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Ron Perlman Had Nothing But Compliments For His Sons Of Anarchy Co-Star Katey Sagal

Warning: Major spoilers for "Sons of Anarchy"

"Sons of Anarchy" didn't quite reach 100 episodes during its television run, but the crime drama was a hit with both critics and audiences alike, according to Rotten Tomatoes, until it ended in 2014. And for seven seasons, whether fans agreed with her methods or not, Gemma Teller-Morrow did everything possible for the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (SAMCRO) and her family. "Married... with Children" alumnus Katey Sagal portrayed the oftentimes misguided counterpoint to Ron Perlman's contentious Clay Morrow, but Sagal did offer somewhat of an explanation for Gemma's modus operandi.

"In the case of Gemma, she's all about protection and loyalty of these people that she seriously loves," Sagal said in a 2009 interview with Backstage. "And she doesn't see the morality. It doesn't even faze her to cross that line. And, you know, she doesn't think it's despicable. She's just doing what she needs to do." Gemma almost survived Season 7, but she was ultimately offed in the next-to-last episode, "Red Roses," and she was shot in the back of the head by her own son, Jax (Charlie Hunnam). 

Clay, on the other hand, had to look Jax in the eyes when he took a bullet to the throat in Season 6. Violence and treachery were just part of the bargain on "Sons of Anarchy," but right from the pilot episode, Perlman knew that his co-star Sagal was lightyears from being anything like her conniving character.

Perlman insists Sagal is nothing like Gemma

Gemma Teller-Morrow contributed to some unspeakable criminal activities during her seven seasons on "Sons of Anarchy." Tara's (Maggie Siff) graphic death at the hands of the mad matriarch is horrifically engrained in fans' minds. And there's the inexcusable way Gemma took a baby hostage and pointed a pistol at the child's head in the Season 3 episode "Bainne." Fortunately, actor Ron Perlman knew from the get-go that his co-star, Katey Sagal, was just a very fine performer and nothing like Gemma.

"She's a doll," Perlman said in an interview with Collider in 2008, right after the show had just premiered. "...And it was staggering to me that the baddest ass on the show is Katey." Perlman noted that while he and the other male cast members were trying to portray their characters as ruthless as possible, he'd pick Gemma as the one character you better not cross. 

"She even makes me look a little weak, which is a complete dichotomy to how she is in real life," Perlman continued, which is saying a lot considering Clay Morrow went on to commit his own horrifically indelible moments during "Sons of Anarchy," like when he bit a guard's nose right off his face in Season 6. The actor then complimented Sagal's abilities as a mother and a co-worker, as well as her kindness and liberal-minded sensibility. In general, he couldn't say enough good things about working alongside her.