Maura Could Consider a Lesbian Tryst: Sasha Alexander Talks Rizzoli & Isles
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
June 01 2012 5:10 PM ET
That there’s a belief among some critics, especially lesbian critics, that Rizzoli & Isles is a lesbian buddy cop show that just doesn’t know it yet.
[Laughs] I love it.
It’s really not afraid of the lesbian label, that both these fictional characters and the real-life people behind them just don’t fear the interest or speculation about their relationship.
No. I mean, you know, it’s such a strange thing because people are always going to get from any film or TV or book or anything they want, what they want to see. And that is all of our right to do so. I mean, it’s completely subjective and that is, that is art. So that’s one part of it, but I feel like we have a unique situation on our show, which is that the books were written by a woman. The show was created and is executive-produced by a woman, and it’s starring these two women who are very different people, they’re very different characters, and so we have a lot more estrogen on our show than most shows. [Laughs] And I think that it’s a great thing because we have a woman spearheading it and she is writing these characters in a way that is just much deeper. They are, they’re deeper. Their relationship; it could be sexual one day, I mean, they’re not gay in the books. But who knows?
I mean, they’re not, but I feel like even if we talk about the Kinsey scale, there are different levels of sorts of relationships. Whether it’s sexual relationships or it’s emotional relationships, and I think that these two women live in a place where they are really connected. And some people can perceive that as sexual, as something more, or it’s just the fantasy of it. I mean, you know, Angie’s a hot woman. [Laughs] Like, hey, you know? I mean, when there’s chemistry there, then why not? But I don’t think that anybody’s shying away from that, and I don’t think that we’re playing into it. I think we’re playing these women the way we, as women, behave with each other. You know, people sort of grabbed on to the whole “they slept in the same bed together” thing in the pilot. And that sort of led to all these conversations and I thought, Well, we’ve been having sleepovers since we were 9. I mean, girls do do that.
And a lot of people that relate to the show do say, you know, “God, it reminds me of my sister,” or my best friend or my lover or whoever. The thing I’m most proud of is the fact that women like it because that means that they can relate to it, because it means it is speaking to them and their relationships in a way that is true.
I think it’s pretty clear that the two women are each other’s primary intimate partner, even if they are straight.
Correct, correct. They absolutely are.
Yeah, and that’s absolutely something that’s rare on TV, regardless.
Absolutely. And I think you are completely, completely right about that. It was never about fighting over a boy. It was never about, you know, these two women like the same guy. Guess what? Just because they’re friends doesn’t mean they like the same person. It is really much more about their relationship. And as it’s continuing to get deeper and more complicated because of the things that are happening between them, even just workwise and everything. But I agree with you, it’s just, it’s really about their emotional connection to each other, whether it’s being playful and fun and going to a spa or it’s dealing with their family or with work.
Well, how effortless is the chemistry between you and Angie Harmon?
It’s pretty effortless, I must say. It’s kind of one of those things that clicked from the moment we read together. And it was, it was kind of great, you know? We read together, and then when I — she was cast first — when I left the room they said, “Hang out for a second.” And within a second she came in. She said, “You know what? They want us to do it again. Could you come back in?” I thought, Really? I thought that was pretty good.
And we came back in and they stood up and clapped and said congratulations, you guys are it. Like, this was it. So they, even the people in the room, understood it immediately. And I think it, you know, Angie and I are very different people. We’re raised different. In real life we’re very different, but the chemistry just works. I feel like we represent different types of women and we can celebrate all of that without it trying to be one or the other. Plus I feel like there’s a little bit of back-end feminist history imbued in those characters as well. Like the way Maura’s mother was a working mother and distant and not connected with her in the same way that she had hoped and Jane’s mother was like the classic cookie-cutter mom and very overinvolved in stuff. So it gets to some of those issues that we hear young women talking about now.
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