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Why CCH Pounder Was Given The Gig On Sons Of Anarchy

In Season 6, Sons of Anarchy brought District Attorney Tyne Patterson into the fold, and Kurt Sutter cast the always great CCH Pounder to rain down some legal obstacles on SAMCRO. Did he originally picture Patterson as a tough black woman with hair that rivaled that of S.O.A.’s finest? Maybe. Either way, their past together on the excellent drama The Shield is basically how Pounder found her way to Charming.

During the seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy, Sutter took advantage of his Shield past as a writer and producer, often bringing members of the cast onto his then-current FX drama. Says Pounder:

Once Kurt got the ball rolling and decided he wanted to go through the entire cast, somehow or another Patterson got cast. Sometimes it would even be a one-time thing, like when Chickie (Michael Chiklis) was a truck driver at the very end.

There are many different kinds of characters that the actress could have ended up as, as evidenced by Walton Goggins’ informative transgender character who got romantic with Tig. Even back in Season 1, Jay Karnes was playing the Tara-stalking creepster ATF agent Josh Kohn, so no one was guaranteed to get something straightforward and reputable. Except, there was Patterson, whose basic form of antagonism was generally following the law and what bite-sized nuggets of information we’d get about her personal life painted her as someone whose troubles and skeletons were subdued. And who better to play that kind of a role than CCH Pounder?

As she told TVLine, Pounder initially wondered why she was there, what with all the leather-clad gang members riding around on motorcycles. That’s definitely part of the draw, though. As Patterson, Pounder always did seem kind of uncomfortable around Jax and some others, as if intimidated by the unpredictability of a lifestyle that she didn’t know much about. Or maybe she was just always wearing uncomfortable shoes. Point is, Pounder’s awesome.

She mentioned Michael Chiklis, who for a time was supposed to be the only Shield actor that Sutter didn’t want to use, as not to distract from the character of Vic Mackey. But he came in for a guest spot before later returning as a key part of how the series finale played out. It was a divisive move that got some criticism, but I think Sutter is partly fueled by that at this point.

You can currently catch CCH Pounder on the CBS drama NCIS: New Orleans, which will air its midseason finale on Tuesday night, presumably returning early in the new year. In the meantime, we’re wondering if Shield creator Shawn Ryan is going to bring any of his or Sutter’s former cast members to his upcoming Amazon series Mad Dogs.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.