It’s a new season of intimate glances, working out, helping each other out of each other’s clothes and, of course, bringing down a bad guy or two.
Yes, it’s a new season of Rizzoli & Isles on TNT.
As you’ll see in the opening moments of tonight’s season premiere, the girls are out jogging together in their shapely tights and looking fabulous as ever.
But what will we see in the new season? Who better to ask that Maura Isles herself – actress Sasha Alexander – who sat down with AfterEllen last month during the TNT Upfront presentation in New York City to talk about what she and co-star Angie Harmon are up to in Season 4.
AfterEllen: What are we going to see Maura this season?
Sasha Alexander: With Maura, we’re digging deeper into her family. Paddy Doyle is on trial and during his trial we’re going to find out a lot more secrets that Hope (Maura’s biological mother, played by Sharon Lawrence) is carrying. In the midst of that, Maura is trying to create a relationship with her sister, Kayleen. We begin the season after she has given her kidney to Kayleen and it’s a few months later and she’s still recovering. But Maura is a little bugged out that she hasn’t received a thank you or a gift basket or a “thanks for doing this for me!”
The secrets between Hope and Paddy are compelling and I think there’s also some interesting things between Maura and Hope, too. She’s not who she thinks she is. And what’s interesting to me has been the idea that we’re all bonded through our parents even if we didn’t know them, adopted or whatever, but then to meet them and find out that maybe they’re not people you want to be friends with is interesting.
For Maura, that discovery of “I was kind of raised a certain way” but now they’re so far out of the box that even just morally, the compass is off for her. I think what it’s forced her to do is really dive into her dark side. We have an episode where Maura is actually a suspect in a murder and that was really a lot of fun to shoot. It something that turns out to be an innocent thing and she is set up but they really don’t know how to prove that it’s not her. She’s in jail. She’s stripped down and she’s beaten up! It’s bad!
AE: Are you actually in the orange prison outfit?
SA: Yes! I’m like “Can’t I add a Fendi belt to this?”
AE: I do love that you’ll be at a crime scene looking great in amazing dresses and heels! Is that you in real life, too?
SA: Thank you but no! Angie is the one who shows up in five-inch glamour heels and I’m in Birkenstocks, although I’m banned from wearing them anymore. She hates them so much and she says she can’t focus when I’m wearing those so I’ll wear a more glamorous flat shoe. But, yes I’m a girly-girl in the sense that I like feminine things but sometimes I think with Maura we push it in a way that that is her uniform! That’s just who she is!
AE: Will we see some more moments of closeness between Maura and Jane? We can’t get enough of those!
SA: Absolutely! We do more yoga this season. Their love lives are kind of static and they haven’t been very lucky. Jane is still pining over Casey and Maura is just not lucky in love. They are each other’s relationship and I definitely feel like there’s a lot of times when they’re not doing the work stuff they only have each other to have that off-time with. We always try to make the most of those situations, the girl things, they come up with some great stuff this year.
AE: And a big part of the show is the relationship between the two ladies. It’s a love story whether it’s in the scripts or if you and Angie just play up to it.
SA: It’s funny, here’s the thing: I don’t know if consciously Janet [Tamaro, Executive Producer] puts it in there or not. Angie and I don’t ever get it off the page ever but I think it’s just natural for us. It even happens when we’re rehearsing a scene and we are touchy feely. So if touching that much is gay, then I’m the gayest person on the planet!
AE: And there’s my headline!
SA: [laughs] Because we are that way. That said, I’m proud of this relationship in a way that whatever people want to read into it, as long as they think it’s love and respect — but the core of that has to be, for me, a representation of a relationship of women who are not competitive with each other. They are, in the world, competitive but they’re not with each other.
For both of us, it’s very important for us to maintain that. That’s why I think the jokey stuff plays into that. We don’t ever do anything and then go “Oh wow! I just did that to you!” But I will say that we sometimes go a little further than what’s in the script and sometimes our outtakes are pretty provocative!
Rizzoli and Isles airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on TNT.