The fifth season of “The Closer” will be about change. Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) isn’t going to pastry school or anything, but both her personal life and her LAPD career will go through some transitions in the coming weeks.
“The most obvious change is Brenda being married, and there’s been some shifts in the squad,” Sedgwick told reporters recently about the new season, which premieres Monday on TNT. “And then, you know, the first few episodes, the cat is unwell, and I think that that’s a change that she doesn’t want to have to deal with — the idea of possibility of life without her cat, who in some ways is sort of her independent self.”
Sedgwick, a three-time Emmy nominee for her work on the show, also talked about growing more comfortable in Brenda’s skin, her on-screen adversary this season and balancing the often-intense drama on the show with its goofier moments. Some highlights:
Where do Brenda and Fritz (Jon Tenney) go from here now that they’re married?
Sedgwick: Well, I think the inevitable next step to marriage is the idea of having children, and I think that that’s a struggle for the two of them. I think it’s hard for Brenda, who … doesn’t see the world as a benevolent, loving place.”
Can you talk about any guest stars for the season?
Sedgwick: Mary McDonnell comes in for a couple of episodes, who is so great on that ‘Battlestar Galactica’ show and also just in film. She comes on as Brenda’s antagonist. She is a internal affairs officer, which, if you know anything about the LAPD, internal affairs is like the biggest nightmare. And since the Rampart scandal, they’re much more prevalent in the [department]. … There will be a big to-do about that. They’re complete opposites and they’re real antagonists, and I think it’s a fun thing for people to be able to watch.
Have the differences between you and Brenda broken down some over the years?
Sedgwick: I’m always putting on a Brenda suit, definitely. I think we continue to have vast differences between us. … But I can tell you that as an actor playing a character for this long, it just gets deeper and more multilayered for me, and I really enjoy that. It’s been an inspiring process for me to get deeper and deeper into this character and one that I never would have thought would happen. If you’d told me, you know, you are going to play the same character for five years and you are going to still find it fascinating, you are going to still find new things about her, I [would have told] you that you are probably crazy.
Are you still finding out new things about her?
Sedgwick: Yes. I think that she has become more of a maternal figure for everybody, and I think that in some ways that was sort of inevitable, because she is sort of a loving, maternal person … even though I don’t know that she’ll ever actually have her own children. But the fact that her first marriage will always be to her job, it would make sense than her squad become somewhat her children. So yes, I think that there is a lot of truth to that.
Do you think the mix of drama and comedy contribute to the show’s success?
Sedgwick: I do. I mean, it surprised me in the beginning. I remember the first season when we did this real like slapsticky kind of thing with Provenza [G.W. Bailey] and Flynn [Tony Denison] that first year, I thought, “Oh gosh, I don’t know how this is going to fly.”
And I was so excited and happy that … the audience loved it. It was actually one of our highest-rated shows. … I think that really says a lot about our show that is able to be facile enough to drift through both — to do both mediums. I think that’s very, very exciting and a real testament to the show, the writing, the characters, and also the audience that we have, that you know they will go along with the ride and still feel grounded in the characters.