It’s the end of a southern-twanged era. Tonight is the season finale of The Closer, and while you may be sniffling at the thought of not seeing Brenda Leigh Johnson again, the baton is being passed to another leading lady!
That’s right, Mary McDonnell is continuing her role as Sharon Raydor in the Closer spinoff, Major Crimes, which premieres tonight directly following the Closer finale. I was able to take part in a conference call with Mary, where she talked all about Raydor, what’s new with the new series, and even working with real LAPD officers — well, as much as she could without spoiling any of the juicy details!
Check out some of the highlights of the call below, and don’t forget to watch the series finale of The Closer tonight at 9/8c, followed by the series premiere of Major Crimes at 10/9c.
Now obviously you’ve been a part of this group for a while, and Major Crimes has a built-in audience. But I still — Kyra [Sedgwick] was such a huge part of The Closer. How will the new show sort of differentiate itself from the old show, and in what ways will it try to stay similar for the fans? — popentertainment.com
Well, I think inherently it will change because Brenda Leigh Johnson is gone. So that was the center of the show, it was called The Closer. So right there, that is the biggest difference. The Major Crimes division continues as it would in life with almost all of the same people, so there is the sameness.
We’ve got these really wonderful rich characters that we’ve been attached to and exploring life with for many, you know, seven years. And they are still there, most of them trying to solve crime in Los Angeles. So there is the sameness. How this particular division goes about solving crime now has to change inherently because they no longer have Chief Johnson…
And therein lies the reality of the new show. That’s where it begins.
So I wanted to know if you could talk about how the character is going to be evolving and has changed since she first appeared on The Closer. — scifivision.com
Well, I think evolving is the key. You know what I’m saying in that what we’re doing is we’re seeing a woman who was in a very specific professional role; through a very specific lens and as a character, she had a very limited functionality within the ensemble of The Closer. And she was clearly brought in to be the antagonist.
And as we evolve into Major Crimes this character is evolved into — she professionally changes, she shifts. And we begin to view her through a different job, a different set of circumstances, and different things are asked of her. And one of the beautiful things about the writing is that it very organically allows her to grow in front of us because we’re watching her in a different situation from a different point of view.