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October 24, 2014

'The Closer's' Kyra Sedgwick: 'Brenda Likes To Do Things On Her Own'

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 6th 2010 10:00AM
kyra_sedgwick_the_closer_tntFresh off the revelation that Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson will not be the next Los Angeles Chief of Police, TNT's 'The Closer' returns on Monday, Dec. 6, with five new episodes for the winter season.

How will Brenda respond to losing the top job? Will it be business as usual, or will there be lingering questions about her status as season 5 concludes?

TV Squad went directly to the source, interviewing Kyra Sedgwick, the Emmy-winning star of 'The Closer' who shared her thoughts about the show, her character and the thrill of winning that golden trophy just a few months back.

What do you think Brenda learned from the experience of being in the running for Chief of Police?
I love the idea of her learning anything about herself, but I don't think she learned anything. Brenda was very conflicted ... I think that she had a lot of people who were projecting what they wanted onto her, so that was very confusing for her. I do think when she finally went in for the interview, she was of the mind to really do it. She was willing to go for it, but then when she didn't get it, she was very relieved. It was more about everybody else's need for her to do that job. That's what drove her and why she ultimately took that chance.

kyra_sedgwick_jon_tenney_tnt_the_closerHow do you think the new paradigm with Fritz (Jon Tenney) as the FBI liaison to the L.A.P.D. will affect Brenda?
Sometimes it'll be great, and sometimes it'll be really complicated. We've started to establish that this year. There were moments that were really annoying and complicated for her, and she really likes the compartmentalization of her life.

His new job really put an end to that. That will continue to be a conflict for her. She's used to being the person who has the most power in some ways, although Pope (J.K. Simmons) certainly does, too. Brenda likes to do things on her own.

How will the relationship between Brenda and Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell) develop?
I think they've come to a meeting of the minds and I hope that will continue. It does continue in the final five episodes. There are moments of conflict, but they've really become allies in a lot of ways and I like that. Because we've seen women at odds with each other in the workplace over and over and over again. It's become everyone's expectations of what women do, 'Oh, they're going to hate each other.' I don't like that.

I prefer a more complicated, push-pull kind of relationship where they really like and respect each other and they get along sometimes, but sometimes they're at odds. I like that they're supporting each other in powerful female positions.

Were you surprised that there was no aftermathwhen Brenda let the gang killer return home without police protection, knowing he would probably be killed?
Well, hopefully, you will get that ... maybe next season. Eventually, it's going to all come crashing down on her. Fortunately or unfortunately, these are stand-alone episodes. While we do have a theme that runs throughout and we do sometimes have things that carry over for people who are watching every episode continuously, they are mostly stand-alone episodes.

The theme which was in some ways unintentional this past season was how alone Brenda is in so many of the decisions that she makes in her work. People don't agree with her often and that makes her even more alone in her decisions and the ramifications of her decisions.

Choosing to drive off was her decision alone ...
For me, that was what that moment was about. You happened to have picked up on my favorite episode of the season by far. They showed her solitary in that scene. Her aloneness was in that last shot of her in the car. She's by herself with that grim look of determination on her face. I thought that was really cool because I find her more and more alone as the years go on. She's less and less supported. Almost like it's going back to the first season.

kyra_sedgwick_emmy_2010How satisfying was it to win the Emmy after having been nominated four times?
It was fantastic. It was a great night. I was absolutely convinced that I was not going to win ever actually for this part. I thought I'd be continually nominated -- and that's an amazing feat in and of itself. I never thought I would win this year because it just didn't seem to be in the cards for me. I guess people win in the fifth season.

It was pretty rare ... I was excited for you.
I was hooting and hollering inside. It was a total surprise. It was wonderful. It's great recognition, especially after all these years.

Was it even better winning the Emmy for a show in which your daughter, Sosie, was in the episode?
I loved that that was the case, but seriously, I think it was one of the best episodes we've ever done because it had Brenda so vulnerable, and then it had her so harsh and fierce. It showed all these different sides to Brenda that I know are there, but there not always in one episode. It was a great, great episode.

Do you love Brenda's addiction to sweets?

Absolutely. That was something that when I got the pilot, I said, "This has to stay. We have to keep this going." Because this has to be her drug, her secret, solitary, isolating thing. While she does it in front of other people somewhat, she's still sort of the flaw, conflicted part of Brenda.

It's such a cliche to reach for the bottle of whiskey in the desk drawer, so it's great to see Brenda reach for the Ring-Ding instead ...
I love that about her. I push for it all the time. I'm glad you like it.

Do you think that Brenda's as much of a control freak as she once was?
Probably. When you have issues like that, it only gets worse as you get lower. And Brenda's is a progressive disease.

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