Interview with Maggie Siff of "Sons of Anarchy" on FX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Interview with Maggie Siff of "Sons of Anarchy" on FX 9/11/13

I haven't watched every single episode of "Sons of Anarchy", but I've watched quite a few episodes over the years, especially the ones that FX sends me, and I've interviewed quite a few of their stars. I have to admit that my favorite part of the show is the romance between Jax and Tara, so it's great to speak with Maggie.  The show is very intense and often depressing, and very violent, which makes it somewhat hard to watch. It's always very well written and acted, though.

Final Transcript
FX NETWORK: Sons of Anarchy
September 11, 2013/9:30 a.m. PDT


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Sons of Anarchy conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Stephanie Kelly. Please go ahead.

S. Kelly: Hello, everyone. Thank you very much for participating today with our conference call with Maggie Siff, who plays Dr. Tara Knowles on FXís hit drama Sons of Anarchy that just premiered last night for season six. Without further ado, Iíll introduce Maggie and turn it over to your questions.

M. Siff: Hello, guys.

Moderator: Your first question comes from the line of Earl Dittman from Digital Journal. Please go ahead.

E. Dittman: Good morning, Maggie. How are you?

M. Siff: Good. How are you?

E. Dittman: Doing great. Congratulations. Iíve seen the first here episodes and theyíre incredible. It was fantastic.

M. Siff: Thank you.

E. Dittman: I have to say, especially for you, for Tara, weíre seeing a lot of Tara that weíve seen a little bit before, but sheís really made this really big evolution. I guess my first question for you is as playing her this season, what still surprises you about playing Tara? Secondly, how much of Tara is Maggie? Or is there nothing about Tara thatís like you?

M. Siff: What still surprises me? You know, Iíve been joking that Taraís like the place people go to see their dreams die, so I guess what surprises me is the darker and darker progression of the things that she sees fall away. The thing that surprises me in playing her and in figuring out how to play her are really her reserves of strength and power. Even as her mind is sort of warping and things in her psyche are shifting in a way that I think is really negative and things are kind of breaking, thereís also a fierceness in her that rises up perpetually. Thatís the surprise.

In terms of how much of me is in the part, I think Kurt has always been pretty savvy in terms of his casting. I think that one of the things that was alluring to him about having me in the role initially was the feeling of this is somebody whoís different, one of these things is not like the others and trying to figure out how that person fits and doesnít fit and then slowly gets pulled back into a world that sheís worked really hard to define herself against.

E. Dittman: Yes.

M. Siff: I think that who I am as a person and perhaps similarly has some disjuncture with the world of the show, but that part is the part Iím trying to break down a little bit more as we go along.

E. Dittman: Well, itís an incredible performance so far this season. Weíre looking forward to more of it. Thank you so much.

M. Siff: Thank you, thank you.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Brent Hankins from Nerd Repository. Please go ahead.

B. Hankins: Good morning, Maggie. Thanks for taking a little bit of time with us this morning.

M. Siff: Sure, thank you.

B. Hankins: The question Iíve had, and Iíve asked this question to a lot of the actresses that weíve interviewed over the past few months, is there seems to be this consensus that some of the best roles for actresses now are being written not in movies but in television. Would you agree with that statement?

M. Siff: I think so. I think the thing that weíre seeing in television, in particular on cable television, is a really wide array of roles for women both in terms of age, ethnicity, type, socioeconomic status. There are just more roles, but I think there are also more kinds of representation happening. I know that I feel more excited about the landscape now than I did five years ago, so itís good.

B. Hankins: Thank you.

M. Siff: Sure.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue from the TV Megasite.

S. Lanoue: Good morning.

M. Siff: Good morning.

S. Lanoue: Iím a big fan of Jax and Tara. I was wondering, do you think Iím just hopelessly naÔve to keep pulling for them at this point?

M. Siff: I donít think so. You know, I think that the thing about the show, one of the things about the show that really pulls people in is that no matter how awful things get between people there is this deep and passionate, kind of violently passionate love between the characters, within the family, between Jax and Tara. Itís hard not to, on a basis level, root for that. I think I root for that. I think we all root for that.

That said, itís such a brutal and brutalizing world, god knows how itís all going to end. I think itís natural and I think itís set up for us to root for that.

S. Lanoue: Thanks. I look forward to the rest of the season.

M. Siff: Thank you.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Melissa Girimonte from Televixen. Please go ahead.

M. Girimonte: Hello, Maggie. Itís a pleasure to chat with you today.

M. Siff: Hello.

M. Girimonte: I wanted to ask you a little bit about Ė weíve seen Tara become more like Gemma over the years, and that prison scene last night really, really showed her manifest her Gemma-ness. Whatís it been like for you playing that conflict, becoming this person that you really are trying to escape and not be like?

M. Siff: Yes, itís pretty fascinating. I think thereís something almost magnetizing about Gemma and Tara. The way Iíve been thinking about it recently is Gemma is like this fierce mother figure. Sheís just such a powerful matriarch and she loves fiercely and will protect to the death her children, her clan, anything she feels is going to threaten the sanctity of her family. Tara is like this quintessential orphan whoís parentless and sheís been so in need of parents and protectors and people she can look to. So between those two things thereís this magnetism, which is why I think theyíre so drawn to each other and repelled by each other.

Gemma is the only person around who serves that role for Tara. Itís a huge source of conflict because I think while she desperately needs a parent she desperately doesnít want to become Gemma. Itís just had her bouncing back and forth between states of mind over the last six years. Itís really fun to play, especially with Katey, who I love. Sheís a very maternal figure but sheís such a fierce actress we just flip in and out of these modes acting and hating each other and then love each other as people. Itís all there for us to play with. Itís a fun relationship.

M. Girimonte: Great. Thank you.

Moderator: Weíll go to the line of Mandi Bierly from Entertainment Weekly. Please go ahead.

M. Bierly: Hello, Maggie.

M. Siff: Hello, Mandi.

M. Bierly: I just wanted to talk more about Jax and Tara. Last night I know fans were very upset when Jax cheated on her. Iím wondering what you thought when you read that in the script, or was it something Kurt had told you beforehand? How do you explain the disconnect that happened between them?

M. Siff: Iím glad to hear that fans were upset. I was upset as well. You know, I think that theyíre in such a disconnected place from each other right now. I think that at the end of season five we saw just incredible disillusionment on both their parts with the other person. I think Jax is feeling the sting of her betrayal in terms of trying to set things up so that the kids would be given to Wendy and she was feeling the sting of his betrayal in terms of a real lack of support for her priorities in terms of getting out and getting her kids into a safe place and also some of the more violent and terrifying aspects of his nature that were revealed to her at the end of last season.

Theyíre on different planes right now and she canít even see him when sheís in prison. What I was playing with in the premier episode is that sheís using the time to really collect her thoughts and create a plan for herself in terms of what sheís going to do to protect herself and her kids because nobody else is going to help her, and that includes Jax. Therefore, she canít expose herself to him because it would be too difficult.

M. Bierly: One more question. I donít think itís too much of a spoiler to say that they obviously have ... next episode. When Jax picks her up and thereís no dialog in that scene, I was wondering if that was scripted that way or if you had filmed any dialog. It was really powerful and uncomfortable to see them not speaking to each other on the back of the bike.

M. Siff: Yes, there was no dialog scripted. There was some conversation about how we shoot it and what kind of looks get exchanged and how much gets communicated without language. The way that our director, Peter Weller, wanted to shoot it was really that theyíre both pretty inscrutable to each other and are content to have it be that way. I really liked the way it turned out. I thought it was very jarring, interesting and provocative. Yes. There was no language scripted.

M. Bierly: Thank you.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Sean McClannahan from Please go ahead.

S. McClannahan: Hello. How are you doing this morning?

M. Siff: Good.

S. McClannahan: Youíve built up a pretty impressive resume as far as television goes. You got to appear on Mad Men and now youíre on Sons of Anarchy but as far as your film career goes you got to work with Tony Gilroy and Michael Clayton and Judd Aptow on Funny People. Do you have a wish list of directors that youíd like to work with in the future as far as future films go?

M. Siff: Sure. I mean, letís see, I love Jason Reitman and Iíd love to work with Kimberly Pierce and Katherine Bigelow. I want to see more female directors out there, quite frankly, and the ones that are out there Iím dying to work with. The list is long. I love films. I will say that I feel like we make quality short films every week and a lot of what independent film used to be is happening in cable television right now. Thereís a way in which Iím not sure thereís a better place to be as an actor and an actress ... discussing earlier ... right now.

S. McClannahan: Thatís definitely an impressive lineup of directors that youíd like to work with. I definitely would like to see you work with Katherine Bigelow.

M. Siff: Thank you.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Preston Barta from North Texas Daily. Please go ahead.

P. Barta: Hello, Maggie.

M. Siff: Hello.

P. Barta: One of the things that Iíve always admired about the show is the story between Tara and Jax. While their relationship may be currently on the rocks, like youíve mentioned, itís always been an absorbing aspect. One of the great things about a television show or a movie is actors kind of get a second chance to get something right, whether itís that first kiss or fight. Whatís something in your life that you wish you could have a take two on?

M. Siff: In my personal life or in the life of the character?

P. Barta: I guess in your personal life, if I may ask?

M. Siff: That I would like to get right through the lens of the show and the characters, Jax and Tara?

P. Barta: Right.

M. Siff: Iím not really sure how to answer that. Itís a fictional relationship, you know, and it doesnít much resemble my own marriage.

P. Barta: Is there anything Ė

M. Siff: I guess the thing that I really wish for them is that theyíd learn how to communicate with each other. I think theyíre very dysfunctional. Thatís a value that I have in my own life that I really struggle with and aspire to, which is open transparency and connection. I think the thing that I connect to with the character and I think other people connect to is how ... is when these two people who clearly love each other canít reveal themselves to each other.

P. Barta: Great. Thank you.

M. Siff: Sure.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Max Conte from Spoiler TV. Please go ahead.

M. Conte: Hello, Maggie. How are you?

M. Siff: Good. How are you?

M. Conte: Iím great, thanks. First of all, I loved the premier last night. Your performance was phenomenal, as always.

M. Siff: Thank you.

M. Conte: I know you graduated as an English major, and I was an English major myself, so my question to you is actually about the writing of Sons. You worked on stuff like Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy Ė they stand out, to me, as two of the best written shows on TV and such complicated shows. I wondered what you thought really stuck out about Sons in terms of the writing and why do you think people connect to such a dark world?

M. Siff: My feeling about the script when I first read it for the very first time, when I read that pilot, what I wished people could see, although I think it comes across, are Kurtís descriptions of events on the page, his descriptions of the action sequences, his descriptions of whatís going on inside the minds of the characters, whatís happening. He writes very beautifully. Itís very medic, itís swift and itís funny, it kind of sweeps you along. I think thatís in the show. I mean, to think that the feeling of heart and flesh and bikes and the motion of all that storytelling, heís writing on a grand scale. You feel that when you read the scripts.

I would say that his storytelling style is really Ė I donít know, itís just really sweeping and dramatic. That was the first thing that stood out to me about the writing.

The juxtaposition of the dark material up against his incredible sense of humor I think is the thing that actually makes the show work. Heís just very skilled that way. I think it took us a little while in the first season to figure out the tone of the show. I canít really take responsibility for it, but he really figured out how those things coincide side-by-side. Itís very skillful, I think.

M. Conte: I definitely agree. Thank you so much. All the best to you.

M. Siff: Sure. Thank you.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Patrick Keenan from Please go ahead.

P. Keenan: Hello, Maggie. How are you doing today?

M. Siff: Good, good.

P. Keenan: It seemed towards the beginning of the series, at least to me, that Tara might be our moral compass to the show, which obviously seems to have gone to a much darker place as far as all that sheís been through.

M. Siff: Yes.

P. Keenan: My question is, did Kurt ever, in the beginning, go, ďListen, Maggie, this is the character arc. This is where weíre going with the characterĒ or has it been very organic on how itís grown?

M. Siff: I think itís been pretty organic. I think he always wanted to see Tara progress towards Gemma and towards assuming the role of matriarch. I think he didnít know how that was going to happen, in particular because she was a moral compass, which I think was not necessarily what he anticipated for the character. I think it was a combination of who I was as an actor and some beginning notions that he had about her. I think early on the thing that he would say to me is that he realized that she was like the window through which the audience could see these people. Like the audience, she loved this man but knew better, and thatís sort of the audienceís position as well, like you love them but you know that theyíre bad people.

I think getting from A to Z in terms of that slide, she canít actually become a Gemma-like figure without losing some of her moral ground, you know? The thing about her that I would say Ė Iím sorry, what?

P. Keenan: Do you think thatís what she wants at this point, to be the neo-Gemma?

M. Siff: No. Thatís what I was going to say. I think thatís the thing that ultimately will always distinguish her from Gemma and ultimately the thing that keeps her on Ė itís not firm moral ground, but I think itís slightly firmer moral ground, that she really wants to provide a safe life for her children. She really ultimately doesnít want to live the life of a criminal within the world of that kind of danger and violence.

I think this season what you see is a Tara whoís progressed to a place where she knows how to use the tactics of Gemma. She has violence in the aspects of her nature that she now draws upon or that rise up more quickly, but her goal is different. Her goal will always be different.

P. Keenan: She has that ability to turn back at this point or do you think itís the point of no return?

M. Siff: I donít know. I really donít know. I think she hopes she can turn back, but I donít know if she can turn back. I think in some ways this season what I see in the character is somebody who doesnít really care that much about herself anymore. Sheís just really interested in figuring it out for her children. I think so much has been lost that her hopes and dreams, who knows where they are or what can happen with them. Theyíre off to the side now.

P. Keenan: Thank you so much.

M. Siff: Sure.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Lauren Cantos from Poptimal. Please go ahead.

L. Cantos: Hello, Maggie. How are you?

M. Siff: Good. How are you?

L. Cantos: Good, good. So youíve been recently in two major roles ... which youíve been great in. ... Much Ado About Nothing. So do you find yourself kind of embracing Ė first of all, how has it been returning to the show after those two major theater stints? Do you find yourself embracing the Shakespearian element more now with the show?

M. Siff: Iíve always loved the Shakespearian element on the show. If Tara is the Ophelia character Iíve actually played that part on stage twice in my life before.

L. Cantos: Wow.

M. Siff: Third timeís a charm. No more. Iím done. Doing theater and doing a huge, meaty classical role, it kind of feels like it satisfies a different part of myself artistically and creatively. For me, itís been what I felt like I had to do to round out my career and my creative energy. Itís like throwing myself into a stage production. Itís a full-bodied, full psyche workout every night for a few months. Working on television is a much more stop and go experience. Even though Sons of Anarchy is such an intense show and as a viewer it doesnít feel like a stop and go experience, as an actor it just is for me.

Yes, Iíve definitely been floating around in Shakespearland for a long time now.

L. Cantos: Itís wonderful. I hope to view more. Also, the womenís role on Sons of Anarchy really conflicts me. I was kind of curious about how you feel about womenís role on ...

M. Siff: Yes.

L. Cantos: Thatís a loaded question.

M. Siff: What did you say?

L. Cantos: Itís kind of a loaded question, I guess. It could go on for a while.

M. Siff: Itís a long and complicated question. I think the womenís roles are actually pretty fictitious in terms of whatís actually out there in the world. I donít think any outlaw ... club would let their women into the inner workings nearly as much as Gemma is a part of the inner workings.

I think that what we see on this show are two very powerful and smart women who are also marginal to the life of the club and the kinds of decisions that get made. In certain respects theyíre reactive to events and then in other respects theyíre very conniving and right at the heart of how things get done and what happens. I think Kurt is walking a really strange and kind of interesting line in terms of where their power lies. I have moments where Iím like ďHmmmĒ and then I have moments where Iím like ďThatís interesting.Ē I think theyíre pretty powerful women in general in terms of the spectrum of powerful women on television ...

L. Cantos: Yes. Itís very interesting to see. Thank you so much. Thank you. Itís going to be a great season. Thank you for a great episode yesterday.

M. Siff: Thank you, thank you.

L. Cantos: Thanks.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Bruce Eisen from Here is TV. Please go ahead.

B. Eisen: Good morning, Maggie.

M. Siff: Good morning.

B. Eisen: Earlier in the call we were talking about thereís really a lot of interesting stuff going on in TV right now, perhaps more so than in film in some ways. Iím wondering what shows on TV do you like to watch?

M. Siff: Well, like everybody else Iím breathlessly watching the end of Breaking Bad, which is a show that I really love. I just started watching Orange is the New Black, which I think is really super-interesting and exciting for women. What else? I watch Homeland, which I think is an incredible show with just spectacular acting and really interesting female roles as well, obviously. I watch my Game of Thrones and my Downton Abbey and Mad Men, actually. I mean, I started on that show and watching it is so deeply pleasurable for me that I canít even describe it. Just watching these people that I know transform through time and seeing the show and the characters, the look, the attitude just morphing from season to season, I just love it. I love it so much.

B. Eisen: Cool. Thank you. All of these, and Iím noticing the hour dramas nowadays seem to be quite dark. Any thoughts on that? Is that a reflection of where we are as a society or any thoughts at all?

M. Siff: I donít know. I was just thinking about how films from the Ď70s or whatever or earlier than that, I feel like films used to not be afraid to be dark and end in a dark place and then somewhere along the line movie making got scared of that. This is really just off the top of my head. I donít have a big theory about it but this is what occurs to me. I feel like television has taken that up in a way, like not being afraid to go dark and to be noir-y and brazen in its approach to pulling the cover back on the darker parts of our nature. I think thereís a place for it. Thatís my answer.

B. Eisen: Cool. Thatís a good one. I like it. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time today.

M. Siff: Sure.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Mandi Bierly from Entertainment Weekly. Please go ahead.

M. Bierly: Hello. Itís me again.

M. Siff: Hello.

M. Bierly: Hello. This is something that I can promise on behalf of all of us we will not spoil, not mention online until after the episode airs, but I wanted to talk about the scene with Jax and Tara having sex and Tara crying. If you can take me through the filming of that because it was another very powerful moment.

M. Siff: Yes. I was just sad. You know, well, filming those scenes is always so awkward. I donít know. Itís just further evidence of their disconnect and going through the motions. Charlie and I have a real shorthand for how we do those things and deal with those thing and talk about those things. We talked about it and were like, ďAlright, here we goĒ and we did it and it was sad and hard, but I think it was a good moment for the show, to show the depth of how disconnected they are, that even in the middle of that they couldnít be further apart.

M. Bierly: One more question. I know I did a post-mortem with Kurt and he was talking about all the ways that ... will impact the show, which I think really helps explain why he went there and how itís going to lead us into the last two seasons of the series. I was wondering just how it will affect Tara. Is there anything substantial that weíll see in it affecting her?

M. Siff: You know, I think for much of this season sheís a little bit off to the side figuring out for herself how sheís going to get out. I mean, yes, it does absolutely affect her in a side fashion, just the way everything is woven together thematically. There are several tactics that she tries throughout the season in terms of what she can do for herself to help her out from under her legal problems but also to help get her kids out of ... She does start to intersect with that storyline in ways that I canít actually get into.

I mean, I think it affects everybody because the law sneaks in in a very powerful way. Everybodyís caught up in ramifications ...

M. Bierly: Thank you again.

M. Siff: Sure.

Moderator: Next, weíll go to the line of Brent Hankins from Nerd Repository. Please go ahead.

B. Hankins: Hello, Maggie. Talking about some of the darkness that weíve seen not just in this show but in television in general, as an actress, when youíre on set everyday and dealing with some of this darker subject matter, how do you separate yourself from that when you go home for the day? How do you leave that on the set and not let it affect you, your personal life?

M. Siff: Thatís a good question. I always feel like maybe Iím a freak this way, but when Iím there Iím there 100% and when I leave Iím gone. I donít know why. The world is so dark and so specific and we throw ourselves into it, but the beauty of shooting film and television as opposed to theater where you have to keep reliving things night after night is that you do it and itís done. If you do it well itís like a form of catharsis. Thatís what I find. I find that if I commit to something 100% and Iím satisfied with what comes out then I can walk away from my day and I feel pretty light. I know that thatís not true for every actor, but on this show I have found that to be relatively true.

Also, I will say as Tara, I donít have to do a lot of that shooting that the guys do where theyíre constantly in the middle of these terrifically violent things that are happening day after day and theyíre riding around in the desert in their leathers. Really, my job is so confined to a really specific portion of the story.

B. Hankins: Thank you.

M. Siff: Sure.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Susan Young of Success Magazine. Please go ahead.

S. Young: Hello, Maggie. How are you doing?

M. Siff: Hello.

S. Young: I heard somebody else say ďTaraĒ and I went, ďOh, my god, itís Maggie.Ē You know, in the past itís kind of been bad people doing bad things to worse people, so you could kind of still get on board with them. With the whole school shooting and the cover up, does that put a whole different slant to it, in your mind? Is it harder to rationalize what those characters are doing now?

M. Siff: Yes. I think so. I mean, I think Kurt was interested in that, like really bringing it home for them in a way that canít be escaped. I think there have been other moments. I know for me there have been other moments. I found that moment last year when Jax slammed the ... into Wendyís arm, for myself and my character, I should say, I was like ďHow do I come back from that?Ē I think that the school shooting, I think Kurt opened up a huge can of worms for the show and for the characters on the show. I know he really wants to see it through to the end. Hopefully itíll pay off in a way that people can get behind.

S. Young: Just one other question, if you donít mind. The whole idea at the beginning of Maggie being a doctor, someone who was helping and healing others and to just turn that around so much to in some ways Ė maybe not directly and in other ways directly Ė hurting people, was that always a conscious decision on Kurtís part to make her that person at the beginning? What are your feelings on it?

M. Siff: You know, from the beginning I thought that the thing thatís interesting about her being a doctor and being a surgeon is sheís somebody who has to be capable of performing surgery, of dealing with the blood and the guts of life. To me, that means that sheís somebody whoís really fierce and tough. Even though it was for good and sheís a healer and she really identified herself as a healer and she has a gift, I could also connect it to the part of her that came from that world and was able to deal with life and death and darkness and shadow and light.

In some intuitive way sheís somebody who is comfortable taking life into her hands, life and death into her hands, so I kind of felt like thatís interesting, itíll be an interesting coin to flip through the series, to see her going between these places of healing and destruction.

I think sheís lost right now because sheís lost her ability to be a doctor and a healer. She has to turn her attention to other things and I think itís really wreaking havoc on her and bringing up the darker parts of her nature. I donít think that part of her that is a healer has been destroyed. I guess thatís what Iíll say. Itís kind of a convoluted answer. Sorry.

S. Young: No, it was great. Thank you very much.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Sean McClannahan from Please go ahead.

S. McClannahan: You basically played the moral compass to Don Draper on Mad Men and the same could be said of your relationship with Jax on Sons of Anarchy. Do you find any personal relation to playing these characters as far as being the opposite side of the coin to these guys that come from the wrong side of the tracks?

M. Siff: You know, what is that? I donít know why I keep getting cast that way. I think theyíre characters who can sort of speak truth to power a little bit. I donít know, you know? Iím not sure that I can entirely answer what that is. I donít think the characters have that much in common, quite frankly, but Iíve never played flighty women, Iíve never played particularly girly-girls. I think that Iíve never really been an ingťnue, you know? Iíve often been cast in roles that are a little bit more grounded and still, or something. I donít know. Maybe thatís why Iíve been playing these roles. Iím kind of grateful. I think theyíre somewhat unconventional roles for women. I have a lot of gratitude for that.

S. McClannahan: I have one other quick question. The short black hair that you have, it kind of gives you a Joan Jett, Patti Smith punk rock look. Was that directly made for the show or is that something that the Sons of Anarchy writers had to work into the script?

M. Siff: You know, I had been wanting to cut my hair for a long time. At the end of last season I talked to Kurt about it and he was like, ďYes, letís do itĒ once we knew that she was going to prison. ... for the episodes when sheís in prison is that it not look too done. The thing that I ended up feeling before I cut my hair was that it would be a really good thing for the character and for the season because itís tougher and I think itís Ė what is it? Thereís something about losing the hair thatís a little bit like losing the part of her that is submissive, I think, to Jax and to the club and losing that really feminine edge I think is a really good thing for the season and for the character. It all ended up coming together, I think.

S. McClannahan: I have to say, you definitely pull it off. Thank you, Maggie.

M. Siff: Thanks.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Earl Dittman from Digital Journal. Please go ahead.

E. Dittman: Hello, Maggie. Itís me again. Of course, everybodyís talking about Jaxís cheating and the shooting and everything from last night. I guess the thing I would like to wonder about is I often read Sons of Anarchy fan bases on the Internet and stuff like that. There seems to be people who absolutely love Tara, think sheís the best thing for Jax and then thereís a little faction who think sheís the worst thing for Jax, that her independence is a traitor and stuff like that. Why do you think thereís such a big difference between fans, that they have such a different idea about her?

M. Siff: I donít know. I really donít read those things, partly because itís hard not to take it personally. I mean, I do know that thatís true. I think a lot of women ... Tara and a lot of people are really hooked into their relationship and the love. Then I think thereís a contingent of people who are more male fantasy based about who he is as a gangster and donít appreciate the vulnerability that it signifies that he would be with somebody and be in that kind of relationship that pulls him around a bit. Iím not really sure. What do you think it is?

E. Dittman: I think itís exactly what you said. I think a lot of the anti-Tara, they come from female fans. I donít know if thatís generalizing or what, I donít know if itís jealousy or what, but itís kind of interesting to read sometimes.

M. Siff: Yes. I donít know either.

E. Dittman: One last thing. As we know, Kurt has been talking about having one more season to go. As you know, Charlie just got 50 Shades of Grey and everybodyís getting other projects. What do you plan to do after Sons of Anarchy? Go to another series? Films? What are you looking forward to?

M. Siff: I am looking forward to everything and anything. Iím looking forward to having my year to make it up as I like. I come from the theater and thatís kind of my first love. I still split my time between here and New York, so I look forward to going back to New York and doing more theater. I look forward to finding another great series. I think that whatís happening on cable is really exciting. I hope that after this show thereís another great cable show that I can be a part of.

I think for actors and for an actor like me who works in all of the mediums, including theater, itís a great schedule. Itís like half the year and then you have half the year to do other things to round yourself out. Itís like what we all do in our downtime between seasons is really like you need to cover a lot of ground to make yourself feel full as a creative person.

E. Dittman: Well, youíre fantastic in everything you do. Best of luck.

M. Siff: Thank you, thank you.

Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Brent Hankins from Nerd Repository. Please go ahead.

B. Hankins: You talked a little bit earlier about Taraís evolution and how these days she seems quicker to let the violent sides of her nature take over. We saw a little bit of that in the premier at the end of when she walked over to the other gal in the jail and just beat the shit out of her. Are we going to see more of that side of her as the season goes on or is she going to have trouble keeping that side of her in check?

M. Siff: Yes, youíll see a little bit of that. I mean, I think that she spends a lot of this season really scheming and plotting and doing what she has to do to protect herself. Her tactics are somewhat questionable sometimes. So yes, youíll see her doing some things that are pretty reminiscent of Gemma and theyíll make you cringe slightly.

I think sheís also learned that if sheís going to survive in this world, which sheís determined to do, then she has to get a little bit dirty.

B. Hankins: Absolutely. I really enjoyed the scenes both at the end of last season and the beginning of this season between Tara and Lee Toric. Are we going to see those two cross paths again in the future?

M. Siff: Yes, a little bit. Heís such a worthy adversary for the club this year and Donal is so fantastic. Iíve enjoyed working with him so much. Yes, as you saw in the premier heís working every angle. That continues to happen.

B. Hankins: Excellent. Thank you so much.

Moderator: We have time for one last question. That question comes from the line of Max Conte from Spoiler TV. Please go ahead.

M. Conte: Hello, Maggie.

M. Siff: Hello.

M. Conte: Weíre talking a little bit now about heading towards the ending of the show and these final two seasons. I wanted a personal perspective from you on Tara. It seems to me that she could sort of go the way, if youíre looking at the Hamlet metaphor, of Ophelia or Horatio. Do you root for her to stay with the club? Do you hope for her to have that disconnect? It seems to me if she stays and keeps on this path, obviously sheís heading towards the Ophelia path of destruction, but Iíve sort of ... Horatio ... I wondered if you still root for her and Jax after everything.

M. Siff: Yes, I do. I think the thing thatís complicated is I think in Taraís ideal world itís like she has the love of her life, whoís Jax, and she has procured the safety of her children. I think the question, though, that remains as if those things can actually happen together. I think Jaxís happiness is dependent upon there being a club and him being part of it. If the club attempts to come clean itís like is that possible, is it possible, is it possible? Those are the looming questions.

I donít know if sheís Horatio or Orphelia. Itís a live question. Iím hoping for Horatio.

M. Conte: Me, too. Iím rooting for Horatio, definitely.

M. Siff: Thanks.

Moderator: Stephanie, do you have any closing comments?

S. Kelly: Yes, I just wanted to thank everyone again and thank Maggie for her time today for the conference call. I just want to remind everyone that Sons of Anarchy airs every Tuesday night on FX at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Pacific Time. A transcript of this call will be available within the next 72 hours. Thank you so much, Maggie.

M. Siff: Thank you.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude your conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive Teleconference. You may now disconnect.

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