Rizzoli & Isles

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Rizzoli and isles
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Rizzoli & Isles Q&A: Sasha Alexander on Creepy Clowns and Complicated Relationships

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On Rizzoli & Isles Season 4 Episode 13, our favorite TNT duo returned to take on killer clowns and relationship complications.

Before the spring premiere aired, we got the chance to chat with Sasha Alexander, who plays Dr. Maura Isles. Turns out, even she thinks clowns are creepy. Learn more in this exclusive Q&A...

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Rizzoli & Isles is back. How many episodes can we look forward to this winter?

It will be four episodes. Then season 5 will return in the beginning of summer but I don't have the exact date yet. 

Dr. Maura Isles in "Food For Thought"

So, Rizzoli & Isles Season 4 Episode 13 gave us a kidnapping clown. Were you trying to give me nightmares?

You know what? Clowns are creepy. They're just creepy. Even when we shot that episode, I thought oh, gosh. Really? There's a clown on the loose. So yeah, there's a man dressing up as a clown. It dates back to the old The Haunting abductions of 1988 summer of the clown which was something that happened in Boston. And Casey is back and his relationship with Jane is getting a little more serious. That's putting Maura in the middle. You know, just kind of figuring out what this is going to mean for their relationship and that's what we're dealing with. 

Last year there was the tragic loss of Lee Thompson Young who was such an integral part of this ensemble. Can you give us any idea how the show is dealing with that loss and moving forward story wise without Detective Barry Frost?

Well he will appear in three out of these four episodes that are airing. He'll be in those and then we'll deal with the loss of his character in season 5, which will come back in the beginning of summer.

Will we be seeing more of Maura's family this time around?

We do. Sharon Lawrence comes back as Maura's biological mother and really sort of takes a stand on bettering their relationship. Then there's Maura's grandfather, Paddy Doyle's father which is a funny episode. You know the Rizzoli family has got a lot of drama. You know it's always funny to me because sometimes we feel like on our show that we're shooting a totally different show than the next day. You have the crime stuff but then you have all this personal stuff that is, you know, it's the family drama. It makes the show really fun to work on because we're always jumping back and forth. And sometimes it's a little Three's Company as well. I will say that. 

Any chance Maura will have more of a love life?

Gosh I hope so. No. These last few episodes, no but I'm really crossing my fingers for season 5. I think that's going to be the season of love for Maura.

I've been tweeting with fans and they all love the sarcastic dialogue and banter between you and Jane but many have asked if it is all scripted or if you ever ad lib?

No, it's scripted. It really is. I feel like we so care about what comes out of these women's mouths that if we don't feel that something is clicking we certainly might tweak it a little bit. We do. We both do. But in general, yeah it's scripted. I feel so far, this is our third week back into shooting season 5 and it's so wonderful to be able to have chemistry in this way with your costar. It feels like we put the shoes on and we go and there's something really magical about that experience. Because you don't always find that. It takes time to sort of gel into it. We can pick up a scene that maybe isn't totally gelling but once we start working on it we get it to a point that feels very truthful. 

Have you had any favorite episodes or story lines. Anything that really stands out for you on the show?

One of my favorite episodes that always stands out for me is (Rizzoli & Isles season 2 episode 3, "Sailor Man") where Jane and Maura pretend to be gay in front of her friend Giovanni because he won't leave Maura alone. For some reason that episode, it had a very iconic style to it. We were driving around in this red convertible and there was this man who did not believe that we were together. I just thought it was so funny. That episode really made me laugh. I didn't feel like I'd seen anything like it on television. That one stands out to me.

Last season, I really loved shooting the episode where Maura went to jail. (Rizzoli & Isles season 4 episode 4, "Killer In High Heels") when she was a suspect in a murder. I thought that was a really clever episode and really well done. It's always fun to see, I like episodes where we get to see the characters in situations that they're not normally in. When you sort of turn the tables on everyone. 

Do you have any other projects on the horizon?

Well I had a film at Sundance called The Girl from Nagasaki which was directed by Michel Comte. It's a modern adaptation of Madame Butterfly. That was really fun to do. Other than that, no. I took my time off to be a mom. I'm writing a children's book and I'm tied up (with Rizzoli & Isles) for the next six months. 

Can you give us any more hints of what's to come on the show?

I think that Jane's relationship with Casey is going to heat up and that's going to lead to some decisions to be made for Jane and the girls. That's happening. And family drama. I would just say, I feel that we're going deeper into these characters and exploring many different ways that they can go. The bonds are just going to get stronger. I just feel that we're going deeper into these characters that we love so much. 

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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I always find it odd and sad that the people who adopted and raised Maura are never referred to as her family, especially by the media since that basically devalues the importance of her adoptive parents. If anything, we should be asking why we have never seen her father on the show.

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@ Kacey

But the interviewer didn't specify biological or adoptive family. Sasha answered about her biological mother, I guess because she's the character who would be returning. They did mention Constance this week (her adoptive mother who raised her.) I've always assumed her adoptive father passed away but I'm not sure that's the case.

Rizzoli & Isles Season 4 Episode 13 Quotes

We were hoping to have an orgy and then we realized we were one person short.

Jane

Jane: You went without me.
Casey: You wouldn't get up.
Jane: Because it was nighttime.
Casey: I was up at 4:30am.
Jane: In Boston we call that night time.