Fans of TNT‘s “Rizzoli & Isles” are bound to relish the seventh season premiere tonight. The popular drama series, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, captured our attention last year when Season 6 bowed — shots were fired at Korzak’s (Bruce McGill) big wedding. We can expect to learn the fates of those newlyweds and their guests — as well as finding out who the shooter is — however one of the main reasons to tune in to this well-executed, long-running drama is that it will be the series’ last season.
A chart-topper from the getgo, “Rizzoli & Isles” won over audiences for its inventive writing, and the spunk and grace of its two leads. Harmon plays a tough Boston cop (Rizzoli), Alexander a Chief Medical Examiner (Isles)—TV addicts may recall Alexander’s head turning role as Lip’s provocative professor on “Shameless” back in 2015.
The show ranked as basic cable’s No.1 summer drama last year and no doubt it will leave a mark this year as the show’s writers unveil to viewers what lies ahead in the professional and personal lives of the main protagonists.
I caught up with Sasha Alexander to learn more about the season ahead, and her fondness for playing Dr. Maura Isles.
You folks are a remarkable team. What are your thoughts now that this is the last season? What’s going through your mind?
Well, I can’t believe it’s been seven years. A full cycle. A seven-year cycle. I am very grateful that our show went on for so long. It’s very hard to keep shows on long as we have been on. It has remained popular and done well, and that’s a really good thing. I feel like we are leaving on an “up.” I’m grateful and I am sad, and I am also grateful to move on.
What do you think has made it successful?
We have a wonderful cast and casting on a television show is so vital. I also think we have a family that people seem to really like watching every week. And second is Jane (Rizzoli) and Maura (Isles). These two women are a really dynamic duo. It’s been a magical partnership in a sense that is has been two opposites. It just worked. People really love it. When was the last time we seen a series where two women supported each other and were friends? And both who are independent and strong, and beautiful and not beautiful? It doesn’t matter. Just the fact that they were friends beyond anything else really attached itself to people.
What have you love most about your character?
I have loved playing Dr. Maura Isles. Truly. Deeply. From the moment I auditioned for this character, she just brought a lot of light into my life. She is very funny and curious and smart. I learned a lot of vocabulary I never knew. I feel like I could help somebody now if they were in a dire situation. I learned a lot of medical things I never knew before. It’s been really fun to play her. And I think that’s a huge gift, because a lot of time, no matter how long you are on a show and play a character, it can get tedious. I will miss her. I miss the spunkiness and how she approached life, because that translates back to my life as an actor … when I see this woman approach something with lightness and curiosity. I will miss that little push to do that every day.
There is something to that, right? Approaching life with lightness and fun. So what are a few things you learned working alongside Angie Harmon?
Well, you better work fast because she moves fast. She memorizes fast. She walks fast. And I am shorter than her—and in heels. So a lot of times, I would tell her to slow down. But you know, she is a strong woman. She approaches things with everything she’s got. We laugh a lot. What I like is that she is very flexible and if things in a scene might not be going well, she doesn’t take it so seriously.
What can we expect this season?
We’ll be looking at these characters and seeing where they will go, and what their futures will be. I mean, what would happen if your greatest asset was challenged, and what does that mean to you, your humanity and who you are? I think the girls have gone through a lot of stuff. Jane (Harmon) has been put in a lot of dangerous situations and she’s dealing with how that impacts her family and everyone around her. So, I think at this stage, they are evaluating where their futures are going … without giving too much away.
What do you love most about performing, and acting … stepping into another characters’ shoes?
I love storytelling. I always have. I used to dance. And that was a way of telling the story of the music. And then I moved to theater. And then I went to film school to study how to do it behind the camera technically. I love television because we are telling the story every week. And you get to live in that character for more than just one week. For me personally, acting has been a really important way to express myself. I love exploring emotions. I love working with other actors. It excites me. Human beings are fascinating. My mother told me that when I was a little girl, I would want to go to places where there were a lot of people, and I could just sit there, watching people. And then I would imitate them.
Who inspired you the most growing up?
Lucille Ball and Gilda Radner. Those were the two I always imitated. That was the kicking of point. I remember seeing Lily Tomlin in a play and that was where I felt I belonged.
One last question. What’s some of the best advice you have been given about life, or living, or thriving?
Maybe … don’t take things so seriously. That’s the one piece of advise I’ve been given a lot and the one that is sometimes the most hard to remember. You know, people for the most part, are doing their own thing and their actions are not a reflection on you. And if you are a sensitive person, you can take in that energy and respond to it. But the reality is … it’s not about you. And as long as we are in our own lane, doing the best that we can and the best that we can be, you really can’t worry the choices other people are making. You can’t take it seriously. And as far as thriving, I always think … take something that you love to do, some passion, no matter what it is, and allow that you to drive in you the enthusiasm and the joy of having a passion. It’s important to have something, especially in this age of selfies, and social media, people are more and more alone, and not connecting. So … find that passion.
Source: AXS entertainment