Drea de Matteo returns to ‘Sons of Anarchy’ (Exclusive Interview)

“Drea de Matteo returns to Sons of Anarchy”
By Michael Aaron Gallagher of StayFamous.Net

Drea de Matteo - Photo by Prashant Gupta/FX
Drea de Matteo – Photo by Prashant Gupta/FX
Masterfully able to connect with her characters and deliver powerfully natural performances on screen, Emmy award-winning actress Drea de Matteo reprises her recurring role as Wendy on the fifth season of the hit FX original series Sons of Anarchy.

Although she is still recognized by fans for her days as Adriana la Cerva on the HBO drama The Sopranos (1999-2006), for which she received the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, the fiesty New Yorker from Queens is branching out and continuing to take on new projects that challenge her as an actress. In addition to her SOA role, she is also slated to star in an upcoming Lifetime movie (backdoor pilot) called Stalkers.

In a recent interview with StayFamous.Net, Drea talked about her role this season as the mother of Jax’s first son Abel on the popular biker drama.

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “What makes your character one that you want to keep coming back to play?”

Drea de Matteo: “Well, first of all, I think I would shoot myself if I ever had to play straightforward characters that really didn’t have much of a past. Maybe it’s just that I’m not a good enough actor to have to embellish. But I like having these really, really rich roles to play… Having all those demons makes it interesting for me.

I mean, coming back now and being completely sober is okay for me but I do like going back into the messy area. Coming back confident and healthy… to take control of my life and possibly my son and all of that, it’s an empowering thing to play. But at the same time, I do like to play the dirty side more. So we’ll see if she slips or something. I’m always on the edge.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Has it been a challenge for you to fit in with the cast and the developing storylines or do you feel like you’ve clicked with them?”

Drea de Matteo: “No. I don’t feel like it’s been a challenge. They are a family there. I came from that on Sopranos… I understand that dynamic. They’re always so welcoming and happy that I am there for a brief moment. I absolutely love working with Maggie Siff, because I’m such a huge, huge fan of her work. So I don’t know. I’m so happy to be there. I hope they’re okay with having me there every now and then…”

Drea de Matteo (left) as Wendy Teller and Maggie Siff as Tara Knowles - Photo by Prashant Gupta/FX
Drea de Matteo (left) as Wendy Teller and Maggie Siff as Tara Knowles – Photo by Prashant Gupta/FX

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “I read when you first started out you were interested in becoming a director. As an actress have you developed a more critical eye and business sense as you’ve gone along or are you more hands-off when it comes to production and other areas of the business?”

Drea de Matteo: “I went to NYU for acting for six years. I ended up acting… for me, it was the easy way out or in because I didn’t put in enough effort in school being a crazy kid in college. I was good at it. So that was the other side of it.

I would love to direct. I think what I’ve learned mostly from being on set is more how to deal with actors than even the visual part of it all. The visual stuff just kind of lives inside of you. As far as really being able to take care of an actor on a set, how to talk to an actor, and how to get what you need out of a scene is probably where I might know a thing or two. Although, in TV the actors are pretty much left alone. It’s really the writer’s medium more than anything.”

Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.

“Drea de Matteo returns to Sons of Anarchy”
Copyright 2012 by Michael Aaron Gallagher

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