Everyone’s favorite totally gay, not-gay homicide detective and medical examiner best friends return tonight. Rizzoli & Isles is back for a five-episode mini-season and we couldn’t feel gayer about it. Nor, clearly, can they. So in celebration of Jane and Maura being back together, here is a countdown of their 10 gayzzoliest moments together. But remember, they’re just friends. Friends, I tell you. Friends who sleep in the same bed and stare at each other meaningfully and touch each other in a totally gratuitous, totally gay ways. A look back, at the Top Ten gayest moments of Rizzoli & Isles.
Last we saw Jane (Angie Harmon) and Maura (Sasha Alexander), Lydia (Alexandra Holden) — aka the ex-girlfriend of both Jane's dad Frank (Chazz Palmintieri) and her brother Tommy (Colin Egglesfield) — had left her newborn son on Maura's doorstep. This, of course, was moments after Maura was nearly killed and stuffed inside a statue by cuckoo Dennis (Eddie Cibrian). Who's the father of Lydia's baby? Has Maura recovered from her brush with death? Get the scoop from Alexander on what to expect when the final five episodes of Season 3 premieres Tuesday (9/8c, TNT).
1. Who's the father? Frank or Tommy? A paternity test will be done in the midseason premiere, at the hands of Maura, so the question will finally be put to bed. In the interim, Rizzoli & Isles & Co. take in the infant, nicknamed T.J. for Tommy Jr. — and Jane's got babies on the brain. "There's this moment where Jane is considering taking care of this baby and Maura's the reality check of, 'Really? You really think you can do that?' Alexander tells TVGuide.com. "She has to knock some sense into her. They both are not in relationships that have offered them the opportunity in their lives yet to turn that corner. The reality of working the jobs that they do and raising a child alone is extremely difficult. That doesn't meant they won't do it at some point."
2. Single and ready to mingle: But where are the dudes? As previously reported, Maura won't see any action for the rest of Season 3, much to Alexander's chagrin. "There is no lovin' going on! I wish! I think Maura wishes too," she says. "Time has passed and ... I don't think she's going to dwell on [Dennis] or it's going to hold her back from going on a date, but it was pretty frightening. I told Janet [Tamaro, the showrunner] that I hope Season 4 will have a lot of cuties. We've both been unlucky this season." But that won't be the case for others. Korsak (Bruce McGill) will reunite with one of his ex-wives (though it's case-related), and Angela (Lorraine Bracco) starts a fling on the down low with the last person Jane expects.
3. Bad news: Jane's paralyzed ex Lt. Col. Casey Jones (Chris Vance) returns in the final two episodes and reveals to Jane that he needs spinal surgery. "Jane is grappling with that. He has to make some decisions about whether to do surgery or not because it's so risky," Alexander says. "Is it worth it?"
4. Mommy issues: That's not the only medical emergency. Maura's estranged biological mother Hope (Sharon Lawrence) will be back in the finale — this time with her tail in between her legs as she tries to apologize to Maura for dismissing her as her daughter and to ask Maura for a kidney donation for her dying 18-year-old daughter Kayleen. "It's a great scene because Maura does something un-Maura-like: She just says what she feels to Hope," Alexander says. "It's a breakthrough for her because she's just not being polite about it and really showing Hope how she feels, and then allowing her to determine whether she's going to help her or not. It won't be resolved yet. ... It's just interesting to me because I feel like whether you know your mom growing up or not, there does come a point as an adult where you have to discover who your mother is. Is she somebody who could be a friend of yours? Or is this a woman who do I don't relate to at all and I don't have anything in common with? And we're seeing Hope also having to unravel this past. It's uncomfortable and complicated."
5. Finale buildup: Unlike last season's rift-inducing cliff-hanger, this year's closer will find Jane and Maura coming together after a building collapses with family and colleagues inside. "I think it's a nice contrast to last year's [finale]," Alexander says. "They're in this thing together." Although it's technically just Jane's job to go inside the wreckage, Maura insists on following her. "She doesn't want her friend to do it alone. There's a wonderful moment at the very, very end where you see these two women who are so different and yet they have this wonderful connection. I think the season ends beautifully between both of them."
Confronting criminals is nothing new to actress Sasha Alexander. After all, she plays the nerdy medical examiner fighting crime with her tomboy partner in TNT's "Rizzoli & Isles," which returns Tuesday. And she was one of the intrepid investigators in the first two years of "NCIS."
But Alexander also managed a little crime busting in real life.
"When I was 19 years old I ended up in two very dangerous situations in a month. I was in a bank robbery, and I was held at gunpoint by some young gangsters," she says over a Cobb salad in a hotel restaurant here.
"When this happened to me, I was incredibly strong and clear. I was almost defiant in the way that I dealt with the situation ... In the bank robbery there was a woman in front of me as the men came in, who was an elderly woman, and I got so scared because he had a gun trained on her. So I stepped right in front of her, not even thinking. Even my move could've made him do something. I didn't think about it. So after the fact I went into a paralyzed state of shock," she recalls.
"A month later I was coming out of a restaurant and I had one of those pull-out radios because I had a Jeep, and some gang-bangers in a car pulled up and trained three guns on my stomach and said, 'Give me your radio.'
"And I stood looking at their guns because they had some kind of strange tape on them -- looking at them wondering whether they were real or not -- not handing over my radio. I held on to it. I don't know why, maybe fear. Some big guys were walking by and the guy said, 'Let's get out of here.'
"He tugged at the radio and it fell, and they took off. Two days later they shot and killed a kid in the San Fernando Valley at an ATM. The same guys, in the same car. I got the license plate and the car and reported them, and read it in the paper. I had these really intensive experiences happen to me, and I was really strong in the moment. But afterward completely fell apart, nightmares," she shakes her head.
She says those experiences helped her in her work. "It's interesting because when you're playing a character you understand why somebody in that line of work would be very clear. But those things are (usually) outside of your life."
While it may not have been all bullets and bandits, Alexander's life has been more colorful than most. Her parents are immigrants (her father Italian, her mother Serbian) and she was an only child raised by her mom after her parents' divorce when Sasha was 5. Her father was an expert tailor who even fabricated her prom dress. Her mom was a travel writer who took the young Sasha all over the world
"I saw lots of poverty," she says. "My mom was raised in a Communist society and was really influenced by wanting to see how other people lived, and I think I went on that journey with her. I didn't realize as a kid how much that would affect me because that's your experience. But when I got to college and found most people I knew didn't even have a passport, I realized that I really had a truly life-changing experience through this part of my mother's life," says Alexander.
"I remember being in Israel when I was 16 and seeing girls in the mall with machine guns who were my age ... I had family that was in Sarajevo -- where my grandma was from -- who were pulled into the horrible war there. I had a cousin who was Serbian, his best friend was Croatian and the other best friend was Muslim, and all three boys were sent into different armies.
"They made a pact if they survived they would meet back at this beach in Montenegro two years later. I was there that summer and that cousin took me to Montenegro with him to see if they were there. I was 18 and remember going with him and waiting on this beach for days to see if his friends would show. And one did show up. He was missing an arm and was selling ice cream on the beach ... That changed me because people don't have the opportunity we have here. I remember in college feeling just that I can do anything because I have seen how other people live. They're not born into what we're born into"
She attended USC where she met her future husband, Edoardo Ponti, who was studying film in the graduate program. They were only casual friends, but eight years later they met again, and it became a whole new experience. "We went out and that was it," she grins.
"We were pregnant in a year and a half and getting married. It was the easiest -- and I say that in a great way -- the easiest thing that ever happened in my life. It felt like home."
Ponti, the son of Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, is a filmmaker. He and Alexander have two children, a daughter, 6, and a son, almost 2.
Rizzoli & Isles returns to TNT this week for the final five episodes of season 3, and after screening the first two episodes to air, Gather.com participated in a conference call with Sasha Alexander to get a preview of what to expect.
The mid-season finale, which aired back in August, saw Maura have some very unfortunate luck in her love life, but will that change with these upcoming episodes? According to Alexander, unfortunately it doesn't seem that way: "I feel like it's been so bleak. Season 3 has been so bleak. I really hope Season 4 has a lot more loving going on, that's what I can tell you. ... But no, there's not really a whole lot of relationship stuff happening for the moment in our love life." The good thing is that her experience with Dennis isn't going to be holding her back—and at least there is going to be a season 4 for them to perhaps explore some happiness in Maura's love life.
Meanwhile, Maura may not have much coming up in terms of romance, but the same cannot be said for Jane (Angie Harmon). Alexander previews, "poor Jane is dealing with the unfortunate sort of predicament that Sergeant Casey Jones is in. And that's been a huge struggle and is a big struggle and a very sad sort of story going on for her." Chris Vance will be back as Casey in the December 18th "Over/Under" with "some startling news," and his storyline is going to continue into the following episode, "No More Drama in My Life," the season finale.
While things may not be going spectacularly for Maura and Jane in their love lives, their friendship is still strong after the bump from the beginning of the season. And that's something that can be attributed to Alexander and Harmon. According to Alexander, "Angie and I do have a joke as well in regards to our chemistry, that if for some reason the scene doesn't seem to be flowing at its best, we have this joke where we tell the director, 'Don't worry about it, we cut really well together.' Because we do. Sometimes the scene is maybe, you know, maybe not its strongest and we will find something in it that's between us that plays on camera and plays on film and translates, and so it's really fun to be able to have that." That's certainly true. One of the reasons why Rizzoli & Isles is so good—and will be back for a fourth season—is the acting, and that comes down to Sasha Alexander and Angie Harmon.
Finally, Alexander also teased an amusing scene coming up between Maura and Jane: "We have a very funny scene in these next episodes where I dig out the stomach contents. And I always enjoy pulling out whatever it is and giving it to Jane to sniff. We play a game where I say, 'Can you tell what this is?' And she's like, 'No thanks.'" Instances like that do provide some light-hearted moments for a show where things can get pretty grim.
Stay tuned for more of what to expect on Rizzoli & Isles and don't forget to tune in Tuesdays at 9 p.m. for the rest of season 3.
"As promised, I’ve got some R&I SWAG to give away to celebrate the start of the Winter Season. The rules are simple: Comment on this post. I want to know your favorite line. That means, pick a line from ANY episode of the episodes that've aired from Seasons 1, 2 or 3. (Keep in mind I'm a WRITER, so I gotta do WRITER CONTESTS.) IF you guess MY favorite line, meaning best line that's ever been written for the show (even if another writer on my staff wrote it), YOU WIN. One guess per person, entries close at 11:59 PM on Monday, November 26th. Winner will be announced prior to showtime on Tuesday November 27th. I didn't say it was easy...Good luck!"
Veteran actor Bruce McGill has joined the cast of Ride Along, Universal’s action comedy staring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.
Tim Story is directing the pic, a sort of comedic Training Day, which centers on a risk-averse second-grade teacher who plans on marrying the girl of his dreams but first must accompany his overprotective future brother-in-law, a tough cop, on a ride-along from hell.
McGill is to play the “hard-nosed lieutenant,” according to sources.
Cube and Matt Alvarez are producing for CubeVision alongside William Packer for Rainforest Films.
The movie is shooting in Atlanta.
McGill, repped by Stone Manners Salners Agency, has been acting since the 1970s (the role of D-Day in Animal House was his first big splash) and is currently on screen in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln in which he plays Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. He also appears on TNT’s Rizolli and Isles.
As you may have heard, we've decided to have a fan meetup next year. Everyone missed everyone so much that it just seemed right to get the Family back together for a Family Weekend.
With that in mind, we're changing a few things. All of our social media will be updated to reflect the new name and the new stuff for next year. As of right now, we are changing our tumblr name to RizzlesFamilyWeekend.tumblr.com
It's still us!
Please keep your eyes open for new things as we're going to want lots of input from everyone. This is a gathering for you to get together with the rest of the fans and have a good time. Help us spread the word, and we hope to see you next year!
San Antonio's Bruce McGill likened his casting in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" to "being invited to play in the world's greatest orchestra."
It's thrilling to be part of such a rich historic "symphony," McGill said in a phone interview, even if "some do get the trumpet solo and others get the timpani or triangle."
MacArthur High graduate McGill, nearly unrecognizable in a long, grizzled beard as Edwin Stanton, Lincoln's secretary of war, isn't the only player with local ties in the orchestra.
Jackie Earle Haley is the slight but feisty Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy. And fellow San Antonio resident Tommy Lee Jones plays ardent abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens.
"It was an honor to do the part," Haley said, "which is small but important."
If McGill and Haley, whose onscreen time is relatively brief but significant, are in the percussion section, Jones clearly gets one of those trumpet solos. His entertaining performance as Pennsylvania Rep. Stevens already is generating Oscar buzz.
"It's a fine undertaking — entertaining and educational with a great respect for American history," Jones told the Miami Herald. "But I'm always happy to have a job."
"Lincoln's" biggest role, of course, is played by an inspired Daniel Day-Lewis, who delivers a thoughtful and very human turn as the 16th president of the United States.
The film, opening Friday in San Antonio, boasts an impressive list of character actors — "150 speaking parts!" McGill said — from David Strathairn as secretary of state William Seward to Jared Harris as Ulysses S. Grant. It focuses on the final months of the Civil War and Lincoln's dogged efforts to get the 13th Amendment passed to abolish slavery.
The president is a kind of orchestra conductor, wielding a trio of henchmen — played by Tim Blake Nelson, John Hawkes and a highly amusing James Spader in crazy mutton chops — instead of a baton to offer bribes, threats, whatever it takes, to get the necessary House votes.
"The drama here hangs on the machinations that went into getting that amendment passed," McGill said. "But it's much more than that. So many dimensions of Lincoln are portrayed. We go from a gut-wrenching scene with his wife (Sally Field) about the loss of one of their children to meetings with his cabinet to tender moments with his son."
To accomplish this, Spielberg needed a phenomenal actor; Haley said Day-Lewis more than filled the bill.
"You felt like you were sitting there with the real Abe," Haley said in an interview from Toronto, where he's currently shooting the new "Robocop." "The way he looked, the voice he adopted."
(Lincoln's speaking voice is grave and presidential, but higher than you'd expect.)
"Working across from him, I found myself being more of an audience," Haley added. "I kept thinking, 'This guy is incredible,' then I'd remember I'm in the scene, too; maybe I should work a little."
Haley, an Oscar nominee for "Little Children," certainly did — he attacked his role with fervor.
"Even when you disagree with the philosophy of a character, you have to find a way to embrace him," he said, adding that he immersed himself in the history of the South "to find the reality Stephens was living in."
It was a challenge to get the Georgia accent down and to get the right look as well. Haley not only wore a wig, but he had his skin "roughened up" — actually painted — in the makeup chair.
In his most memorable scene, Stephens bristles with fury and frustration when he meets with Lincoln and talks of the economic hardships the end of slavery would mean for the Southern states.
McGill, whose career has stretched from "Animal House" to "Rizzoli & Isles," says he absolutely adores his character.
"Stanton was so valued by Lincoln; they had a long history," he said. "But what I really liked about the character is he's also the only one to look at Lincoln in the eye and say you're dead wrong and you're an ass."
One such moment is featured in "Lincoln."
"The president was very good at storytelling, and it was his way to relax and blow off steam," McGill said.
But when he launches into his umpteenth yarn, a weary Stanton barks at his boss: "No, you're going to tell another story. I can't bear one of your stories right now."
It's on the House floor, however, where members of Congress argue the issue of slavery, that the fur really flies. The room sings with amusing oratory. And Jones' character, adorned in a comically unkempt wig, delivers some of the best lines. Stevens ferociously mounts argument upon argument against the abominations of treating fellow humans as chattel, attacking the men supporting slavery with choice insults.
His biggest moments, however, come after he's asked to temper his dialogue so he won't alienate those less passionate about the issue than he is. He does so begrudgingly, and Jones' portrayal of this reined-in version of the normally growling Stevens is priceless.
Will audiences take to such a different style of Spielberg movie, one that contains so much more talk than action? It may help that the public has been immersed in a hotly contested political battle of its own.
"It's intriguing to watch how a real leader can work both sides of the aisle of Congress," McGill said, adding that, though the movie runs for more than two hours, "it's a really good ride."
Haley added: "Not only is it an interesting part of our history, but you discover the political system then was as dysfunctional as it is now."
Check out Janet's official Facebook page where she will be posting new BTS photos(like this one of Angie & Sasha celebrating R&I getting picked up for its first season) and updates about the making of Rizzoli & Isles.
I heard some Rizzoli & Isles screeners went out! (I follow too many of you people on Twitter.) Can I get some scoop? — Emily
The return of R&I is well worth the wait as the pair take on a very interesting case involving a man who was poisoned — and died in front of Mrs. Rizzoli! Meanwhile, one of the girls has a shower scene — with a twist — and we get to meet Vince’s ex-wife.
Jenny O'Hara(Sister Winifred on Rizzoli & Isles) is directing the play, "Doesn't Anybody Know What A Pancreas Is?". The play will open on November 24 at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles,CA 90039.
DOESN’T ANYONE KNOW WHAT A PANCREAS IS? was developed in EST LA’s Winterfest and recently given a staged reading at the Blank’s Living Room Series. After a pancreatic health scare, a frenzy of internet dating shows Jason he's not alone – everyone is as insecure, confused, desperate and bewildered as he is. Even for his handsome friend Anthony, love is not a done deal. Gorgeous Miranda overlooks perfectly nice men in favor of jackasses with accents, and Josh and Laura’s eternal love sometimes feels like a long stretch in purgatory. When we get our hearts broken, that's tragedy, when these guys do it, it’s a riot! Forget the pancreas. Doesn't anyone know what love is?