Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Sep 12 2015, Page 110

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - September 12, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE E11 B EVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It’s not the most obvious idea for a series. The Bastard Executioner tells of Wilkin Brattle, a 14th- century warrior who, at the behest of Annora, a mystical healer, assumes the identity of a journeyman executioner while pursuing his true destiny under Annora’s divine stewardship. It’s also not the most obvious choice for creator Kurt Sutter to have made as his followup to his motorcycle melodrama, Sons of Anarchy , which concluded a seven- season FX run last fall. The Bastard Executioner , which premières with a two- hour opener Tuesday on FX, does boast a family connection to Sutter’s previous show: It features his wife, Katey Sagal, who on Sons played Gemma, the tough, sprayed- on- leather matriarch of the outlaw biker club, but here displays long, grey tresses and a Slavic accent as Annora, co- starring opposite Lee Jones as Brattle with other cast members including Stephen Moyer, Flora Spencer- Longhurst, Sam Spruell, Sarah Sweeney, Danny Sapani and more. In short, Executioner demands to be experienced on its own terms. “ This is not Sons of Anarchy on horses,” Sutter says during a recent conversation alongside his leading lady. “ I knew creatively I did not want to do another series in the contemporary crime mode,” he explains. “ But here I do get to do what I do best: tell the story of tortured and conflicted heroes living on the fringe, and with a great deal of violence, which I feel I do well.” “ Kurt came home after his pitch meeting and said, ‘ I have your next job,’” says Sagal, “ and I’m in love with my character. She is so different from Gemma. She’s kind of a medicine woman. She’s lived a long time and she’s lived many lives. We know that she has a connection with Brattle in helping to guide him to this other life that he’s supposed to live. “ Meanwhile, she floats around with the Dark Mute, with whom she has a long history of unrequited love, on a mission together.” The Dark Mute is played by an unrecognizably masked Sutter, who played another on- the- edge and largerthan- life character on Sons. Why his peculiar on- camera turns? “ Nobody else in town will hire me as an actor except me,” he jokes. “ It’s been an adventure!” chimes in Sagal, who has been shooting the season’s 10 episodes in the wilds of Wales since March. “ It’s stunning: to go from working in North Hollywood in the summer in a lot of leather, then, all of a sudden, I’m in this open field in peasant clothes, no high heels, flowing hair and I get to ride a horse. It’s beautiful and very liberating. “ Everybody has yellow teeth and nobody wears makeup,” she adds. “ I did my research and I said to Kurt, ‘ You know, honey, they actually did make makeup out of berries.’ But he said, ‘ Nope! No makeup!’” Sagal says she loves working with her husband, noting, “ It’s not like we’re across the desk from one another all day.” Indeed, Sutter is mostly based at the show’s London production office. “ We actually don’t see each other enough to get sick of each other. And since he’s completely buried in what he does, for us to have the commonality of a project is good for our marriage.” She says she long ago refined a useful on- the- job dynamic with her workplace boss. “ I’ve learned when to speak up and when not to,” she says. “ I like to keep the boundary of ‘ I’m the actor, he’s the writer.’ But sometimes other people aren’t quite sure how to approach our relationship. On Sons , they got it pretty quickly. But at first, everyone just assumes that I know everything.” “ As if even I know everything!” Sutter cracks. Among the things he can’t know yet: how Executioner will be greeted. “ At the start of Sons, a lot of critics watched 15 minutes of the pilot and dubbed it a Sopranos knockoff, and I understand that: it was about a family of outlaws, and easy to dismiss as just that. I’m sure the same thing will happen with this show.” That is, at first glance, a viewer might see it as a Sutter- esque Outlander or Game of Thrones . “ But if viewers stay plugged in as the show’s world and characters develop,” he pledges, “ it will gain a sense of a thing on its own path: the medieval world and the executioner become the backdrop for its relationships and story.” A risky project for all concerned? That’s for sure. Staking his claim in a distant period and culture and capturing that flavour “ terrified me,” declares Sutter — “ but in a good, exciting way.” “ As an actor,” says Sagal, “ I feel like it’s the perfect risky. Risky’s not a bad thing to me. Risky is a good thing!” — The Associated Press winnipegfreepress. com ENTERTAINMENT WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 E 11 winnipegfreepress. com A NNIVERSARIES SPEED and LOUISE JOHNSON Happy 50th Anniversary Love Cindy, Cheryl, Steve, Mike, grandchildren, great- grandchildren, pets Ginger and Jayden, family and friends. AMANDA and KYLE One year down forever to go! Happy First Year Wedding Anniversary May the bond of your love be strengthened at all times. Love Mom and Dad D'Ottavio and Mom and Dad Thibeault A NNIVERSARIES HELEN and BORDEN SEMKIW September 10, 1955 Congratulations on your 60th Wedding Anniversary! Good health - many more years! Love always Your family NELLIE and BOB SMITH 1960 - September 10 - 2015 Happy 55th Anniversary Mom and Dad!! Love your family A NNIVERSARIES MAR and RENE DESMET Celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on September 3, 2015. We travelled the world, making many friends. We played on foreign beaches. Our family gave us great love as now their children do. Many thanks, family and friends, for being such a great part of our journey. Life is a Beach my friend. LENA and WALTER KOTAK Congratulations to Walter and Lena who celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary on August 10. Thanks to all who were able to come out on August 16 to help celebrate with them in Winnipeg on this momentous occasion. Wishing you many more happy years together. Your family A NNIVERSARIES CONSTANCE and HERBERT BRANDT 1949 - September 10 - 2014 Congratulations on your 66th Wedding Anniversary and to Mom on her 85th Birthday September 11. Love David, Anita, Kayla, Nick and Grace. B IRTHDAYS OLGA HYKAWY Happy 90th Birthday on September 15, 2015 to Mum, grandmother and great- grandmother. Love, from the family For more information, call 204- 697- 7100. Email your notice to: wfpcelebrations@ freepress. mb. ca Deadline is Wednesday at 4: 00 p. m. Place your Announcement in one of the following categories: Anniversaries Birthdays Births Christenings Congratulations Engagements Generations Graduations Retirements Reunions Social Notes Thank You Weddings Series has horsepower of a different kind Sons of Anarchy creator trades in motorcycle gangs for medieval mayhem TV Preview The Bastard Executioner . Starring Lee Jones, Katey Sagal and Stephen Moyer . Tuesday, 9 p. m. . FX Canada By Frazier Moore PAUL A. HEBERT/ INVISION Above, show creator Kurt Sutter and his wife ( and co- star) Katey Sagal. Top, Lee Jones appears to have some enthusiasm for the job. FX CANADA E_ 11_ Sep- 12- 15_ FT_ 01. indd E11 9/ 11/ 15 3: 13: 10 PM

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