'Sons of Anarchy' Interview: Donal Logue Talks about the Mysterious Lee Toric
'Sons of Anarchy' Interview: Donal Logue Talks about the Mysterious Lee Toric
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
As the Sons of Anarchy season draws to a close, we were introduced to a new and scary character, Lee Toric (Donal Logue). This ex- US Marshall seeks revenge for the death of his sister at Otto's hands with the unwitting assistance of Tara. Will Toric take out his anger on both of them? Or, will he see that Tara was not complicit in his sister's death?

Donal Logue answered questions during a recent conference call about Lee Toric and what will be coming up for his character. Here is a portion of the interview.

After the first episode, did you have a lot of people asking you who your character is?

Yes. I love that sense of mystery about it. ... People even out in public were like, "What are you up too?  Are you trying to kill the kids?"  I thought it's kind of cool to be involved in something that has that level of passion and interest.

What's your read on Toric? He's obviously a very intense guy as we saw with him sitting on the floor with a bunch of guns on the bed.

.. Everybody is like, this guy is so bad, this guy's sister was brutally murdered by an outlaw organization that engages in illegal activities.  I get it.  I root for the underdog and I root for the bad, you know, I understand where the anti-hero stuff comes.  I think Lee Toric's game is that, ... in our world these things happen and this is part of the game and there's collateral damage.  I'm going to bring a shocking level of violence to you to show you that your perspective and perception of what is right and wrong is wrong.  I think it's a kind of a really powerful moral stance.  

Of course, [Executive Producer] Kurt [Sutter] knows me, and we know each other well.  When I read this description of [Toric], I thought, oh, what a kind of interesting creation of this guy who marries the kind of intellectual with the violent world.  Toric is a Harvard educated special forces guy who was a roguish U.S. Marshal, but what I love about it is that I have a feeling with this guy that even in the scene with Tara where she's tough and she's come up and she's been playing this game for years, he's been playing this game for decades.  It's like; I think you've seen some stuff?  I've seen bodies hanging from bridges.  This is the world I come from, and I've been doing it for a long time.  

Go plot, go spin, go try and figure out what I'm up to, but I'm five steps ahead of you. ...this world has taken something very personal from him, and I don't think he cares.  I think he was utterly fair when he said to [Tara], "I believe that you didn't know what this guy, what his intentions were, but I believe my niece and nephew thought they were going to grow up with a mother."

On Lee Toric's bed, there was a book called Watchfiends and Rack Screams.  Do you know what it is?   Did you read it?  

Artaud was this French writer and I think that he spent a lot of time in mental institutions.  He walked that thin line between.  He was a genius, and he was mentally ill probably.  

What was fascinating about him -- I'm no scholar of Artaud, and I have read some in the past, but I will tell you that how it plays with Sons of Anarchy in a weird way too, is that he didn't believe that there was much of a difference between art and life.  He thought that art's duty was to be as real as life, and to be just basically shocking and brutal.  To hit you in your face so hard that it broke the kind of comfortable veneer with which you perceive reality.  In a weird way, the way that Sons of Anarchy does that and comes at you with this brutality.  

... Lee Toric chose some 30 years ago when he went into the military that he was going to take on the bad guy.  He's kind of an intellectual guy, so he can always qualify it in different ways.  He fought crime.  He was involved in some kind of high-level, big intense, dark stuff when he was a U.S. Marshal.  

I think his thing is, I dip into all these worlds where people can say, well, in that world, in the cartel world, in the motorcycle club world stuff happens.  People get killed.  You know the rules.  It's kind of amoral in this kind of way.  I think his thing is I'll shock you with -- to make you see what's right and wrong, I'm going to come at you ten times heavier.  If that makes any sense.

I think that's what was kind of genius about Kurt's choice of who he'd be reading to get strength and buffet his crusade.  He's on a crusade.

Do you think in that scene with Tara that he's already made up his mind about her? Or, when he's interviewing her, is he really is trying to figure out how guilty she is?

I think that he's the kind of guy, when I ask you a question I'm not asking you to discover something; I just want to know if you're lying to me or not.  I'm asking you a question, I know the answer, so just think carefully on what you're going to tell me because a lot is going to be determined by how you answer this.  Don't think I need to know this information.  I like the way he doled it out, and I like the way that she picked, and it was such subtle stuff.  

From my perspective, when I watch her squirm a little bit because I drop little bits of information like; he was your patient, this was the third time.  Then as soon as she knows that I have that specific knowledge, she is like, "Who are you?"  I know more then.  It was time to kind of drill, it's time to go in there and go, "Look, I know what's up.  I know she brought the thing, and I know that she came back the same day." 

If you want to play this game, this guy Lee Toric, this is a game I've been playing for 30 years with Mexican drug cartels, with mobs.  I've been down this road.  You think you're good at this?  This is what I do.  

... He's coming from such a different world and he's so powerfully motivated with revenge.  He's so mysterious.  Even the Popes of the world, who were very scary and powerful guys, you know that they are based out of ... .  You know where they are, you kind of know how to -- I don't know, this guy is kind of coming in from a satellite in outer space, and is very rogue, and like a lone assassin.  I think that I like the foreboding that surrounds Lee Toric. He knew what was up.  He just asked her to confirm stuff.

Do you wrap up in the finale or will this continue into next season?

It's interesting because I think it's fair to say that whatever he's got to do might take a while to do.  I didn't know exactly like what the parameters were in terms of talking about the beyond, but I think Lee Toric is a pretty significant threat to these guys.  I think that, I'm implying that it could go somewhere deeper and further.

The Sons of Anarchy season 5 finale airs tonight at 10 pm ET on FX.

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(Image courtesy of FX.)