Actress McNally Sagal is no stranger to the small screen. For five years, Sagal starred in FX’s Golden Globe-winning series, “Sons of Anarchy.” Following the show’s end, Sagal has gone on to appear on various TV shows and landed a recurring role in ABC’s “Secrets and Lies” as May Stone. Speaking with International Business Time, Sagal gave us her thoughts on the show’s exciting second season, which she says is full of twists, and what inspired her to want to play the character.
Sagal also spoke about working with an “amazing” cast, which includes Michael Ealy and Juliette Lewis, and revealed just how out of the loop she and the rest of the cast were when it came to finding out who killed Kate Warner.
International Business Times: Season 2 of “Secrets and Lies” is getting close to the end with only a few episodes left and I’m sure more twists, and cliffhangers left. What are your thoughts on the season so far?
McNally Sagal: I’ve had a blast doing it, and so many fans are loving it. I mean, there are so many twists and turns in the show. It’s pretty wild.
IBT: There are so many great actors on “Secrets and Lies” such as Michael Ealy, Juliette Lewis and Jordana Brewster… What’s it like working with the cast?
Sagal: I think that they’re amazing, especially Michael Ealy was really fun to watch, not only with his great role but his great acting and really being the leader of the show. He was great to be around, completely in almost every scene. So professional and so fun to be with. It was great.
IBT: Your character, May Stone, serves as Eric O’Quinn’s secretary, but she really does a lot for him, and he always goes to her for help. What drew you to that role?
Sagal: Well, I had worked with Adam Arkin, who’s one of the executive producers and also directed the show. He directed me in a few episodes of “Sons of Anarchy” and I loved his direction — he’s an actor himself, a really great actor — and so when he said, “Hey, do you wanna do this and would you like to work with me?” I was thrilled and jumped at the chance.
IBT: Do you know who killed Kate Warner?
Sagal: You know what, I do now, but we absolutely did not as we shot every episode. We did not know. Every time an episode would come on my computer it would be like, “Oh my God!” My kids were like, “What are you screaming about?” I’m like, “Cause you can’t believe what’s happening.” We really didn’t know until we got the script to the computer, and then we’d start working on it. Nobody knew what was happening one episode to the next.
As far as I know, everyone was out the loop, even Michael. We would secretly say when we were alone, “Come on, you know something,” and he said, “I do not know.” I’m like, “You must!” We really didn’t know until the scripts came through.
IBT: Before “Secrets and Lies,” you had a recurring role on “Sons of Anarchy” as Margaret Murphy. What was it like making the switch from a show like “Sons of Anarchy” to “Secrets and Lies”?
Sagal: The show and the world of [“Sons of Anarchy”] couldn’t have been more different [than “Secrets and Lies”]. It used to make me laugh coming work on “Sons of Anarchy” — I did it for five years — I would think, “My God, I am the least cool person for miles.” Literally just everyone working on the show in any capacity, anybody at all on the show, pretty much was tattooed and I was like, “Wow, I am so not cool,” so that was fun.
And also, there was so much violence on “Sons of Anarchy,” which I didn’t expect when I started, my character was very straight. I hate to use the word delightful but it was really fun. I didn’t expect to be so involved with so much violence. I thought, “Oh, I’ll just be here shuffling insurance papers,” I didn’t expect to be strangled. It was fun to be my age and type of character and be punching people and being kicked in the gut. A lot of the stunts were really, really fun and really different. I did not expect to be in those positions.
IBT: You’ve appeared on “Jane the Virgin,” “Criminal Minds” and “Scandal” as of late. Who have been some of your favorite actors or actresses to work with?
Sagal: I have to say, I am so lucky to be working in the community like the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. I haven’t really had bad situations. For example, Kerry Washington on “Scandal,” I was really worried because I was doing Secrets and Lies at the same time, so they put all of my scenes for “Scandal” in one day, which was a whole lot.
It was a 20-hour day and every single scene was with Kerry Washington, and I was like, “How in the world can I do all these scenes in one day?” Well, she did them all right along with me. When I met her, at four in the morning, I walk in and she’s like, “Hi, we have a whole lot to do. Let’s begin.” She’s so professional. I’m amazed at her professionalism.
IBT: I know you’re active in the National Charity League. Can you tell us a little bit about the organization?
Sagal: It was a six-year program with my daughter we finished. But it was six years of service and mother-daughter service to our local community and we had a great time. It was a great thing to do and to do together with my daughter. We worked with Special Olympics, we worked with battered families. Also, my daughter and I both spearheaded a blood drive in [Glendale, Arizona] for three years and we loved doing that. I was really glad to have so many hours with her doing service, and it was great time to be spent together as mother and daughter.
IBT: With “Secrets and Lies” wrapping up, where can fans expect to see you next?
Sagal: I have “Teen Wolf” coming. I think it’s in January. Also — I’m hoping it runs — a really, really funny commercial for Geico where I co-star with a cuckoo clock. It was really, really crazy. The Geico commercials are really funny.
The two-hour season finale of “Secrets and Lies” airs on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 9:00 p.m. EST.