We Love TV!
This is just an unofficial fan page, we have no connection
to any shows or networks.
Please click here to vote for our site!
Interview with Ray McKinnon of "Sons of Anarchy" on
FX NETWORK: Sons of Anarchy
November 30, 2011/10:00 a.m. PST
Ray McKinnon – Sons of Anarchy / “Lincoln ‘Linc’ Potter”
Scott Seomin – FX Vice President of Media Relations
Moderator: Welcome to the Sons of Anarchy conference. At this time, all
participants are in a listen-only mode. There will be an opportunity for
questions. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.
I’d now like to turn the conference over to your host, Scott from FX.
Scott: Hi, good morning, everybody, and thank you for spending some time
with us to talk to the incredibly talented Ray McKinnon. Before I
forget, if any of you are missing any screeners or DVDs of any of season
four after this call give me a call at 310-369-0938, but my guess is you
have everything from season four.
Ray McKinnon is on with us and he plays the “Assistant U.S. District
Attorney, Linc Potter” on the fourth season of Sons of Anarchy, which
finishes up on December 6th, our last episode of the season. Say, “Hi,”
Ray, so they know your voice.
Ray: Hello, everybody.
Scott: That’s what Ray sounds like on the phone. He sounds very much like
‘Linc.’ Let’s go ahead and line up the questions. Take it away.
Moderator: Your first question comes from the line of April MacIntyre
with Monsters & Critics.
April: I’ve been fascinated with your character. ‘June Stahl’ was so
sexualized and adrenalized, and you have a much more aseptic almost
asexual misogynistic kind of dislike for humanity. And I just wondered
if you discussed this with Kurt [Sutter] ahead of time or when you read
the script that you took that in the word and fashioned this character
that just sort of observes people but doesn’t really interact with them.
Ray: Well, let’s see, asexual, that’s probably correct. I would like to
see ‘Lincoln’ like at home. What is he doing? He must have a cat, and I
would imagine he’s listening to some music that’s quieting his mind.
I don’t know—Kurt reached out to me, which was surprising. I wasn’t
aware Kurt knew me that well and I think he was forced to watch some
films that Walt and … we had made over the years and he sent me the
first episode of the season and I was just like, “Wow! What a character.
I’ve never played anything remotely like this before.”
So I kind of had a take on it before I came to L.A., and I was hoping
that—like the first two weeks of shooting I’m like I wonder if I’m going
to get fired because he hadn’t seen this take yet so I wasn’t sure. But
I took a lot of the queues from the script so we didn’t speak that much
about it. It was just me interpreting a lot of what Kurt wrote. And then
he kept writing and it became a symbiotic relationship between the
writer and the interpreter of writing, and that’s how we can manifest
I wonder does he hate humanity or is he just baffled by them and the
emotionality of them and the unpredictability of them, and perhaps he
just decided at some point in his life to be a little detached from
interacting with them. I think there are rare moments in the show where
he does connect with human beings, particularly ‘Eli.’
I think about mid-way in the season he realizes he can’t get ‘Eli’ to
change his way of thinking, and he can’t reprogram him. ‘Eli’s’ too
entrenched but he also recognizes that ‘Eli’s’ a good person, and he
tells him that. And I think that’s the first time that there’s a genuine
upending emotion and feeling behind him so he’s not a psychopath. He
just has an inability to empathize with anybody, and I think he
empathizes with ‘Eli’ so that makes him a little more complicated. I
don’t know if that answered your question.
Moderator: The next question is from the line of Suzanne Lanoue of
Suzanne: I really enjoyed your character. I mean I love Sons of Anarchy
but it bothers me that everybody on the show is so corrupt and it seems
like your character was the least corrupt of any of them. He’s very
pro-law and everything. I was going to ask you if you know whether your
character might come back next season or if you can tell us.
Ray: I agree with you. Yes, human beings are funny. If they can identify
with people on a human level, which you can with almost everybody on
Sons of Anarchy, you feel for them. They’re regular people outside of
the fact that they kill and sell drugs and guns and do the things they
do, but they have their own form of ethics.
And people who watch the show I think they’ve obviously become attached
to those characters, and so my character shows up and he’s not someone
you can easily identify with, and I think that really rubs people the
wrong way. Yes, I don’t think he’s corrupt. I don’t know that he sees
the world in the correct way, I don’t know. Yes, (jokingly) I think
there’s going to be a spinoff.
Scott: Call it, “Love that Linc.”
Ray: “Welcome Back Potter II.” I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to
happen with him. I’ve got some other things going on so we’d have to
figure it out. I don’t see how he could be there all the time. I think
it feels like it’s run its course in a way, you know, that character. I
think with him a little bit goes a long way.
Moderator: The next question is from the line of Elle Lutz. Could you
state your media outlet please?
Elle: Sure, it’s YourEntertainmentCorner.com. Where did you go for
inspiration to play ‘Linc’? I think most people consider him a little
bit extravagant so I’m kind of wondering where you got your inspiration
for his looks and particularly his mannerisms. And if you can also
explain his climbing on tables I would appreciate that.
Ray: That’s Kurt. I wasn’t comfortable enough in the SOA family to leap
on a table that early so that was in the script, and I’m like, “Wow.
Okay. Sure.” So a lot of the behavior, the more extreme behavior, was
Kurt. He initiated the … sport and, again, that just informed me more as
to who the character was.
I think he’s definitely eccentric but I think like most eccentric people
he probably puts another layer of that on for show, and I kind of saw
him that way. So that informed me along with Kurt’s descriptions as to
how he would dress and what his manner would be. The jacket, which I
think some people probably wish I would burn—but my friend who’s a
fashion designer sent me an eBay picture of this…type leather jacket
that was very similar. I can’t remember the brand but it’s a famous
brand and I went, “Wow. That’s—”
That really struck me and so I brought a number of ideas to Kurt and he
picked out that jacket, and so I tried to wear that jacket in every
scene much to the … of the sound people. It made a lot of squeaky
sounds. So I don’t know, I guess it’s just kind of an organic thing the
way his mannerisms were but I did enjoy jumping on the tables.
Elle: Can you kind of share with us who you think the character ‘Linc’
has the most contempt for in terms of the charming people from the
SAMCRO side, and who do you think he respects the most?
Ray: On the SAMCRO side with the—?
Elle: For the contempt part and then the question about who do you think
he has the most respect, that’s open.
Ray: Because most of his interactions with the SAMCRO are from a
distance, he certainly got to know them through observation through afar
and through reports of their criminal histories and other means, so I
don’t know. I don’t know if he was that contemptuous. Perhaps ‘Clay’ but
I think he, in some ways, envied them but he realized that they have a
code of ethics that’s for them. They have convictions that are for them.
They have something that they’re willing to die for, and I always felt
like he secretly admired that ability to commit to something in a way
that is that emotionally connected because I think he has an inability
to do that. I don’t know that he would risk his life, really die for a
belief, and I think he’s envious in some ways.
And as far as who he respected the most certainly I would say ‘Gemma’ in
a lot of ways because first of all she’s a woman in a male dominated
smaller society, and she’s able to thrive and actually go beyond what a
lot of women in that culture do, so I would say ‘Gemma.’ But I think he,
in a strange way, respected a lot of those guys, but he also understood
that what they’re doing is threatening along with the other cartels and
the IRA and the Russian Mafia. It’s a really threat really in real life
to the security of the nation’s state that is the United States, and I
think he thought we’re going to take this down by any means necessary.
This is war. This is not let’s play nice and play fair. So that’s a
Moderator: The next question is from the line Lena Lamoray. Could you
state your media outlet please?
Lena LenaLamoray.com. ‘Potter’ is a very unique character and it must be
exciting to go from playing the coach on the Blind Side to playing an
edgy character who lives and shapes …. So can you talk about what it’s
like bringing ‘Potter’ to life and your thoughts on his development over
Ray: Well, as an actor you can get placed in a certain category and
people view you this way and roles come to you that are within that real
house. And Kurt gave me an opportunity to play something that, in some
ways parts of Potter are more like me than certainly the coach in Blind
Side. I have my own version of strange so I really kind of put it out
there to the universe like, “Man, I’d like to play some really
interesting, very bright dude as opposed to the other suspects that I’ve
portrayed over the years.” And there he manifest and I was just—first of
all, I was very grateful.
I also was excited creatively and so once I realized that I wasn’t going
to be fired …. At first it felt like, “Oh, maybe we went too far.” But
that they embraced the character and continued to write these wonderful
scenarios for him, I mean it’s like an actor’s dream. I mean it’s my
life’s work and so every week was really just couldn’t believe my good
fortune to be able to say and do the things that I did through this
And as far as how he progressed during the season, I think they gave him
moments of a dimension beyond his Machiavellian approach to bringing
down SAMCRO and the other entities. And we saw a side of him that was
like he does have an ability at times to have empathy and perhaps even
compassion for humans, and I think the last episode—I haven’t seen
it—but what was written there’s a scene between he and ‘Eli’ that’s very
telling. I just love that scene and I hope it’s in the final episode.
He’s peeled away for a minute. He’s vulnerable and he’s honest. You get
a sense of him and really thought that was a nice … for his part.
Moderator: You have a question from the line of Katherine Burg. Please
state your media outlet.
Katherine PopCultureMadness. You’ve written, produced, directed. You’ve
been all over with the film industry. How do these past traits kind of
influence how you portray your character?
Ray: I’ve done everything but make money. Wow, I guess, in a lot of ways
that I haven’t thought about consciously but if you’re directing
something or producing you’re helping to run a system and be a part of a
team and perhaps a leader at times. And I think that certainly Lincoln
had that kind of authority and I think doing the things that I’ve done
in the past in regards to production certainly would—he plays the adult,
the head adult in this group. The strange head adult in this group of
FBI and ITF and … folks and I’ve played a strange adult as a director so
that was good.
As far as directing I think I’m a more understanding actor as to what
Kurt and the directors of the show, Paris [Barclay] and all those guys
have to go through. What pressures they’re under to get the show shot
every week, and I think I’m just trying to serve that better and not be
quite so self-centered on my own goals as an actor but as the bigger
goal of helping to get the show made.
And as a writer, my goodness, just reading what Kurt wrote and the rest
of the writing team wrote every week was—it’s not easy to do that. Not
everybody can do that and I just felt what a special situation I was in
and what a wonderfully talented group of storytellers I was working
with. I was very gratified by it.
Moderator: There are no further questions at this time.
Scott: I wanted to thank all of you, again, for spending your morning
with us and spending a half hour with Ray who just did—we’re so honored
at FX and the Sons of Anarchy to have him on the show for a season. It’s
just a blessing and we wish all of you really great holidays that are
If you have any questions, need DVDs, or had any questions about art
work give me a call at 310-369-0938. And Ray, everybody’s on mute so
they’re all saying, “Thank you,” to you right now, you just can’t hear
them. So on behalf of all of them, I thank you, and have a great day,
Ray: You too, Scott.
Moderator: Thank you and that concludes our conference for today. Thank
you for your participation and using AT&T Executive Teleconference
Service. You may now disconnect.
Back to the Main Articles
Back to the Main Primetime TV Page
We need more episode guide recap writers, article
writers, MS FrontPage and Web Expression users, graphics designers, and more, so
please email us
if you can help out! More volunteers always
Page updated 12/5/13