's on her way to a table read of the new FUTURAMA script.

KATEY SAGAL: I love that [FUTURAMA] job. What's great about that job is, I'm not the experienced voice actor. The rest of them are. They're just unbelievable to watch - how many different voices they do, and that different [from live acting] process, and it comes so naturally. So it's fun to go [to rehearsals].

iF MAGAZINE: Did you feel bad when it looked as though you and your colleagues might not be returning to FUTURAMA?

SAGAL: Yeah. You never feel good about that. It's all business, so you have to kind of keep yourself detached while that [contract negotiation] conversation is going on. I really in my heart of hearts did not believe that they would recast it. I just didn't. I mean, I know they threatened and they put the call out [to other actors], but really, I think to replace Billy West would be almost impossible. He's so fantastic. Not that we're all not great, but he's amazing.

iF: How would you describe Gemma on SONS OF ANARCHY?

SAGAL: She's a survivor. She's somebody that came apart. So I think that when you work that muscle of having to be a survivor, it's a natural place. I know people like that, and I've got elements of that in my life.My back story of Gemma is that she grew up basically parentless, definitely without a father - this is all in my imagination - and struggled, had to really make her own way. So I think that's a muscle she's well-versed in, well-worked.

iF: Last season, there was a strong HAMLET allegory running through SONS OF ANARCHY. Is it back this season?

SAGAL: I would say a little bit less. Those archetypes are still there, but we're not doing so much exploration this season into the back story of John Teller [Gemma's deceased husband]. There's reference to it and it's definitely the overriding arc of the entire series, but this season is not as specifically directed towards that as it was last season. We will come back to it.

iF: Is there is a comparison this season?

SAGAL: To a Shakespeare play?

iF: Or to anything else.

SAGAL: I really can't compare it to anything. It's such an emotionally charged, intricate, fascinating storytelling thing going on.

iF: Do the emotional scenes ever stick with you when you've wrapped for the day?

SAGAL: Sometimes. My children are my greatest helpers with all that, because they're children and they require so much more, so you've got to get over it. But this particular season, there have definitely been days and weeks where I've sort of felt like I couldn't exactly shake it.

iF: This season finds the Sons coming into conflict with some white supremacists. Is Gemma involved in that situation?

SAGAL: Oh, yes, and not in a very flattering way. You'll have to watch. But yes, absolutely. I had a really brutal scene. It was tough. Those things are very well-choreographed, so it's never quite as scary as [it looks], but it was intense. It's a very brutal activity that goes on. But you will see as the season unfolds, it contributes to the emotional arc of the entire season.

iF: You're in a film version of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK...

SAGAL: I'm Jack's mom. It hasn't come out yet. I'll tell you a funny story - I took my thirteen-year-old to the movies to be dropped off with a bunch of people to see the ORPHAN movie. He's standing there talking to this kid, and I think, �He looks really familiar.' All of a sudden, I realize, he played Jack. I hadn't seen him in a year and a half. He looked like a completely different child.

iF: You also played a sitcom diva on a comedic episode of C.S.I., written by TWO AND A HALF MEN show runner Chuck Lorre.

SAGAL: It was a wild thing. Most of my stuff was in that weird [CSI]effect they did, so [laughs] I just sort of laid there. It was really fun - I thought it was really funny. And I love Chuck Lorre, so I was thrilled that he offered me that role.

iF: Are you doing anything else at present?

SAGAL: I'm playing at a local club - the M Bar in Hollywood. I bring in my band and we play there -we're playing the Saturday at the end of September.


Interview with MediaBlvd

by Kenn Gold

Question> Does it make a difference going into a role that was written especially for you?

Katey Sagal> When my husband came to me and said he had written me a part, he didn't actually tell me what the part was. I knew that he was writing a show in the world of outlaw motorcycle clubs and I knew she was the mother of the lead character, but that was all I really knew. I don't know that it was necessarily inspired by me, but when he says that he sort of tailor made it to me, I'm not quite sure what he meant by that.
Once you see her, you'll kind of think, "Huh?" Gemma is a fiercely loyal mother not only to her son, but also to her sort of family of club members. They're kind of this counter-culture group, and she is the matriarch of that group. In my personal life, I'm a pretty fiercely loyal mother, but I don't practice the same ways and means as Gemma does.

Question> Can you just tell us a little bit about what we can expect from Gemma as the series goes on? The media kit descriptions say you're fiercely loyal and vicious.

Katey> Yes, she's all that. She's vicious. She's ferocious. She's a hard ass. I look at her as a survivor. I look at all of these people. They've created their own little world. They all come from their own fragmented lives to kind of come together and form their own family. Whatever her history is it has left her being somebody that is a fighter. What we can expect is that, if she's at all threatened by any kind of potential for breakup of her family or harm to her son, she will go to any lengths to protect that. You will see that in various forms.

Question> How much did you know about motorcycle gangs or clubs before signing on?

Katey> I knew a little bit. When I was in my 20s, I definitely kind of ran with a fast crowd. Some of that involved people with bikes. I don't know very much about the actual club situation. I've learned a lot since then, but I didn't have a lot of real experience, per se, no.

Question> Will we see you on a bike at all this season?

Katey> Yes, I just shot a scene two days ago where I get on the back of the bike. I'm not actually riding a bike. I'm just on the back of the bike.

Question> You're a pretty unusual mother in this show from what I've seen so far. We don't usually see a mom who is actually involved in the group in which her son is doing some illegal activities and questionable things. Do you think she has conflicted feelings over this or is her main dedication to the motorcycle family?

Katey> I think she has no conflicted feelings about it. I think that she is all about the club. She's all about her family. She loves her life and the lifestyle that this has provided for her. She sees nothing wrong with what she does.

Question> You said that she's a fiercely protective and loyal mother, but do you see that getting in her way?

Katey> With that getting in her way? From Gemma's perspective, no, absolutely not. It's so interesting, because from her perspective, which is really, as the actor, that's what I'm doing is her perspective, she sees nothing wrong with what she does. It's all a means to an end for her and whatever she needs to do. In the pilot, you see her do some pretty harsh things when her son and grandson are threatened and, from her perspective, what needs to be done.

Question> In the end of the second episode, is it you singing the song Son of a Preacher Man?.And do you have any plans to do any other singing in the show.

Katey> It is me. Kurt wanted to use that song for the montage at the end, and we decided to re-record it. Aretha Franklin did kind of a gospel version of it, so we did a track like that, and then we kind of did a different vocal on it, having me sing the vocal. It was fun to do. I don't know if there are any plans for it. It wasn't really planned out; it just spontaneously kind of happened. I hope so, though. I love to sing.

Question> Could you talk about any difference for you as an actor in appearing for an hour-long drama as opposed to a half-hour comedy?

Katey> There are a lot of differences. It's a serialized show, the nature of it, in that you're dealing with 12 episodes and there's an arch for all the characters. The work that I did for this part was a lot of back story and history, sort of figuring out where these people came from and how they end up in a motorcycle club. For just me individually, I needed to understand all that back story and all that history, so I did a lot of exploration and imagination, figuring that out. My husband is really good and sort of builds that whole world for himself and to write from, so he was a good source for that material. When you're doing comedy, a sitcom, it doesn't require quite the same depth of work, I'd say.

Question> Hi, Katey. Thanks for talking with us today. Many of your fans know you from your comedy work on shows like Married with Children, Eight Simple Rules, and Eli Stone. Do you have a different work method when it comes to more dramatic projects, like Sons of Anarchy?

Katey> Yes. Just like I answered the previous question, it just takes a little more history on my part and sort of understanding a lot of back story and where this person comes from. Doing a serialized series where the character is actually going somewhere, there's a beginning, middle and an end sort of, until the next season, so there's a broader arch.

Question> I notice you are a huge comedy television icon, and Ron Perlman is a huge movie icon through his role as Hellboy. What was it like putting two icons together and as a married couple for a TV show?

Katey> Very nice of you to say that. Ron and I have a very good, intense chemistry. The important thing about Gemma and Clay, one of the important things, is that they're a happily married couple. They're not an uptight married couple. They like each other. They have a lot of passion for each other. It's a fun relationship. Ron and I have that chemistry together. I'm sure he doesn't think of me as an icon, and I'm not looking at him that way either. We're just doing our job.

Question> Hi, Katey. Thanks for your time today. Actually I had the pleasure of speaking to you at the TCA party on the red carpet there. I wanted to talk more about Gemma's, what are we calling it, bad-ass-nicity. Do you think there is any line that she won't cross in protecting her family or, as an actress, are you protective of her ultimate morality?

Katey> As an actress, I don't get involved in that. I've faced that issue a lot with parts I've played and what are my values as opposed to what the character's values are. That's not my job. My job is to interpret the writers, the vision, so I don't have my morality on it. In terms of her, I would say she pretty much goes to any length. People that do things that seem nefarious to other people sometimes don't really feel that they are; do you know what I mean? They have the reasoning and motive. They've made that okay for themselves. I think that she sees what she does as what she needs to do.

Question> So there hasn't been a point in any script yet where she has drawn the line at the length she'll go to?

Katey> Not yet.

Question> In the first episode, we kind of see that, even though she is not the face of the gang, she does have some influence on Clay. I was wondering if we're going to see more of that and how it's going to develop during the season?

Katey> She may have more. Gemma has been there since the beginning. The history is that Gemma and her first husband, John Teller, were married when that club was formed. She's been there, and then Clay also started the club with her previous husband. She's aware and witness to all the goings on.
The influence that the women have in that world and particularly someone like Gemma is a very overt one actually. I don't think it would be an obvious role over any situation. It's pretty much a man's world, but there are always some pretty strong women behind that man's world.

Question> Are you still shooting the season or if you were done and how many episodes were going to be aired.

Katey> We just finished episode 5, and we're doing 13 for the cable.

Question> Are you planning on releasing a full album in the future?

Katey> I'd love to make a new record, but I haven't really had time to work on it right now. I'm playing gigs. I'm going to be in Nevada-I think it's Hendersonville, Nevada-on October 17th. We were just up in Seattle and up in San Francisco. I love to go play live. I don't have any plans to record anything new right now, but that can change.

Question> A lot of people are saying now that the best shows are actually on cable TV rather than on the broadcast networks, and FX is right up there. Do you agree with that assessment and how does that change opportunities as an actor?

Katey> I think it's fantastic, and I think that's definitely true. We have network television; I'm a big fan of that, too. I've made a very good living and career on network television. I think that it's going through some kind of transition. It's just a looser creative reign on cable. You're more like the independent film morals. You're allowed to do more outside-the-box kind of things. It's not a formula.
For someone like me that was really looking to do something different, I sort of felt that what I'd done I've done for a long time and I've been pretty successful at it. I wanted to find a different thing to do, and cable has definitely provided that. I think for women it's just opened up a lot of doors.

Question> Which one do you find the most fulfilling for your artistic self, your music or acting?

Katey> I'd say for today, my acting, this is so exciting to me, what we're doing on the show and everybody is getting to stretch. As an actor, it's a great experience. Music for me is always kind of the most organic thing I've ever done, because it's what I've done since I was a kid. I love to do that as well. I love them both.

Question> How much gun play will we see Gemma involved in?

Katey> Gun play? There's one episode I just shot where I take out a hatbox filled with guns. That's all I'll say.

Question> Did you have to train in weapons at all?

Katey> No. I haven't actually shot a gun yet.

Question> How long have Gemma and Clay been married, and how would this have made a difference of either a fatherly figure of Clay towards Jax versus being a brother in the motorcycle family?

Katey> We figure they've been married for about 15 years. I think he's a little of both. He's his stepdad, and he came into his life when Jax was about 15, 16 years old. That's an interesting relationship. I think that he's fatherly, but he's also brotherly. It's both; I guess that's the answer.

Question> How have you found it to be on a cast that's mostly men?

Katey> It's fantastic. We have great women, though, too, you know. We have Maggie Siff and Drea De Mateo. Taryn Manning is there now. She's doing a four- or five-episode arch. She's fantastic. So the girls are really strong.

Question> Are there going to be any upcoming Futurama projects that you might be involved in?

Katey> Not that I know of. I would really like there to be. We shot the four DVD movies, and they've released two of them already. There is another one coming out in November. We're done with recording, so I don't know. Somebody has to buy some more. The blog fans and the Web fans have been the most instrumental in getting that to happen actually. So, if you want more Futurama, just let them know.

Question> Do you think that there might be any possibility of a big screen Futurama event?

Katey> Same answer; I have no idea what goes on with all that. Me, it's just a smart show that that would be a great move for somebody.

Question> According to your IMDB profile, you have a movie in post-production called Jack and the Beanstalk. Can you tell us about that?

Katey> Yes. It's a live action; how you describe it exactly, but there are characters that are really dressed up as the characters. It's like a specialized deal, but it's a really cute movie. It's a different version of Jack and the Beanstalk. Christopher Lloyd is in it, and I'm in it and Wallace Shawn is in. I'm not sure when it will be out, but I'm doing ADR on it actually this week.


Riding with Katey Sagal and the SONS OF ANARCHY

By Troy Rogers

FX's explosive new series Sons of Anarchy taps into the gritty underbelly of outlaw biker gangs inside northern California's Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Charter. At the center of the club's control and violent intimidation of the fictional town of Charming is actress Katey Sagal, who takes on the role of Gemma Teller Morrow, the street-wise wife of Sons of Anarchy president, John Morrow, played by the great Ron Perlman. It's a role that strips away Sagal's lighter image from Married with Children, Futurama, and 8 Simple Rules to show a grittier, gun-toting side of the actress that we've never seen before.

With the cast of Sons of Anarchy about to ride into the FX schedule for its premiere on September 3, we hopped on our hog and headed for our recent conference call with Katey Sagal to learn more about the world of outlaw bikers, what fans can expect from the show and her character, and whether we'll see her fire off a few rounds during the upcoming season.

Katey Sagal on her familiarity with motorcycle gangs and clubs:

"I knew a little bit. When I was in my twenties, I definitely kind of ran with a fast crowd. Some of that involved people with bikes. I don't know very much about the actual club situation. I've learned a lot since then, but I didn't have a lot of real experience, per se. No."

Sagal on whether we'll see her on a bike during the season:

"Yes, I just shot a scene two days ago where I get on the back of the bike. I'm not actually riding a bike. I'm just on the back of the bike."

On how much gunplay her character Gemma will be involved in:

"There's one episode I just shot where I take out a hatbox filled with guns. That's all I'll say."

Sagal on whether she's fired a gun:

"No. I haven't actually shot a gun yet."

Katey Sagal on whether her character is conflicted over the illegal activities her son engages in:

"I think she has no conflicted feelings about it. I think that she is all about the club. She's all about her family. She loves her life and the lifestyle that this has provided for her. She sees nothing wrong with what she does."

Sagal on whether Gemma's loyalty and protectiveness gets in her way:

"From Gemma's perspective, no, absolutely not. It's so interesting, because from her perspective, which is really, as the actor, that's what I'm doing is her perspective - she sees nothing wrong with what she does. It's all a means to an end for her and whatever she needs to do. In the pilot, you see her do some pretty harsh things when her son and grandson are threatened and, from her perspective, what needs to be done."

On doing a cover of the song "Son of a Preacher Man" for the show:

"It is me. Kurt wanted to use that song for the montage at the end, and we decided to re-record it. Aretha Franklin did kind of a gospel version of it, so we did a track like that. And then we kind of did a different vocal on it, having me sing the vocal. It was fun to do. I don't know if there are any plans for it. It wasn't really planned out; it just spontaneously kind of happened. I hope so, though. I love to sing."

The differences between working on a one-hour drama and a half-hour comedy:

"There are a lot of differences. It's a serialized show, the nature of it, in that you're dealing with 12 episodes and there's an arc for all the characters. The work that I did for this part was a lot of back story and history, sort of figuring out where these people came from and how they end up in a motorcycle club. For just me individually, I needed to understand all that back story and all that history, so I did a lot of exploration and imagination, figuring that out. My husband is really good and sort of builds that whole world for himself and to write from, so he was a good source for that material. When you're doing comedy, a sitcom, it doesn't require quite the same depth of work, I'd say."

Sagal on Gemma's influence on the bike gang over the course of the first season:

"She may have more. Gemma has been there since the beginning. The history is that Gemma and her first husband, John Teller, were married when that club was formed. She's been there, and then Clay also started the club with her previous husband. She's aware and witness to all the goings on. The influence that the women have in that world, and particularly someone like Gemma, is a very overt one actually. I don't think it would be an obvious role over any situation. It's pretty much a man's world, but there are always some pretty strong women behind that man's world."

On having so many good opportunities on cable:

"I think it's fantastic... We have network television; I'm a big fan of that, too. I've made a very good living and career on network television. I think that it's going through some kind of transition. It's just a looser creative reign on cable. You're more like the independent film morals. You're allowed to do more outside-the-box kind of things. It's not a formula.

"For someone like me that was really looking to do something different, I sort of felt that what I'd done I've done for a long time and I've been pretty successful at it. I wanted to find a different thing to do and cable has definitely provided that. I think for women it's just opened up a lot of doors."

Sagal on having the role of Gemma written with her in mind:

"When my husband came to me and said he had written me a part, he didn't actually tell me what the part was. I knew that he was writing a show in the world of outlaw motorcycle clubs and I knew she was the mother of the lead character, but that was all I really knew. I don't know that it was necessarily inspired by me. But when he says that he sort of tailor made it to me, I'm not quite sure what he meant by that.

"Once you see her, you'll kind of think, 'Huh?' Gemma is a fiercely loyal mother not only to her son, but also to her sort of family of club members. They're kind of this counterculture group, and she is the matriarch of that group. In my personal life, I'm a pretty fiercely loyal mother, but I don't practice the same ways and means as Gemma does."

Katey Sagal on whether there will be upcoming Futurama projects:

"Not that I know of. I would really like there to be. We shot the four DVD movies, and they've released two of them already. There is another one coming out in November. We're done with recording, so I don't know. Somebody has to buy some more. The blog fans and the Web fans have been the most instrumental in getting that to happen, actually. So if you want more Futurama, just let them know."