Drea de Matteo has been promoted to series regular for the final season of Sons of Anarchy.
De Matteo plays Wendy Case, the drug addicted ex-wife of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam). She is also the mother of his son, Abel. Although the Emmy winner has been a fairly consistent presence on the series, this is her first time actually being named a series regular.
Spoiler alert ahead.
De Matteo's upgrade comes after the death of Dr. Tara Knowles-Teller (Maggie Siff), Jax's second wife, and the mother of his son Thomas. Creator Kurt Sutter said Tara's death will have a major impact on Jax when the series returns in the fall.
"I wanted to remove [Jax's] 'True North,' because I feel like there needs to be this major psychic and emotional shift that has to happen. What direction it will push him in we will see next season," Sutter said. "But what happens to a guy like that now that he's lost both of the people he loves the most, who were able to be his moral compass, with Opie and now Tara. It really is Jax completely untethered and on his own in the final season."
Drea De Matteo is best known for her role as Adriana La Cerva on The Sopranos. She won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2004, as well as a Gracie Allen Award in the same category. She and the rest of the cast won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 1999.
In September, de Matteo joined the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Dark Places. The Queens native plays Krissi Cates, a down-on-her luck stripper who accuses Ben (Corey Stoll) of being a child molester. Mad Men star Christina Hendricks was originally cast in the role, but was cast as Patty Day, Ben's mother, after Samantha Morton dropped out.