“I was extremely flattered,” she said during the TCA Summer Press Tour this week. “Here’s why: Let’s say the AfterEllen fans and the women that not only appreciate our show and all that—it’s very important for me to be appreciated by women. Because we’re smart and fabulous and we have good instincts about things, that we relate to. That’s important to me and I like that.”
Sasha, who plays the fabulously fashionable medical examiner Maura Isles on TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, says she knows what her lesbian fans see in her on-screen relationship with co-star Angie Harmon. Even her husband pointed it out to her.
“He was like ‘Wow, you guys are really hot together’ and so he was the first fan that said ‘You guys need to be in hot cars. You guys should be in like these super hot situations.’ I think that’s due to our natural chemistry, you know, we’re physically compatible. We look differently but yet you believe we’re friends. I think one thing that really helped our show was from the beginning you weren’t forced to believe we’re friends since childhood or sisters that were inseparable and you as an audience were supposed to love them right away together. You were asked to love them separately as characters and slowly that relationship was the thing that clicked with people. And I think that was really organic how that happened and how they grew to be something.”
Although that “something” has been strictly subtext, Sasha said she could easily be the more butch one once in a while, no matter what Angie seems to think.
“She just says that because she’s wearing pants and the voice is a bit deeper. She’s like ‘I’m the man!’” Sasha said. “First of all, she does have a more Alpha-male energy than I do. She does. So I understand I guess she’s thinking she’s the man and I’m a woman in a relationship and all that. But you know what? I can wear pants—and we can change roles.”
In real life, Sasha said she dresses in a style that’s more edgy than Maura’s.
“I’m not as polished, I’m more, I’d say, rocker chic,” Sasha said. “I feel like Maura is definitely a professional so whenever things get a little on edge I sort of pull it back to be taken a little more seriously. So she can be fashionable but she’s still in an office with a bunch of cops.”
While Maura Isles might not be gay, Sasha played a lesbian TV Guide reporter on Greg the Bunny in 2002 where she fell for Sarah Silverman.
“Sarah Silverman just tweeted me the other day. I hadn’t seen her in a while. Something came up and she said ‘I kissed Sasha Alexander!’ And I said ‘Listen you!’” Sasha said she had no hesitations about playing the role at an early point in her career. “No. Never. Not at all. And it was so fun. I loved that show,” she said. ” Unfortunately it didn’t have great timing.” It was canceled by Fox after one season and later resurrected in a different form for IFC in 2005.
Even on a show with puppets Sasha was all dolled up, but she said she had a lot of fun stripping down (literally) on a recent episode of Rizzoli & Isles where she went to prison.
“I loved it all. I had so much fun playing a different color and being able to see Maura—I mean she’s such person who seemingly has everything together, so when we see things unravel for her and we watch her in situations she cannot control, I find it very interesting,” Sasha said. “I like not wearing makeup, I had a bruised eye, I loved the whole thing. Bring it on, I want to be a victim again!”
She also spoke about this week’s episode, which was directed by out director Jamie Babbit.
“She’s awesome, I love Jamie. She’s so smart and prepared and she’s a really good storyteller,” Sasha said. “I give her shit sometimes because she can be a bit of a pain, I’m teasing. She’s a tough cookie! I enjoy working with her because she knows what she’s doing and as you can tell by the episode, it has a lot of information in it, and she was able to sift through and really get performance and the key of what you need to get to. Sometimes I feel like in series television you just don’t have time. You don’t have time! So how do you get to the important stuff and create moments? So I love working with her.”
Sasha knows how to create all kinds of moments herself.