With more than 50 years of experience and 87 acting credits to her name, Sons of Anarchy star Katey Sagal has played a wide variety of characters. From Gemma Teller Morrow and her take no prisoners attitude to the matronly Cate Hennessy to her newest character, the horrifying leading lady of Torn Hearts, Sagal’s acting catalog includes both heroes and villains. But which one is closest to her true personality?
In an interview with The List, Katey Sagal revealed that she believes she’s more like Cate Hennessy than any of her more dastardly characters. Villains, however, offer a certain emotional release that good guys can’t.
“Probably more Cate Hennessy,” Sagal explained. “To play these badass women is so much fun, and clearly I have an inner badass in me. I don’t believe that I’m vicious, and I don’t believe that I’m vindictive, but it’s great. We all have those emotions, so it’s great to be able to dispel them and utilize them.”
“So those are fun,” she continued. “But in my personal life, I’m definitely more Cate Hennessy in terms of raising my kids. They’d probably call me a badass, but I’m a big mom. I love being their mom. So, that’s me personally.”
Her all-time favorite type of character to play, however, is the anti-hero. “Well, I’ve played more villains than good guys,” she said. “Oh, in [Rebel] I was a good guy. I like playing a good guy with an edge.”
‘Sons of Anarchy’ Star Katey Sagal Gives Advice to Aspiring Actors
As Katey Sagal now has decades of experience and broke into acting back in the 70s when it was more of a “boys’ club,” she was asked if she had any advice to give young women hoping to follow in her footsteps. For Sons of Anarchy star Katey Sagal, it all comes down to persistence.
“I could give my own personal experience, which is don’t give up — don’t!” Sagal said. “It takes a certain amount of self-appreciation to stick with this. I started as a musician, and that was definitely a boys’ club, but I was determined to make a living and make my way. Plus, I had no other skill sets, so it was like, ‘This better work or I’m screwed.'”
“It’s like what I tell my kids,” she continued. “You have to be part crazy to do this. And then you have to have that [attitude] — you can’t give up. You have to really know, and you have to be able to handle rejection. You have to do a lot of self-work, so that you realize that you’re not what you do. That you are still viable, even though somebody’s not recognizing you or giving you a job.”
While the “boys’ club” used to be a very real thing, Katey Sagal hopes that younger generations of women will have an easier time than she did. “The whole boys’ world thing is, I don’t know, it’s opening up a lot,” Sagal explained. “And it’s something we have to deal with, but it’s getting easier and easier. I hope for younger women, it’s going to be not an issue. That’s what I hope.”