While many of us gasped when Angie Harmon lovingly wrapped her arms around the waist of co-star Sasha Alexander at the end of Monday’s episode of TNT’s hit series Rizzoli & Isles, it may have only been a ruse to throw off a male admirer of Isles (played by Alexander) by saying that she is an “LLBFF” with Rizzoli (Harmon). But Alexander admitted to AfterEllen.com on the set of the TNT series yesterday that this wasn’t the first time she’s let someone believe she was involved with another woman.
“I have done it in college with my girlfriends,” she said on the kick-off day of the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Los Angeles. “I would hold hands with her just so that guy in the corner doesn’t approach. That’s just what you do! I think it’s human nature and it’s a modern world.”
One thing that is not a ruse is how much the cast and crew of Rizzoli & Isles are loving the attention they’re getting from their lesbian viewers. Harmon, for one, is not playing innocent to the lesbian subtext that pops up regularly on the crime drama.
“I think that a lot of people are going to project on it what they want but I’m not saying we didn’t help,” said Harmon, in her Jane Rizzoli outfit of fitted blue dress shirt with tight, dark slacks and ankle-high boots. “We knew it was there in the first [episode] and it was absolutely no surprise to me. I think it’s fantastic and fun and awesome as long as everyone is good-natured about it. There are some people that got angry that we weren’t [gay] and we found ourselves on the defensive, like ‘I’m sorry! We didn’t create these characters. We’re just acting what’s on the page.’ It’s not our fault. If anyone wants to take issue with this, call Tess [Gerritsen, author of the book series that Rizzoli & Isles is based on].”
Harmon also added that any speculation on whether there is a sexual connection between the lead characters and if they could possibly end up together could only be seen as a good thing.
“First of all, to be successful in [this business] is a complete blessing and awesome and to get some icing on the cake and go ‘Are they? Aren’t they? Is this when it happens? Is this a dream sequence?!” Harmon said. “It’s fine! We’re actors. We’re storytellers and we put out there what these characters are and what they are written to be.”
Alexander, dressed in a form fitting wrap-around dress on the impressively huge kitchen set of Isles’ home, echoed Harmon. “I said to Angie today, even when you go on Twitter and people tweet about the subtext like last night — they find this subtext and I think the great thing about any great show is that people find subtext in so many things. And I’m not only saying, as in this particular case, ‘Oh my gosh, they have a deeper relationship! They could be gay!’ It can be anything that people find and view from relationships and from what they get from something. Art is subjective.”