Katey Sagal never planned to go into acting. Music was always her first love. Back in the 1970s, Sagal was a backup singer for greats like Bob Dylan and Bette Midler. While Sagal still loves music and plays in a band, the Golden Globe winner is now a household name in Hollywood. Best known for playing Peggy Bundy on “Married… With Children”, Sagal plays a police officer named Randy DeLuca on CBS’s “Superior Donuts.” The role of a cop is a much different one for Sagal and her character DeLuca is making her return to the force after being on leave.
Sagal plays an important role on a show in “Superior Donuts” that isn’t afraid to tackle the most controversial issues in our world today. Tonight, the show addresses sexual harassment in the workplace and has dealt with the topics race relations and immigration in the past.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith chatted with Sagal about her experience on “Superior Donuts”, the importance of tonight’s episode and how she made the jump from singer songwriter to top flight actress.
DJ Sixsmith: You’ve worked on many different television shows in your career. How does “Superior Donuts” compare to the rest?
Katey Sagal: Well, they’re all different. First of all, I play a cop, which was interesting to me. I have a daughter, but you never see her and that is not the main focus of my character. This show deals a lot with current events that are going on. It’s the most diverse bunch of people, it’s a very diverse show. It’s super funny and the people on there are super funny. I’ve been involved with funny shows before, but the difference is that this doesn’t take place in somebody’s house. The show takes place in a donut shop and it’s a different kind of family environment. Nobody is blood-related, but everyone gets along as a family.
DS: You mentioned how the show deals with a lot of different current topics. Tonight’s episode dives into sexual harassment. How important is this episode given what is going on with the #MeToo movement?
KS: I think this is a really important topic. I can’t rate it with all of the very important topics in the world right now, but it’s definitely up there. My character Randy, who is a police officer, has been on leave and decides to go back to the force. She wants to be a detective and talks to her old boss to put in a good word for her. He says he’ll do that for me, but he asks if I can do something for him. He says he has an HR complaint against him from a rookie cop about sexual harassment. You come to find out that he is guilty and Randy calls him out on it. It’s one of the serious moments we have on our show, but it ends with lots of humor. It’s palatable and smart and that’s how we deal with things. We deal with a lot of issues going on in the country and from all different perspectives like police brutality, race issues and immigration. We are not bent towards one particular point of view, we cover all points of view.
DS: Taking a step back, how did your role on “Married… With Children” and winning a Golden Globe change the course of your acting career?
KS: It was such a career changer because my focus had been music up until that point. I still always play music, but my pursuit was as a singer songwriter. That’s what I was gearing myself towards and I had some moderate success with it. I then became open to other fields because I needed to make a living. This career was really the right fit. It’s just been an amazing journey. It was definitely not my plan in terms of where I thought I was going, but it’s worked out really well.
DS: You aren’t playing music full-time anymore, but how do you incorporate it into your life now?
KS: I just love to play music. I have a band right now where we pretty much just play for fun and it’s not about making a living and they’re great musicians. It scratches that itch for me. I’d like to say that I wish I had become a successful musician, but I’m really happy with where my life is.
DS: Finally, what has been the greatest challenge of your career?
KS: There have been several challenges because life is full of challenges. I don’t know if I can specifically say one. I definitely had some demons that needed to be sorted out along the way. I was able to do that and not mess things up. Life has always got some challenges, but that makes it interesting.
Watch Sagal in “Superior Donuts” tonight at 9pm EST/PST on CBS.