Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) I'm doing a series that will be airing on TNT later this year and I am working on "Rizzoli and Isles."
Q) We'll be seeing you on the season premiere of "Rizzoli and Isles," where you have been playing Jane's love interest. Did your chemistry with Angie Harmon come naturally or had you known her prior to the show?
A) I did! I didn't know Angie before the show and the chemistry was evident from day one. We had a great time together and really hit it off. We kind of messed it up on the first day of shooting because we were having a good time laughing. The truth is, we went out for a couple of drinks, sorted out our stuff and then came back strong. We worked really hard on making the relationship between Casey and Jane realistic and enjoyable, maybe even heart warming at times for the audience. It came naturally because we were very good friends. I can't speak for Angie, but I think that we respect each other as performers and we have a lot of trust and confidence in one another and it make the whole thing really enjoyable.
Q) Was the chemistry the most challenging aspect you found to portraying Casey?
A) I don't think that was a challenging aspect. I think it came quite naturally. I think the challenge was making the half on, half off part of the relationship believable. I know it was a challenge for the writers and a fun aspect to the Jane and Casey storyline. Making the love and the obvious commitment to each other...navigating the obstacles that came between them was us doing our best to make it believable.
Q) What kind of reception have you gotten from fans? A lot of people wish for Mara and Jane to be together, too.
A) On my end, the reception has been very positive. It's Angie and Sasha [Alexander]'s show and I just come in as a guest. I love it when they ask me back and, ultimately, it's up to the production team, TNT, Angie and Sasha to decide what goes on and what is right for their show. I just come in, have fun and do my best. I've really enjoyed it!
Q) Is there anything you can tease for fans to expect in the February 25th premiere?
A) I really don't like to speak for the people. I don't know how Angie feels about it. Her character is facing a challenge, a crisis. I imagine she will play it with intelligence and heart and I imagine the fans will respond very well because she's a doll.
Q) Please tell us about the new series you are working on.
A) It is called "The Transporter" and it is based on the movie series. We shot season one and it aired in I think one hundred and thirty countries. We're in preproduction on season two and it should air on TNT, then Nexflix and some aspect of FOX. I play the lead character in it named Frank Martin, who transports packages in various risqué assignments with various fun obstacles to overcome. It's a good, straight-down-the-line action romp and a lot of fun. My name was put forward some years ago as the front runner in doing this and it came to me. I thought it would be a lot of fun to do and it was a departure from what I've done before. Playing a strong character in an action series I thought would be a challenge, physically and mentally. Doing big action sequences in movies can be quite be slightly different than television. I was up for the challenge and got lucky enough that things went my way. I went through the audition process and I got very lucky and they gave me the part.
Q) As you mentioned, the role was originated by Jason Statham. How do you set yourself a part from his portrayal?
A) I enjoyed the movies long before the television series came to be. So, I was aware of what Jason [Statham] had done. He was very strong and charismatic. When I came to do the part, myself, I tried to put my own take on the character and how that would develop within the medium of television (one I'm sort of very familiar with). I approached the character in my usual way, which is to ask a lot of questions about the character and answer them. I ask the producers and writers their take on things. Then, eventually, I go with my own instinct and give it my best shot.
Q) How did you prepare to handle the stunt work involved with the show?
A) I try to keep reasonably fit and I did some professional sports when I was younger. I worked very closely with the stunt coordinator team and the fight coordinator. They are the best at what they do. I went into the training routine, which was a lot of stretching and a lot of stamina. I think, personally, it was very important for me to do as much as I could because I didn't want to cheat the fanbase in any sense. If I'm playing Frank Martin and embracing the character, then I should do as much of the physical aspects of the character. I gave it my best shot!
Q) What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?
A) I'm not very good at making shout-outs and stuff. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for watching and sticking with it. I hope you enjoy more!
On Rizzoli & Isles Season 4 Episode 13, our favorite TNT duo returned to take on killer clowns and relationship complications.
Before the spring premiere aired, we got the chance to chat with Sasha Alexander, who plays Dr. Maura Isles. Turns out, even she thinks clowns are creepy. Learn more in this exclusive Q&A...
Rizzoli & Isles is back. How many episodes can we look forward to this winter?
It will be four episodes. Then season 5 will return in the beginning of summer but I don't have the exact date yet.
So, Rizzoli & Isles Season 4 Episode 13 gave us a kidnapping clown. Were you trying to give me nightmares?
You know what? Clowns are creepy. They're just creepy. Even when we shot that episode, I thought oh, gosh. Really? There's a clown on the loose. So yeah, there's a man dressing up as a clown. It dates back to the old The Haunting abductions of 1988 summer of the clown which was something that happened in Boston. And Casey is back and his relationship with Jane is getting a little more serious. That's putting Maura in the middle. You know, just kind of figuring out what this is going to mean for their relationship and that's what we're dealing with.
Last year there was the tragic loss of Lee Thompson Young who was such an integral part of this ensemble. Can you give us any idea how the show is dealing with that loss and moving forward story wise without Detective Barry Frost?
Well he will appear in three out of these four episodes that are airing. He'll be in those and then we'll deal with the loss of his character in season 5, which will come back in the beginning of summer.
Will we be seeing more of Maura's family this time around?
We do. Sharon Lawrence comes back as Maura's biological mother and really sort of takes a stand on bettering their relationship. Then there's Maura's grandfather, Paddy Doyle's father which is a funny episode. You know the Rizzoli family has got a lot of drama. You know it's always funny to me because sometimes we feel like on our show that we're shooting a totally different show than the next day. You have the crime stuff but then you have all this personal stuff that is, you know, it's the family drama. It makes the show really fun to work on because we're always jumping back and forth. And sometimes it's a little Three's Company as well. I will say that.
Any chance Maura will have more of a love life?
Gosh I hope so. No. These last few episodes, no but I'm really crossing my fingers for season 5. I think that's going to be the season of love for Maura.
I've been tweeting with fans and they all love the sarcastic dialogue and banter between you and Jane but many have asked if it is all scripted or if you ever ad lib?
No, it's scripted. It really is. I feel like we so care about what comes out of these women's mouths that if we don't feel that something is clicking we certainly might tweak it a little bit. We do. We both do. But in general, yeah it's scripted. I feel so far, this is our third week back into shooting season 5 and it's so wonderful to be able to have chemistry in this way with your costar. It feels like we put the shoes on and we go and there's something really magical about that experience. Because you don't always find that. It takes time to sort of gel into it. We can pick up a scene that maybe isn't totally gelling but once we start working on it we get it to a point that feels very truthful.
Have you had any favorite episodes or story lines. Anything that really stands out for you on the show?
One of my favorite episodes that always stands out for me is (Rizzoli & Isles season 2 episode 3, "Sailor Man") where Jane and Maura pretend to be gay in front of her friend Giovanni because he won't leave Maura alone. For some reason that episode, it had a very iconic style to it. We were driving around in this red convertible and there was this man who did not believe that we were together. I just thought it was so funny. That episode really made me laugh. I didn't feel like I'd seen anything like it on television. That one stands out to me.
Last season, I really loved shooting the episode where Maura went to jail. (Rizzoli & Isles season 4 episode 4, "Killer In High Heels") when she was a suspect in a murder. I thought that was a really clever episode and really well done. It's always fun to see, I like episodes where we get to see the characters in situations that they're not normally in. When you sort of turn the tables on everyone.
Do you have any other projects on the horizon?
Well I had a film at Sundance called The Girl from Nagasaki which was directed by Michel Comte. It's a modern adaptation of Madame Butterfly. That was really fun to do. Other than that, no. I took my time off to be a mom. I'm writing a children's book and I'm tied up (with Rizzoli & Isles) for the next six months.
Can you give us any more hints of what's to come on the show?
I think that Jane's relationship with Casey is going to heat up and that's going to lead to some decisions to be made for Jane and the girls. That's happening. And family drama. I would just say, I feel that we're going deeper into these characters and exploring many different ways that they can go. The bonds are just going to get stronger. I just feel that we're going deeper into these characters that we love so much.
Penny Marshall and Lorraine Bracco are set to play a lesbian couple in Fox’s forthcoming comedy Mulaney, TVLine has learned exclusively.
The multi-camera comedy from Saturday Night Live scribe John Mulaney and SNL bossman Lorne Michaels follows an aspiring comedian (Mulaney) living under the influence of his boss (played by Martin Short, another SNL alum), roommates (including Saturday Night Live‘s Nasim Pedrad) and neighbor (Ray Donovan‘s Elliott Gould).
Marshall and Bracco will guest star in Episode 2 as Tutti and Vaughn, close friends of Mulaney’s neighbor Oscar (Gould).