Sex, drugs and strips clubs -- those are only a few words to describe the past of Drea de Matteo’s character on “Sons of Anarchy.” If this is news to you, you’re not alone. Wendy Case’s backstory has never been divulged throughout the FX series, that is, until de Matteo sat down with Entertainment Weekly. During the interview, de Matteo revealed her character’s unknown past for the first time -- a history she cultivated herself.
According to de Matteo, her character was never supposed to survive past the first episode of the FX series, which is what makes Wendy’s story all the more interesting.
“When Kurt hired me to be on the show, I died in the pilot,” she revealed. “That was it. I came in with [executive producer] John Linson from the beginning, and it was just a funny little thing: ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.’ I loved the world. That was it. There was no expectation of my character coming back. But I think the fact that I wanted to do it at that time, [Kurt] asked me, ‘I don’t know what we’re gonna do with this, but do you want to stick around?’ I stuck around for a little bit, but I did have other engagements, so eventually I had to leave and that worked out fine because my character could go to rehab for four seasons.”
When de Matteo’s character did return to the show in Season 4, Wendy was standing a little bit taller and feeling a little bit cleaner. However, the actress admitted that she and Kurt Sutter, the creator behind “SoA,” never discussed the transformation of one of the show’s most evolved characters.
“So we never sat down and really discussed a backstory on who my character was, so I gave myself my own backstory, and it would be news to Kurt to find out that his character was this person,” she began. “But this is what I put in my own head: That I am probably from the East Coast. That I don’t have much family back home. That I didn’t have a very good or structured, loving family. That I was probably a dancer in a strip club. Came out to California to maybe try to dance—maybe it was professional dancing, who the hell knows—but then I ended up just stripping and getting hooked on drugs. Probably got more hooked on drugs once I fell in love with Jax because the world -- there was a lot of s--- around. So that was my backstory that I was a little bit of a party girl wild card.”
De Matteo continued by sharing how she imagined Wendy and Jax (Charlie Hunnam) began their tumultuous relationship. “I would assume if Jax broke up with the love of his life, which was Tara, and she had moved away, that I was just some flashy piece of a-- that he could get with. That’s probably how we came together. He took care of me, I think, to a large degree, as opposed to Tara coming in and taking care of him, which is the way it really played out. Tara was the voice of reason, the conscience, and she was a strong woman. My character was probably a lot less than that. So those are my little pieces of backstory. But because I was in and out so much, I never really went that far.”
Did de Matteo’s backstory of Wendy surprise you? How did you think she met Jax? Sound off in the comments section below and make sure to tune in to “Sons of Anarchy” when episode 11, “Suits of Woe,” airs Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 10 p.m. EST.