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Transcript of Interview with Angie Harmon of
"Rizzoli and Isles" on TNT 7/7/10
This is another great show on TNT, with two wonderful
actresses leading the way!
Moderator: Maya Brooks
July 7, 2010
4:30 pm CT
Operator: Good day and welcome to the Turner Entertainment hosted Angie
Harmon conference call. Today's conference is being recorded.
At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to our moderator,
Ms. Maya Brooks. Go ahead, please.
Maya Brooks: Thank you. Thank you for joining Rizzoli & Isles conference
call featuring Angie Harmon. Rizzoli & Isles will have its season
premiere Monday, July 12, at 10:00 pm.
The conference is now open for questions. Please press star 1 to ask a
question. Thank you.
Operator: And our first question comes from Lisa Steinberg with Starry
Constellation Magazine. Go ahead, please.
Lisa Steinberg: Hey. Good afternoon, Angie. Thanks for taking our call
Angie Harmon: Sure, absolutely. Thank you.
Lisa Steinberg: I would ask how production goes on the set, but I guess
we can all tell from today's call.
Angie Harmon: Yes, I mean, it's and Im like actually yes, they ran
really late and it's made the whole day just a bit hectic so I
apologize. ((Inaudible)) all those things over there. Look. I apologize.
Lisa Steinberg: That's OK.
Angie Harmon: I've got my kids at what is this thing called, the Toy
Story Funhouse, and I couldn't ((inaudible)) with them I would never be
forgiven. So I'm just going to try and get away from the speaker and try
and make this as easy as possible. I apologize.
Operator: Once again, you may press star 1 to enter the queue for a
question, and please limit yourself to one question. Our next question
comes from Fred Topel with Hollywood News. Go ahead, please.
Fred Topel: Hi, Angie. I just wanted to ask you since you've obviously
played a lot of detective and law people before what made this one stand
out and what past experience might be drawn for her?
Angie Harmon: I think the thing that made this stand out the most was
just the fact that you know it's there's a lot more character to these
characters. I mean you know we see their back stories, we see their
present situations you know and I think that to me was a lot more
interesting than just the regular procedure you know or it's like four
heads standing around a body spelling it out for you. And you know I
mean it's a lot more of a roller coaster ride. Its definitely got a lot
more grit to it.
And you know we don't pretend to be the smartest people there. We don't
you know we're not like, and this is how we did it and now we're just
going to show you how we go catch them. It's you know the audience
gets to figure it out with us. But also, I mean, with the caliber of
actors that we ended up getting, I mean you know we've got Lorraine
Bracco plays my mom, Chazz Palminteri plays my father, Brian Dennehy,
Donnie Wahlberg in the first (episode). I mean, we've just got Billie
Burke from ((inaudible)). We got all kinds of fantastic actors.
And I think that you know speaks for itself Bruce McGill you know and
Sasha and it's just like I think that kind of shows that it's not just
a typical procedural show, that you know we have these actors because
they can come here and actually act and show the different colors of
actual you know people. I mean, no person is just one color, no person
is just who they are at their job 24/7. And that was really you know
what I was excited about. (Plus being) on TNT I knew we'd have a lot
more creative freedom you know to tell the stories that we wanted to
And you know I went and I've spent a lot of time with the actual
homicide unit in Boston and it was just it was amazing, and I thought
OK, well you know I can't play a homicide detective, then I'll just be
one, and now I have the best of both worlds.
Operator: Thank you, and our next question comes from Earl Dittman with
Wireless Magazines. Go ahead, please.
Earl Dittman: How you doing, Angie?
Angie Harmon: Im, fantastic. Thank you.
Earl Dittman: Oh, I have to say, as I told Sasha earlier, this show is
fantastic. I've seen it and it is wonderful. I just can't say enough
great things about it, but the greatest
Angie Harmon: Oh (well thank you)
thing has to
thank you. Thank you so much.
Earl Dittman: Oh, you're more than welcome. It's great to see a great
show. But what's so great about it is the chemistry between you and
Sasha. Did you know
Angie Harmon: (Yes).
the first second that you all got together that it was
going to be you know great chemistry and that you all were going to work
Angie Harmon: I think so. I mean, it's you know we had such a great
time. You know when we were trying to find the woman to play Maura you
know it was kind of like a no-brainer when Sasha came in, and we just
you know we knew it was her and she did such a fantastic job, and you
know and, I mean, she got the job right then and there in the room and
it was it was great.
We actually played a little joke on her, and you know she's a great
lady, and we've had a really, really fantastic time. I mean, it's you
know you don't often get what you ask for and I got exactly that. I got
a show, it was on cable that I could you know shoot 5 months a year and
go be mommy the rest of the time, and to have a cast and crew that I
really, really love and adore and respected, and I got all of that. And
it's just we just had the most amazing time.
And every now and then we'll come across a review like the person didn't
like it and we're like, what, really, how could you not like it, because
I think all of us like it so much and we have such a great time at work
it's you know we've just really, really been blessed, and we're all kind
of like standing here going, wait a minute, how did this happen? And
it's you know it's been awesome.
Operator: Thank you and our next question comes from
Angie Harmon: Sure.
Jenny Rarden with TVismypacifier.com. Go ahead, please.
Jenny Rarden: Hi. Thanks for taking our call and amongst being a busy
Angie Harmon: If you saw where I was right now you'd really be laughing.
Yes, thank you, absolutely.
Thank you for your patience. I'm sorry this day's been so crazy.
Jenny Rarden: Oh, no, it's not a problem. I'll try and make it quick. In
the books, Rizzoli and Gabrielle Dean fall in love and their
relationship progresses. I adore Billie Burke. Do you know if they're
planning on or how closely they're planning on following that storyline?
Angie Harmon: I do. I mean, I think this (stuff) like I just finished
"The Sinner" and it's just been so great because coincidentally enough
you know we're shooting a couple of episodes with Billie right now. So
the story has a lot to do with Dean and Jane and all that. I mean, do I
think they're going to get these girls hitched first out of the gate?
Absolutely not you know and I think it's more fun to watch them date and
watch them scramble and try and figure out you know their relationship
and things like that. And but I do I kind of almost felt like this
was like a prequel to Gabrielle and Jane. I almost feel like I'm sort of
seeing them before the stories take place. You know what I mean? Hello?
Operator: Our next question comes from
Angie Harmon: Hello?
Oline Cogdill with Mystery Scene Magazine. Go ahead, please.
Oline Cogdill: Hi, there, Angie. You always play intelligent characters
and that really shows in Rizzoli & Isles. What is your interpretation of
the character of Rizzoli? What are some of the things that you found out
about that character?
Angie Harmon: I (think there) are things you know some of them that I
really enjoyed playing that with her you know. I mean, she's witty,
she's funny, and a lot of people you know don't they don't I guess see
me as a funny character because I don't usually get to play them you
know. I'm usually cast in the more dramatic roles, and it's been a
really, really fun time playing her humor and playing her attitude.
And you know she's a complete tomboy so I did sort of a really intense
study on men and how they relate to each other in the way they walk and
the way they hold themselves and the way they sort of position
themselves in the hierarchy just in something as simple as a
You know some of them are threatened by another one. Some of them
aren't. Even with you know my costar Lee, I keep trying to figure out
how do they know which handshake to do? You know they ((inaudible)) and
it's just sort of this thing that they just get. They know if they're
going to do this handshake and then the finger grip and then the gun,
and turn it into a snap and a chest bump, and they've got that whole
figured out, and cannot figure it out to save my life.
So that's actually I think the things that I like the most about you
know playing her is she is such a tomboy and that's you know very
different from me and from how I am and her humor. Those are the two
things I love about her the most.
Operator: Thank you and our next question comes from Natalie Gavilanes
with Metro New York Newspapers. Go ahead, please.
Natalie Gavilanes: Hi, Angie. How are you?
Angie Harmon: I'm fine, thank you. How are you?
Natalie Gavilanes: Good, good. I'm going to jump right into it. How
Angie Harmon: Sure.
how did you come about hearing of the show, and
even the books when they first came out?
Angie Harmon: TNT offered it to me. I was actually I don't know if
you've already heard this story. If you have I apologize. But you know I
was I was pretty much getting ready to retire and thinking that you
know I'm going to move back East with my kids and raise my little girls
and go be mommy, and you know I just I wasn't really finding the roles
that I thought were that I wanted to play really.
And so I just sort of you know made a deal with God, and I was like, OK,
I would love something on cable, shoot 5 months a year, and then I get
to be mommy the rest of the time, I like to be funny and strong and
intelligent. And literally the next day it was on my front porch
Natalie Gavilanes: Oh, wow.
because my manager lives down the street. So you know it
was it was very, very lucky, and I feel very lucky, and I feel very
blessed because you don't often get exactly what you wanted and hoped
for. And you know working with Sash and with Bruce and Lee and Jordan
and you know every (guest star), and Lorraine and Chazz Palminteri plays
my father. You know it's just the caliber of actors that we've had come
through here. I mean, all of us are just sort of pinching ourselves
thinking you know how on earth has this happened, and it's this show
is just it's just been fantastic.
I mean, I would love to say that I'm you know waiting for the anvil to
fall, but I'm not. It's like I think I'm in a place in my life where I
can really accept good you know things and I don't know. I guess you
know when you you really should be careful what you wish for, you just
might get it. And I'm thrilled that they offered it to me. I'm thrilled
that you know it's with TNT. And you know they understand what it's like
to be a working mommy, and it's just I cannot say enough good things
about this project. It's just been it's just been awesome.
Operator: And our next question comes from Jay Jacobs with
PopEntertainment.com. Go ahead, please.
Jay Jacobs: Hi, Angie. I've been a fan of Bruce McGill for years and
I've only seen the pilot.
Angie Harmon: Well, who hadn't? I mean, my he's in everything ever
made. He's amazing.
Jay Jacobs: Yes, his character is sort of left in a rather precarious
situation at the end of the pilot. I'm assuming that he's going to
recover, but how does how does that sort of affect the course of the
Angie Harmon: I mean, I don't want to give too much away just because
you know it's I don't know. I want you to enjoy the roller coaster
Jay Jacobs: Sure.
Angie Harmon: You know it's not one of them little bumper boat ride.
It's a good one. It's a roller coaster. It's got its ups and its downs
and it's a precarious situation, and you know it's that's one of the
things I think I love the most about the show is that it's the
characters, and they truly are characters in their relationships with
each other, and you know and that's life. That's how people truly are.
I mean, when you're at work you're not that same person when you're at
home. So I love the fact you know that my character with Bruce we have a
relationship the two characters have a relationship that is as close
as partners you know knowing that each other's lives is in each other's
hands, and then Bruce and I are you know pretty close as well.
I mean you know we're both from Texas, we both understand each other, we
both get each other like when I'm having trouble with a scene I'll
just go over to him and be like I have no idea what's happening here,
what are we doing. And he's just he's been such a wonderful sounding
board, and obviously, he's a tremendously talented actor.
And you know we were just so lucky and blessed that he said yes to this
because obviously. I mean, you being a fan of his you know what he
brings to the table. And I think you know when you take him, you put him
next to Lorry Bracco and Chuck Palminteri who plays my father and Brian
Dennehy's in the first episode, and Billie Burke and Lee and Jordan and
you know me and Sash, it just becomes this giant pot of fantastic and
rich characters and it's like watching people.
And that to me is what good television is.
Operator: And our next question comes from Allison Ebner with
Popculturemadness.com. Go ahead, please.
Allison Ebner: Hi, Angie. Well, we've discussed the books the little bit
already and, of course, your show Women's Murder Club was also based off
a series of novels. Does it influence your portrayal of Rizzoli (any)
knowing there's the character on TV and then the character in the book?
Angie Harmon: It does. I mean, to be you know I hadn't read any of the
books of you know the Rizzoli character, and I have since we started.
And it's so funny because you know in some sort of serendipitous way I
keep reading I keep reading one like, for example, Billie Burke is
in this episode right now and I just finished reading "The Sinner" and
it's so interesting because you know first of all I'm reading a book of
a person that I'm playing.
And then here's this person that she's in a relationship with, and what
we're shooting now we're not in a relationship. So it's like I'm getting
like a prequel and a history to these people in the book. It's very odd.
It's very weird because it's like it's like the Twilight Zone because
here I am shooting the history of these two characters and I'm reading
their future. You know what I mean? So it's interesting. It's almost
like our head writer Janet is writing things that happened before the
So I think that's kind of a really cool and interesting aspect of the
story of the characters for our viewers because anyone that does follow
the books, you can you're sitting here watching these two characters
live, but if you know the books you're knowing what's happening so
you're watching them you know what happens to them before they know
what happens to them, I guess is what I'm trying not say.
And it's been very interesting having that happen you know in each
episode that we do because the episodes they don't follow the books
exactly. I mean, the characters are pretty dead on. But you know I mean,
we would run out of episodes and we would run out of things to do, plus
not to mention the fact that you know we want our audiences to enjoy
what's happening not already know what's happening.
So yes, it's been really, really fun. I've never actually had that
happen before in a character that I play. So you know here I am acting
with Billie and we're doing our thing, and all I keep thinking about is
do you know what happens, and it's very funny. But yes, it's been
really, really interesting and really fun.
Operator: You have a follow-up question from Lisa Steinberg with Starry
Constellations. Go ahead, please.
Lisa Steinberg: Hey, Angie. I'm wondering. There's Angie Harmon online,
there are already Twitter pages for Rizzoli & Isles, and you know a lot
of buzz going around the Internet and social networking sites about the
show. How important is getting the word out through Web sites like Angie
Harmon online and through Twitter to the promotion of the show?
Angie Harmon: I mean, I think it's huge. I think it's smart. You know
it's funny because there are a couple I'm from the South so I'm very
old-fashioned, and you know and plus, I'm not very computer savvy at
all but you know I'm getting it. I understand you know that if you've
got information and you want it out there (this) is how you go about
doing it. Now having my face on like the dry cleaning bag is not my
favorite. I get very embarrassed about things like that.
I'm like, what if I go to the dry cleaners and they hand me a bag and it
has my face on it? What am I going to do, what am I going to say? I'm
just going to run to my car I mean, so embarrassed. But it's funny. I
mean you know I get it. You know when it's all said and done I'm very,
very glad to work in this business but that's exactly what it is.
It's a business you know and I get to do the fun half of it. I get to
I get paid to pretend. I get to play really great characters. And we
have such a wonderful writer, and she just knows people so intricately,
and it's so fun to be able to act out her words and things.
That being said, I totally understand you know the promotional aspect of
our show and what you know the business end of it, but I can also say
you know that I and I think I speak for the rest of the cast and for
our producers and our writer and Tess you know we're putting out there
something that we're really proud of you know. I mean, it's not like
we're putting out there, hey, come watch our show because it sucks. I
mean, we're all pretty proud of it, and I think we're also sort of
standing around scratching our heads going, wow, this is this is
I mean, obviously, like I said, with the caliber of actors that we have
you really can't got wrong, but I think even all of us are standing
around just kind of going, wow, this not only is it fun but it's good
you know. So it's been really, really great in that aspect. But you know
I totally get what they're doing, and you know it's kind of like, oh,
OK, really, OK, great. But you know if somebody hands me my face on a
on a dry cleaning bag I'm going to freak out.
Operator: We do have a follow-up question from Earl Dittman with
Wireless Magazines. Go ahead, please.
Earl Dittman: Hi, Angie. Matter of fact, I'm watching you right now on
TNT in Law and Order. There's not a day that goes by (when) you know
people don't get to see you two or three times a day. That must be good.
Angie Harmon: ((Inaudible)), they're just going to be sick of me at this
Earl Dittman: No, I think I think it's wonderful. I was just going ask
were you rooting for them to go to season 21 and will you always
remember that with fond memories of the show that kind of pretty much
made you a household name?
Angie Harmon: Absolutely. I mean, I think it's so important to be you
know thankful and grateful for any and every opportunity that we have
especially in the business, and I learned some wonderful things there
you know. I mean, I learned ((inaudible)) it doesn't matter how tired
you are you always hang up your wardrobe, and you know it's I just
learned I learned from Sam you come to the set without your (ties).
You know it's that was a wonderful, wonderful place for me.
I mean you know I would sit in my dressing room and stuff my envelopes
with my wedding invitations and I saved the dates and things like that.
So, I mean, that place has a real reverence for me you know. And I
understand some people you know may not have that kind of reverence for
it, but you know I really sort of thought that the revolving door of Law
and Order would you know sort of keep it going because you know you can
just keep moving the people through.
And obviously you know just like ((inaudible)), people are going to move
in and out of their that office and they're going to move up and
they're going to get fired, and all kinds of things happen like it does
in real life.
And we're always unfortunately going to have crime. But then if we
didn't, then I wouldn't have a new show. So you know it's I don't
know. I keep thinking and hoping sort of maybe it'll turn the sound
pages into like a museum or something you know. I mean, I used to my
officer my dressing room was right on the water and I would climb out of
my window and walk around on the roof out there whenever I needed time
to think, whenever I couldn't you know get a scene together.
I mean, my (father) even came there on the roof with me. We just walked
around talked up there you know just to get away from everything and
nobody can get to us there and it was I really do, I love that place
very much. It was a very deep rooted place in my heart. So you know I
and also I think this show deserves that. I think it deserves you know
some sort of respectful you know memorial or tour, or whatever they can
do for it.
Operator: And we do have another follow-up question from Oline Cogdill
with Mystery Scene. Go ahead, please.
Oline Cogdill: Hi there. Aside from Tess Gerritsen, who asked me say
hello to you, are you a mystery fiction fan and who do you read?
Angie Harmon: Well, I'm so sorry. Will you repeat that once? I'm so
Oline Cogdill: Certainly. Aside from Tess Gerritsen, who asked me to say
hello to you, are you a fan
Angie Harmon: Oh, I love her. Isn't she fabulous? OK, go ahead. I'm
are you fan of mysteries fiction and who do you read?
Angie Harmon: I am. I love I mean to be very honest, I hadn't read
Tess' books until we started playing the characters and now I'm
obsessed. Like I come home, I'm exhausted, and I just finished "The
Sinner", and I'm getting ready to start "The Keepsake" you know.
And it's been interesting because, like I was saying you know Billie and
I are shooting together and here I am reading about our future. And it's
so it's so fun you know because I can walk up and (stop) him, or we
get in a big fight, or you know we kiss and he leaves or something. It's
so it's so fun playing this out for the audience.
That being said, I do I mean you know my top in my top five favorite
movies two of them are "Alien" and "Aliens" so I do. I love you know I
love to laugh, I love to make people laugh, I love comedy you know but I
also love the darker things in life. I think those are the things that
I'm I mean, I don't know. I guess I'm an extremist. I'm an adrenaline
junkie. So you know just sort of cruising along at a normal capacity
really doesn't do anything for me.
I mean, I like things to be really, really funny or really, really
dramatic, and those kind of books are certainly the ones that grab me
you know. And I like the exercise of reading through a paragraph and
it's just torture. And so I try not to have my eyes dart to the right.
So you know try and figure out does (Maura) get away from the killer and
get to her car safely, or you know that kind of thing; does Jane get
away from the bullet you know? It's that stuff that's stuff I love.
Operator: And that it appears that is all the time we have for
questions today. I'll turn it back to Maya Brooks for closing remarks.
Maya Brooks: Thank you, everyone, for participating in the Rizzoli &
Isles Angie Harmon conference call. Just a reminder that Rizzoli & Isles
will have its series premiere on Monday, July 12, at 10:00 pm Eastern.
Thanks again and have a great afternoon.
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