Tag Archives: Mary McDonnell.
Major Crimes Season 2: What You Need To Know.
This article first appeared in the Comcast-Xfinity TV Blog, reposted here for international accessibility.
“The cast of “The Closer” easily made the transition to its spin-off “Major Crimes” last season — with the exception of Kyra Sedgwick, who retired Brenda Johnson. Instead, Mary McDonnell’s character — Captain Sharon Raydor — took over as the new head of the Major Case Squad, and therein lies the conflict.
Where Brenda was all about getting a confession, Sharon is all about making deals with criminals in order to save the taxpayers the cost of a trial. So the focus, which continues in Season 2, is more on how the American justice system approaches the art of the deal as law enforcement officers and prosecutors work together to score a conviction.
That said, the team is still about getting the bad guys and “Major Crimes” will continue to feature some major cases, including the murder of a big-time film producer’s wife, an apparent murder-suicide and a LAPD ride-along that leads to a startling discovery.
XfinityTV exclusively spoke with McDonnell, GW Bailey, who plays Lieutenant Provenza, and Tony Denison, who plays Lieutenant Andy Flynn to get the inside scoop on the new season:
Sharon is getting a husband this season, played by Tom Berenger: Last season, we learned that Sharon does have children, none of who live with her, so she seems to be estranged from her family. This season we will meet her husband … yes, her husband, not her ex!
“It is a very interesting complicated relationship,” McDonnell says. “It is a lot of fun to act, and there is really something off-center about them that I love. They are not divorced. They haven’t lived together in decades, so it is really fascinating about the complexity. And [Tom] is a fantastic actor. Without saying anything else, you will be pleased.”
Nadine Velazquez plays the new Deputy DA: Deputy District Attorney Emma Rios (Velazquez) arrives to challenge Raydor’s intentions and shake up the department, especially getting on Raydor’s case about her overseeing custody of Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin), who may be a homeless teen, but is still a material witness in a case, so it could appear as if she was witness tampering.
“She is a pain-in-the-neck district attorney,” Denison says. “That is what they do. They come and tell us why we may not have done the investigation properly and what they think we need to do more of, and she comes and she is really ‘frictionist’ in a cute and clever way. ”
” I think she is interesting, too, because she brings her generation into the room,” McDonnell adds. “And there is sort of an entitlement about her generation. They are very smart. They are very aggressive and very entitled as young women, but they are very clueless about some things and that is fun.”
As hard as it is to believe, Provenza is grumpier than usual this season: In the beginning of Season 2, Provenza wins a $4,000 kitty, which has been gathered from the other cops who were in his class at the Police Academy, and Provenza wins it because he is the last officer from his class still on active duty. This doesn’t help improve his mood. “Of course, grumpy people don’t find themselves grumpy at all,” Bailey says. “I don’t find him to be grumpy, but he is aggravated a lot, and he is not afraid to let that aggravation show, so it comes out as grumpy. You know, me personally, when I arrive in the morning … they started this years ago … for a 6 o’clock call, they have the ADs [assistant directors] on the walkie talkies say, ‘Is he grumpy or grumpier?’
“I am not a morning person, so what I do is play Provenza like it is morning all day long. This year it is interesting because he is really beginning to finally admit how old he is and because all the evidence is around him, he is the last one standing. They are all gone. [He is facing] those very basic, philosophical questions that have been going on since man could write and that is: What is this all about? What in the world are we doing here? Why do these bodies keep showing up? Why do people keep doing this to each other? He asks those questions almost every episode.”
One of the unique aspects of “Major Crimes” was the addition of Rusty to the cast. He continues his role this season, more like a family member than the material witness he is. When Deputy District Attorney Emma Rios discovers that her material witness is living with Sharon, she is not a happy camper. She insists on deposing Rusty, but he is reluctant to talk to her with Sharon present because he doesn’t want Sharon to hear all sordid details of his life on the streets.
“I think it is beautiful because, for her, it allows us to understand her in a different way,” McDonnell says of the humanity that Rusty adds to the story. “But in terms of how it affects us as cops, I think it allow us to start to interrelate in a way that we wouldn’t normally even though we work together every day. I think that [Rusty] has created a potential relationship here, where we may have had a little more trouble relating or understanding our feelings of it emotionally.”
And Bailey, whose character Provenza has a special, almost grandfatherly relationship with Rusty, says, “He has worked as a character because he is such a charming actor. He has worked as a great catalyst to bring us together. We may have differences about a lot of things but this kid’s well-being is glue to us.”
Also returning for Season 2 are Michael Paul Chan as Lieutenant Mike Tao, Raymond Cruz as Detective Julio Sanchez, Kearran Giovanni as Detective Amy Sykes, Phillip P. Keene as tech expert Buzz Watson, Robert Gossett as Assistant Chief Russell Taylor and Jonathan Del Arco as the medical examiner Dr. Morales.
“Major Crimes” kicks off its second season Monday, June 10 at 9/8c on TNT.
Mary McDonnell: Woman in Charge.
In a new interview with Celebrity Extra, Mary McDonnell talks about the excitement of the second season of Major Crimes, what the story is revealing to her about her character, and her feelings about the actors relationship to social media.
Celebrity Extra: First of all, a lot of new shows don’t even make it to a second season, so you all must be excited that you have indeed been renewed — and not just for the normal order of 13 episodes, but for a super-size season of 19 episodes.
Mary McDonnell: Yes, we’re really, really happy. We are about to finish shooting episode number five, so we already have a strong sense of at least the beginning of the season, and we’re pretty excited. It’s fantastic. And it’s new and it’s interesting and it’s complicated. It reveals more of all the characters and new characters. And it’s just really great. We’re very excited to premiere.
CE: I am not only excited to see how this new season picks up, I’m also eager to see what new cast member Tom Berenger will bring to the show. Are you excited to work with him?
MM: We’ve worked together before, so we know each other, and we knew that it would be awesome to work together again. He’s been on the set for the past couple of weeks, and it’s been absolutely great!
CE: He plays your character’s estranged husband, who we learn has a gambling problem. Are you glad to be able to explore more of Raydor’s personal side?
MM: It really is exciting, because any time you can start to fill in the gaps, start to have a larger container through which to view any character, it’s always refreshing and exciting and reassuring. The more I find out about the moment-to-moment experience of some of her past, the more I understand her present. And then you can start to share some of what you learned; it’s a wonderful, wonderful process to go forward and backward and forward. It’s really gratifying as a performer.
CE: What do we get to learn about her past?
MM: Well, we learn about her and how she deals with having him back in her life; whether or not it’s estranged. We learn a lot about her at work through the relationships there. We get to have a much more revealing picture of a woman. I don’t want to say too much about this because I certainly don’t want to give too much away. But let’s just say, there’s a lot to be learned, and it’s complex, and it’s been a tremendous amount of fun to shoot.
Read the rest of the interview here .
Major Crimes and Drama- Q & A with GW Bailey, Mary McDonnell and Tony Denison.
This past weekend our friends at RizzlesUnlimited attended TNT’s Armchair Detective Weekend, and took the opportunity to talk to GW Bailey, Tony Denison and Mary McDonnell about what we can expect in season 2- and found out that they don’t always agree on what might happen next on Major Crimes.
Q : How will the Captain’s need for control of her environment and the people around her degrade or change as she continues to work with the detectives and the outside influences of her personal life start to come in more and more? What should we expect to see as far as her need for control?
Mary McDonnell : I’m not sure exactly which direction it will go in, but I would say that the balance between growing by letting go and holding on too strong, that sort of tightrope is part of what’s at the core of her. But what’s been already obvious to me in the season we’re playing now is that [the detectives’] influence on her has already been positive in that, to be really working directly with the detectives on a crime rather than working with other detectives on detecting whether or not they did well on a crime, is really gratifying for her. It’s opening her up emotionally in a different way than being in Internal Affairs allowed her to. … If you’re friends with [the detectives], you’re not doing your job. So, so far, it feels to me like it’s having a positive effect, but there will be some trouble, I’m sure.
Mary McDonnell : Because it’s a drama.
Everyone : And we know drama! (laughter)
Q : Will the fact the entire department is more-or-less raising Rusty eventually cause strife, or will it continue to be a unifying factor for them?
Tony Denison : I don’t know. Right now, it’s starting…
Tony Denison : Yeah, both. It’s kind of both right now. You know, who knows which way James is going to go with this? But I’m sure, just as it’s going really great now, no matter what direction it takes or if it decides to split the baby the whole way down, it’ll be great either way, and the kid, Graham who plays Rusty, is wonderful. He’s wonderful, a nice kid, and really good actor to work with.
Q : We’ve noticed that your character, Tony, has started to become the Captain’s number 2 as the series has progressed. He’s sort of the go-to guy for that as opposed to Provenza, who has seniority on that. Why is that? Why are you the go-to guy as opposed to your partner?
Tony Denison : Because he’s super grumpy. (chuckles)
Q : Besides that! Is this something we’re going to see it expanded more where your character winds up being more and more at the number 2 spot while G.W.’s character evens it out?
Tony Denison : That won’t ever happen. The balance of the show is… I mean, it may happen in a way where it becomes annoying to him [G.W. Bailey] so that there’s more friction…
G.W. Bailey : It’s interesting what perceptions [are out there] because we [he and Tony Denison] won’t talk about this, but he and I have very strong opinions about…
G.W. Bailey : About this very issue and who is emerging as what we call the…
Tony Denison : David Gabriel.
G.W. Bailey : Gabriel. Gabriel had nothing to do with seniority. He was the youngest of all of us and wasn’t even made a detective. He made detective grade on the show. [He] was [Raydor’s] kind-of partner. He was her right hand, so it really has nothing to do with seniority at all. But there’s somebody on the show that we think is taking that position, but it’s neither one of us [Flynn or Provenza].
Mary McDonnell : And you know what? I just want to say that, from my point of view, both as the actress and Raydor, that’s not now I’m experiencing it at all, that there’s any one person. There’s been an interdependence to each one of them at different points that I felt very strongly. I don’t have that consciousness. Do you know what I mean? I’m not quite seeing what you’re [G.W. and Tony] seeing, perhaps, but maybe I don’t want to? (Laughs)
Read the rest of the interview here, and follow RizzlesUnlimited for all the latest news and information about TNT’s Rizzoli and Isles!
News Briefs: Major Crimes Season 1 Marathon and Mary McDonnell Discusses Season 2.
– In a new interview with Celebrity Extra (part of a larger piece that will be released later this week) Mary McDonnell talks about her character’s long-estranged ex-husband, Jackson Raydor, that Tom Berenger has been brought on to portray.
“We’ve worked together before, so we knew that working together again would be awesome,” she said. “He’s been on the set for the past couple of weeks, and it’s been absolutely great! It is exciting because we learn more about Raydor’s past. As we learn about her and how she deals with this personal relationship in her life, we get a much more revealing picture of the woman. The more I find out about her past, the more I understand her present.”
About the new season, McDonnell also says: “We are about to finish shooting episode No. 5, so we have a good sense of at least the beginning of the season, and I can tell you we’re pretty excited. It’s fantastic. It’s new, and it’s interesting, and it’s complicated. I don’t want to give away too much, but let’s just say there’s a lot to be learned, and it’s been tremendous fun to shoot.”
American Profile: Mary McDonnell Up-Close.
From Dances with Wolves to Major Crimes, Mary McDonnell’s early life and her career of playing strong women characters are featured in a wonderful new article with American Profile. McDonnell’s husband, Randle Mell, was also interviewed for the piece, as was her daugther Oliva Mell, who says of her mother, “She’s Wonder Woman! She’s very gifted at playing a strong woman because she is one.”
Spotlight on Mary McDonnell of Major Crimes.
(photo credit: Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. International Inc.)
In a new interview with TV Watchtower, Mary McDonnell discusses insights into her role as Sharon Raydor, and what she’s looking forward to being explored in season two of Major Crimes.
What do you identify with most about Sharon Raydor and what’s most challenging for you about her?
MARY: What I identify the most about her and with her is the position of being a middle‑aged woman who, instead of retiring, is working more with bigger challenges, with more power. We’re moving into territory that’s uncharted, and I love representing that dilemma, both its exuberance and its pitfalls. And I love coming up against society’s prejudice and I love pounding away at ageism. I just love it. And it excites me to be on the cultural swing forward. If you look at the women that are running the world right now in their sixties and seventies and it’s really quite fascinating to watch how they are getting stronger and more specific, but they’re also mothers and grandmothers. And the feminine of their maternity can be absolutely a part of the story. So I’m excited about that. The challenges in this first season was to be able to transition a character from being an antagonist to a protagonist without trying to ask anything of the audience but to take a look and to veer this way or that way when it felt like there was too much effort and to keep her mind on the job. Because she kept wanting to spin out or react or stand up or just do whatever happens to you when you’re put in that kind of position. She knows everything about these people. She was Internal Affairs. She knows their personalities. She knows how much they hate her. She knows the whole thing. What’s the job and what do I have to do? So it was like a mental exercise. That was the really hard thing. For the actress, for me, the hardest part was to resist thinking about whether or not it would work. And that’s what I worked very hard on and, for the most part, resisted it. But every once in a while, we would all just go, “Ahh, what are we doing? This could flop.”
News Briefs: Mary McDonnell to Participate in Reddit IAmA, Jon Tenney Pulls Double Duty, and More.
Major Crimes star Mary McDonnell reunited with her former Battlestar Galactica castmates at Galacticon III in Houston, TX this past weekend, where she posed for photos and signed autographs to benefit Moore Tornado Relief, Sinte Gleska University and Everett Stage School.
Photo credit: Jules Photography.
– In a new interview with, Mary McDonnell talks about Major Crimes, how Sharon Raydor has influenced her politics, as well as her new presence on social media, including an upcoming Reddit IAmA (“Ask Me Anything”) on June 2nd at 4pm EST.
– The LA Times is reporting that despite his role on the upcoming TNT drama King and Maxwell,Jon Tenney is expected to continue to return as FBI Agent Fritz Howard in Season 2 of Major Crimes . Tenney is also slated to direct during the season.
– As a lead up to the season premiere on June 10th, TNT will be re-airing the latter part of Season One of Major Crimes , starting with “The Shame Game” on June 4th, “Dismissed with Prejudice” on June 5th, “Cheaters Never Prosper” on June 6th, and “Long Shot” on June 7th, all at 12am/11pm central.
Mary McDonnell and Olivia Mell Interviewed on Seth Speaks for SiriusXM.
Mary McDonnell and her daughter, Oliva Mell, were guests on “Seth Speaks” on the Sirius XM Network today. Listen to their interview below!
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