Alexander admitted that it took her awhile to be aware of the lesbian subtext that has made the show one of the most popular dramas on cable.
“I just find it funny when people find subtext in something that I didn’t see at all,” she said. “I may have read it completely different and maybe Angie and I never intended to play it a certain way and yet it’s a testament to the chemistry we have — and the whole cast has — that people can look into things and find things that we may not have meant.”
All that said, while it remains to be seen if Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles will ever move beyond friendship together, could Alexander see Maura go between the sheets with another woman?
“Absolutely!” Alexander said. “I think Maura is very open. Maura has, which is what I love about her, a very open, curious sort of sensibility in terms of what she’s attracted to. Even the men that are coming through are kind of all over the map. So I think that would be the same thing with women. It would be a personality. It would be a connection. Sometimes it’s just physical.”
Jordan Bridges, who plays Harmon’s brother, Frankie Jr., marveled at the attention the show is getting from lesbian viewers.
“What I think is fascinating about it is there are a lot of people who kind of aim for that market … and I love that they’ve come to us and I think it’s great that they discovered this. A lot of it has to do with this incredible chemistry that’s between Sasha and Ang,” Bridges said. “It’s not been a target or anything like that, so for me, it’s like welcome to the party.” Bridges didn’t sound optimistic, however, that the future for a physical relationship between the lead characters. “Ultimately, the viewers might be disappointed with the will-they or won’t-they thing, [but] I love it because they’re some of our most fervent and genuine fans.”
One thing fans won’t be disappointed in, promised Harmon, is next week’s episode. Entitled “Brown Eyed Girl,” the heavier-than-usual episode focuses on a kidnapped daughter of a police officer that mirrors another recent case where the young girl turned up dead. Harmon gave no spoilers but did explain that she had experienced something during filming that she never had before as an actor.
“I had to go to a place, and I’m not going to give it away, but obviously Hoyt [a serial killer played by Michael Massee that pops up regularly on the show] is a place of sensitivity for Jane, and when we got finished doing the scene I couldn’t close the doors. I was shaking all the way to my trailer and I threw up and I was like ‘What’s happening?’” Harmon said. “As an actor, I know I always continuously doubt myself and I sort of had this revelation while vomiting ‘I can do this … [makes vomit noise] … I might be pretty good at this … [vomit noise] … this is great … [vomit noise]’ It was a very odd moment for me but triumphant nonetheless.”
The episode also features guest star Annie Wersching (24, General Hospital).
Another upcoming storyline has a strong mother-daughter story as actress Jacqueline Bisset, who once shared a kiss with Sanaa Lathan on FX’s Nip/Tuck, guest stars as the mother of Maura.
“I think when you meet Maura’s mother you’ll see what Maura was raised with and what she came up with — it’s very mother and daughter,” Alexander said. “I particularly loved shooting that episode. What was interesting about it is you see Jane and her mother on one side of the table, and Maura and hers, but you also realize what an amazing sort of character Angela [Jane’s mother, played by Lorraine Bracco] is in terms of her importance to everybody in a way. There is no other character on the show that is this maternal thing in terms of keeping everybody together.”
Getting back to how the actresses feel about the attention from lesbian fans, Alexander shared that the goal of any series is to make a show that any individual or group can relate to. “The most important thing is that you have characters that people relate to, whether that’s the gay community or a 15-year old girl who is excited about science because she saw a character on television that doesn’t seem like the typical nerdy type – although I find Maura to be rather nerdy – I find it all flattering. I think it’s great.”
Rizzoli & Isles airs every Monday night on TNT.