Ray McKinnon talks Potter on ‘Sons of Anarchy’, finale Dec. 6

FX’s Sons of Anarchy has had quite a season four, after the bulk of the MC returns from a 14 month jail term served for the events of season three.

Opie was able to dispatch Agent June Stahl (Ally Walker) as SAMCRO regrouped from their trip to Belfast. 

Baggage came back from Ireland, by way of John Teller’s Irish old lady Maureen Ashby, who got to stick a dagger to Gemma’s heart one more time via those tucked-away letters to Jax.

The volatile letters exposed the truth of John Teller’s demise, and Clay and Gemma’s complicity. This season was the fallout of these letters getting into the wrong hands and the truth bubbling to the surface after years of bad blood and scabs ripped off.

This season, Miles, Kozic, Piney all met their maker. Tara has had a monumental shift in perspective. SAMCRO prospects Filthy Phil, Ratboy, and the club’s right hand Chucky have had more screen time.

It’s been bloody, painful and full of brand new characters that have added to the Charming stew.

One of the most watchable is fey, limber Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) investigating the I.R.A. and the Sons of Anarchy MC.

Potter appears as a chameleon of sorts, he is quirk personified, level, steady and observant. He also does his homework on anyone he engages, and compared to Stahl, is a juiceless yet powerful force that baffles his law enforcement cohorts and his prey, the SAMCRO crew, including Gemma.

Potter’s task force have amassed in Charming undercover – the ATF and the FBI, as they monitor the Sons of Anarchy, RIRA, and the Russians from their secret war room filled with gangster schematics and intel collected.

Ray McKinnon as Potter plays an integral part in finale of “Sons of Anarchy” which airs December 6th.

Monsters and Critics joined others on a conference call and asked Ray about his character, Linc Potter.

Monsters & Critics:  I’ve been fascinated with your character.  ‘June Stahl’ was so sexualized and adrenalized, and you have a much more aseptic almost asexual misanthropic kind of dislike for humanity.  And I just wondered if you discussed these qualities with Kurt [Sutter] ahead of time or when you read the script that you took that in the word and fashioned this character that just sort of observes people but doesn’t really interact with them.

Ray McKinnon:  Well, let’s see, asexual, that’s probably correct.  I would like to see ‘Lincoln’ like at home.  What is he doing?  He must have a cat, and I would imagine he’s listening to some music that’s quieting his mind. 

I don’t know—Kurt reached out to me, which was surprising.  I wasn’t aware Kurt knew me that well and I think he was forced to watch some films that Walt and … we had made over the years and he sent me the first episode of the season and I was just like, “Wow!  What a character.  I’ve never played anything remotely like this before.” 

So I kind of had a take on it before I came to L.A., and I was hoping that—like the first two weeks of shooting I’m like I wonder if I’m going to get fired because he hadn’t seen this take yet so I wasn’t sure. 

But I took a lot of the queues from the script so we didn’t speak that much about it.  It was just me interpreting a lot of what Kurt wrote.  And then he kept writing and it became a symbiotic relationship between the writer and the interpreter of writing, and that’s how we can manifest it.

I wonder does he hate humanity or is he just baffled by them and the emotionality of them and the unpredictability of them, and perhaps he just decided at some point in his life to be a little detached from interacting with them.  I think there are rare moments in the show where he does connect with human beings, particularly ‘Eli.’ 

I think about mid-way in the season he realizes he can’t get ‘Eli’ to change his way of thinking, and he can’t reprogram him. 

‘Eli’s’ too entrenched but he also recognizes that ‘Eli’s’ a good person, and he tells him that.  And I think that’s the first time that there’s a genuine upending emotion and feeling behind him so he’s not a psychopath. 

He just has an inability to empathize with anybody, and I think he empathizes with ‘Eli’ so that makes him a little more complicated. 

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