Katey Sagal: Bad ass with a cause in ‘Rebel; ‘She’s pushy, relentless!” Plus: Andy Garcia!

Mark Daniell

April 10, 2021

Article taken from Toronto Sun.

Katey Sagal has played plenty of tough TV characters, but she’s never encountered a force of nature quite like Annie “Rebel” Bello.

“She’s pushy, she’s loud, she’s chatty and she’s relentless,” Sagal, 67, says in a Zoom call.

Rebel, a new TV drama, which airs Thursdays on ABC and CTV, comes from Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 showrunner Krista Vernoff and casts Sagal as legal advocate inspired by real-life champion of justice Erin Brockovich, who was the subject of a 2000 movie that cast Julia Roberts in the title role.

“Energized by injustice,” the blue-collar Rebel fights for the underdog alongside her lawyer pal Julian Cruz (played by Andy Garcia). This week’s premiere saw Rebel taking on a medical corporation accused of implanting faulty heart valves in unsuspecting patients.

It’s a storyline that will play out over the course of the series’ first season, but dialing in from the set of the show, Sagal says future episodes will delve into her messy personal life, including the relationships she has with her three children (Lex Scott Davis, Ariela Barer, Kevin Zegers), her two exes (Matthew Glave and James Lesure) and her current husband, Grady (John Corbett), who laments Rebel’s frequent absences.

After becoming a household name thanks to her role as Peg Bundy, the irascible housewife on Married … with Children, Sagal went on to play the deadly Gemma Teller Morrow on Sons of Anarchy. More recently, she has popped up on Showtime’s Shameless and played John Goodman’s love interest on The Conners.

Rebel’s message is, ‘You can do a lot as just one person.’

Starring in Rebel, though, has allowed the Golden Globe winner to reinvent her fierce on-screen persona all over again. “Rebel works outside the box a little bit,” Sagal says.
“You’re going to see different situations pop up that Rebel handles in her own way,” she smiles slyly, “person-to-person.”

For Garcia, 64, working on the prime-time drama was a no-brainer given he was a fan of Sagal’s past work.

“I knew this was a character she could flourish in,” he adds, while on a break from shooting.

Script developed by Never Enough Design