Whether it was Skyler on Breaking Bad, Rita on Dexter, Lori on The Walking Dead, or Margaret on Boardwalk Empire, TV wives often seem to be on the receiving end of a lot of hate, even when their on-screen husbands are often guilty of much worse crimes. So it was not altogether surprising when many Sons of Anarchy fans set their sights — and vitriol — on Jax Teller’s wife Tara.
Granted, she faked a pregnancy and a miscarriage to trick Jax into signing a restraining order against his own mother. And granted, she was doing this to get her sons away from the dangerous world of SAMCRO, and, it seems, their father. But is removing the boys away from such an environment such a bad thing? Is Tara just the latest victim of another sexual double-standard, in which female characters are held to a different standard than the male protagonists to which they are married?
We spoke to the woman who plays Tara, Maggie Siff, on Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) this morning and asked her about fan reaction to her character’s misdeeds, and viewer reaction to such female characters in general. “I really try not to read those message boards because they make me break out in hives,” said Siff. “But I do have some sense of what’s out there.” She then offered the following thoughts:
“I think it’s a really interesting conversation. I think these shows are always set up so we follow a protagonist and the story is very intricately built around caring for them in some way. And so anybody who runs counter to that is going to run into the problem of people turning on them. But I also think there are pretty deep gender cultural issues that have to do with a certain kind of fantasy of male and female roles, and a certain kind of fantasy around this anti-hero — the man who does terrible, terrible things but who we root for anyway because it’s an enactment of an adolescent male fantasy that people take great pleasure in seeing played out. And people who run counter encounter a lot of hostility. I think it’s the hostility that’s the most disturbing thing — the amount of vehemence or anger or righteousness that people can feel when they say, “She should be shot. She should be killed.’” That’s the thing that’s most startling and disturbing, when you really sit down and think about it.”
Big update to the Maggie Siff Online Gallery with caps from the last three episodes.
Maggie Siff Online Gallery > Sons of Anarchy > Season 6 > 610 “Huang Wu”
Maggie Siff Online Gallery > Sons of Anarchy > Season 6 > 611 “Aon Rud Persanta”
Maggie Siff Online Gallery > Sons of Anarchy > Season 6 > 612 “You Are My Sunshine”
THE PERFORMER | Maggie Siff
THE SHOW | Sons of Anarchy
THE EPISODE | “Huang Wu”
THE AIRDATE | November 12, 2013
THE PERFORMANCE | If hell hath any fury like a woman scorned, it’s a woman scorned and running out of options. With her elaborate plan to block monster-in-law Gemma from playing a role in the upbringing of her sons a certified flop, Tara found herself backed into multiple corners in Tuesday’s episode — and Siff conveyed her alter ego’s anger and desperation with heartbreaking precision.
The Mad Men alumna had at least a half-dozen killer moments throughout the hour, but three scenes stand out from the pack. First was the visit with drug-addled “ally” Wendy that made Tara fully aware of just how flawed her scheme was. Second was the confrontation with Gemma, during which Tara called BS on her archnemesis’ hypocrisy. “Guess I misjudged you,” she seethed, Siff drenching Tara’s faux grin with contempt. “I didn’t realize you had a line that couldn’t be crossed.” Last — and most notably — was her run-in with Jax — which began with her discovering him in bed with a prostitute and ended with her coming face-to-face with the unrecognizable person she has become.
Standing outside a brothel pointing a gun at the love of her life, a disoriented Tara cried out, “Look what you did to me! What’s happening to me? What happened to me?” You knocked it out of the park, darlin’. That’s what.
Maggie Siff Online Gallery > Events > 2013 > 10-25: An Evening With “Sons Of Anarchy”
Congrats to Maggie, who is pregnant!
Amanda Quaid (Cock, Luck of the Irish, The Seagull) has replaced the previously announced Maggie Siff, who is pregnant, in the Playwrights Horizons world premiere of The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, a new play by Madeleine George (The Zero Hour).
Directed by two-time Obie Award winner Leigh Silverman, previews will begin Nov. 15 prior to an official opening Dec. 9. The limited engagement will continue through Dec. 29 at Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street).