Donal Logue on Sons of Anarchy's Lee Toric: 'I Left Work So Disturbed By Things I Had Done!'
Sons of Anarchy‘s Lee Toric isn’t just mad about his sister being killed. No, the former U.S. Marshal may be just plain mad, as well.
As glimpsed during the final scenes of the FX hit’s Season 6 premiere, Toric is battling assorted demons of his own as he labors to take down SAMCRO. As he shot up and later stripped down, it was a startling contrast to the somewhat dapper, in-control lawman we’d seen thus far. And make no mistake, the very worst is yet to come.
As portrayer Donal Logue puts it, “The inside of Lee Toric’s psyche and the inside of his low-rent motel room are places no one wants to go.”
For Logue, a veteran of such series as Life, Terriers and Knights of Prosperity, the third time was the charm when it came to visiting Charming. He and the biker drama’s creator, Kurt Sutter, had met twice before to discuss possible roles, only to have Logue’s commitments to (ill-fated) pilots get in the way.
“It was incredibly disappointing, sitting on my hands, not being able to work,” the actor shared with TVLine during a phone call from Dublin, Ireland, where he is filming Season 2 of History’s Vikings. And even for this latest go-round, Logue’s gig as King Horic on the aforementioned Vikings presented a “wrinkle,” but Sutter took measures to work around it. “I owe Kurt so much — as a friend, and for the gift of this part,” Logue attests. “It’s really fun to play.”
The material has also proven to be quite disturbing to play, as viewers will come to appreciate as Season 6 rolls on. (The opening to Episode 3, in particular, will send your jaw on an express elevator to the floor.)
“I will say this — and bear in mind that I’ve engaged in some pretty heinous activity on Copper [as Brendan Donovan], and there are some incredibly nasty things that I do on Vikings,” Logue starts. “As much as the Sons cast and crew was, like Terriers, the most familial environment I’ve ever had, I left work so disturbed by the things that I had done — and that has never happened to me before. It’s almost like I couldn’t even stand to be in the car with myself as I drove away.”
We won’t reveal Toric’s first demonstration of sketchy behavior in the name of getting the goods on SAMCRO, which is on display this Tuesday night. But suffice it to say, he crosses a line – which Logue posits is nothing at all new for the former lawman. “In the past, which is why he lost his position, he probably crossed similar lines 785 times!” the actor ventures with a laugh. “And there are definitely other lines that are going to be crossed, because for him the end game justifies any means, absolutely.”
In hunting Clay, Jax et al, is Toric coming from a place other than brotherly love? Or is it some unique magnitude of brotherly love? Logue likens his alter ego’s penchant for payback to “an almost Old Testament-style form of retribution,” saying: ” I can’t imagine the death of a family member of a sibling, but I think that has to trump, Outlaw Josey Wales-style, all. It’s like, You killed my wife and I’m going to make all of you pay.”
But in addition to that, Toric is “dealing with a lot of physical and emotional pain that has nothing to do with the death of his sister, or good guys versus bad guys, or cops versus robbers,” Logue teases. “It feels like it’s a desperate act, that the one defining moment of his life is going to be how he deals with this one motorcycle club. And the clock is ticking.”