Katey Sagal
Credit: FX
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.

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