Don't confuse Katey Sagal for Peg Bundy—it's a common mistake. While her infamous alter ego was uneducated, Katey is thoughtful and well-spoken; Peg's fashion is time-warped (hello, bouffant!), Katey's is earthy; for every ounce of laziness in Peg's body, Katey has a multitasking one to match. It may have taken years for the actress to shake her TV counterpart, but watch Katey as fierce matriarch Gemma Morrow on FX's motorcycle drama Sons of Anarchy (on DVD August 18), and you'll start to wonder, "Peg who?"
On a rare day off from shooting Season 2, (which premieres September 8) Katey chats with Oprah.com's Screening Room about motherhood, following her passion and if Lost's Helen is really dead.
Rachel Bertsche: You're known for playing three very different mothers—Married with Children's Peg Bundy, Kate from 8 Simple Rules and now Gemma. Plus, you have three kids of your own, two teenagers and a 2 1/2-year-old. Given all that on- and off-screen mothering experience, is there any universal quality that you would say all moms have?
Katey Sagal: Being a mother has been my greatest teacher and also the most self-sacrificing thing I've ever done. I've never loved anybody the way I love my children. It's an experience I was surprised by. You have your boyfriend, your husband, your friends, but it's a different thing. It's deeper, and it's a fantastic—and risky—commitment to love that deeply. I think the characters I've played all have that quality, even Peg Bundy. She was devoted and loyal to her children in her own wacky way. But Gemma is intensely dedicated to her family and would do anything to protect her son and her extended family, which is the club. In my personal life, I don't know that I would go to the lengths for my kids that Gemma does, but close.
RB: You were Peg Bundy before you were actually a mom. Once you had your first child, id having firsthand experience change the way you played her?
KS: Well, I've always been a maternal type, but yes, everything was different once I had kids. Your whole perspective on the world changes—I love how I wasn't so self-obsessed anymore! I can't say my characterizations of Peggy necessarily changed much. I just understood more what I was doing.
What's your favorite Katey Sagal moment? Comment below!
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