A.GISH DISHES ON SOA'S DEPICTION OF WOMEN (NOVEMBER 2014)
Actress Annabeth Gish talks about her new role as Sheriff Althea Jarry in "Sons of Anarchy."
"The moment I stepped into my wardrobe, I felt stronger, more powerful, and curiously dangerous," she said.
Gish got a second offer to audition for "SOA" as Sheriff Althea Jarry in May. She binged-watch Seasons 5 and 6 before taking up the offer.
"It was addictive and urgent, and I couldn't catch up fast enough. When I finished watching, I jumped fast and hard at the invitation to join this massive feast of a show," she said.
It felt empowering for Gish to put on a uniform of authority. She said, "As Sheriff Jarry, I stood differently, held my body more erect -- solid with my feet firmly grounded, weight low, and body ready."
"Command presence" was the phrase she learned when talking to the real women Los Angeles sheriffs she worked with to prepare for the role.
"Althea Jarry, like most of the female characters on 'Sons,' is a woman of moral ambiguity," Annabeth explained. Althea is "A cop who craves connection, even if with an outlaw, she is willing to play both sides to get what she wants as a sexual woman and as a professional with her own ambitions."
"As an actress, I relished the opportunity to play a character confused by her own warring compulsions and needs," she added.
When Annabeth was first asked to audition for a new female character in "SOA," she was caught up on all the seasons.
"The combustible writing of creator Kurt Sutter and the world of mayhem he began to build was compelling to me in the strangest of ways," she said.
She liked how every female was filled with empowerment.
"I loved the unpredictability of female characters like Tara Knowles, an educated doctor surgically saving lives and then throwing fierce right hooks to protect her man and club," she said.
"Even the porn stars took ownership of their property, taking charge of their objectification by producing, directing, and editing videos of their 'creative' exploits."
After she fulfilled her life duties, Gish auditioned for the second offer to experience such woman empowerment head on.