You may not have noticed that in last week's episode we heard less of Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmonie) as usual. The reason for this was twofold. No. 1, it was the star of the giveRizzoli & IslandsTime to get ready because this week she directed the 100th episode of the TNT series, which is in its final season.
The second reason was to prepare a surprise you won't see coming, which happens at the end of tonight's episode -2M7258-100- in which Jane goes undercover in a county jail to extract the killer of a brutal murder.
"I grew up watching the show," Harmon tells Parade.com in this exclusive interview. "Jane Rizzoli is just a complicated and important part of meLife. I don't know if I can just say goodbye to her. I hope a part of her stays with me for the rest of my life."
In this interview, too, Harmon talks about the collaborationSasha Alexander,Lorraine Bracco,Bruce McGillAndJordan Bridges; how Bracco has really become like a second mother to her; as haveSharon Glaßguest starring for the 100th episode meant so much becauseCagney & Laceywas a precursor ofRizzoli and Islands, and what she plans to do next.
How is the mood on the set when it comes to an end?
Well, this week we celebrated more because it was the 100th episode. To be able to direct has been such an honor and I just feel so special, so lucky and so blessed. To be honest, I feel a lot of belief. The fact that they gave me #100... I was like, 'Are you sure?' They said, 'Yes. Absolutely." Just as we were about to finish there were a lot of tears just because my crew was happy for me and we really had a great time.
This is my secondFamilyand we've all been through a lot. I think people just try not to think about it. We're just trying to stay comfortable and be in every moment that we're in. When I'm exhausted and I think there's no way I can put one foot in front of the other, I just think, "Make this some of the last moments you're going to experience Jane Rizzoli," and then all of a sudden, there it goes I'm fine and can move on.
How are you as a director?
I have fun with my crew and my cast, but to be on the other side... I've been told I'm a very excited and supportive director, so I tend to run from the monitors screaming and screaming and hugging. I realize that's not the norm, so it just became that thing. They said, "Okay. Here she comes. Here she comes,” and it was meOperationin the room and hugs everyone. It's something very, very special.
Was it difficult to direct yourself?
No. No. Not at all. We had playback, but that was just one of the things I had to make sure the recording was technically what I was looking for. I don't have to watch the other actors when I'm in the scene with them because I'm in the scene with them. i see what they do I don't need to see it
But apparently I got a feel for the swinging crane shots and the 360, and that became "This is a statement harmony shot". These are cool shots in my opinion, so I'm pretty excited about that.
What can you say about the 100th episode?
I met Sharon Gless probably about a month ago and she actually approached me. We went to Craig's restaurant and everyone had dinner and had a great time and the place is full of legends and this beautiful woman comes up to me and says, 'You know, I'm such a fan of yours.' And all that all I could think was, "Who is this woman with this amazing hair?" because she has this awesome haircut that falls back and then it's like spikes all over, but she's super feminine and beautiful. She is strong. she is tough She can throw back a martini and I look at this woman and I'm like, "Why do I know this woman?"
She had these really amazing rose-colored glasses on and all of a sudden I realized, 'This is Sharon Gless' and I just went insane. I literally started stuttering and stuttering. I said, "You have to realize. You paved this road I walk on.” BecauseCagney & Laceyand these women in these roles, that's whyRizzoli & Islandsis successful.
I thought, "The 100th episode is coming up. Do you want to be there?” And she said, “Oh. Secure. Naturally."
One of the things that makesRizzoli & Islandsthat's how special the relationship between Jane and Maura is. What is it like working with Sasha now in Season 7?
I think it's very seamless. Sasha knows I'll probably throw in a few things and get out of hand, and she's ready to roll with me. That makes themFriendshipon the screen. We have a different writer every week and our writers are great, but you often find yourself as an actor acting on their voice rather than writing for ours. Nothing wrong with that. That gives him a different spin every week. Sasha sticks very closely to the script. She's a hardworking actress, and I just come in like a hurricane and go, "This, this, this, and this." But now she can roll with me.
We laugh and we find things throughout the scenes. I'm not one of those actors who likes to rehearse and rehearse and rehearse and rehearse. I want the organic moments, the spontaneous moments, to happen in the film. That makes it lifelike. When you're chatting up your boyfriend, you don't have it over and over again just to come up with oneto kidor land a punch line.
And the rest of the cast?
We've all become like this. Jordan is hilarious. Jordan will do 50 takes. He has become like my little brother. All I do is just tease him and give him hell.
We all became very, very close in our roles and Lorraine is like my mother. I call her mom. We go to restaurants and I'm like, 'Mom, what do you want today?' and she just bursts out laughing, or I text her, 'Mom, the girls are coming to town. What time can you have dinner?” And they consider her a surrogate matriarch.” We became very, very close.
I've known Bruce most of my life. I think it will probably be the hardest for Lorraine, Bruce and I because Lorraine has her two daughters and I have three daughters and she has become my TV mom. She has helped me through many things and you get scared. You're like, 'Oh my God. What if I never talk to you again?” Which of course you will.
And Bruce and I... I think the show business gods keep bringing us together and I'm so grateful for that. I learned so much from him. He says he learned a lot from me. I think he's just being polite. I admire him.
Will fans of the series be happy with the ending?
I think audiences will be very happy with where all these characters end up. We had [author]Tess[Gerritsen] have an appearance on the show. She is very happy and it is a great honor. And [executive producer]Jan Nashis just one of the nicest and incredibly talented and fun people in this business. Other people come here and say it's the best set they've worked on. That's hugecompliment.
Any thought what you want to do afterwardsRizzoli?
I have a film I'd like to direct and I'd definitely like to take some time off and spend it with my kids. My youngest is seven years old. All she knows isRizzoli & Islands, and she's always been on the other side of the country.
When we first signed on for this show we only did eight episodes so it was like the dream job. We shot from early June to late JuneAugust, so I could live in North Carolina and be a mom, and then we all came out as a family for the summers when mom had to shoot and they could hang out with their friends. We never thought it would be this bigSuccessand I would fly back and forth nine months a year.
So I definitely understand, "How could you leave your children?" I didn't leave my children. It's one of those things that I was under contract to. It's just as hard for me to be apart from them as it is for them to be apart from me. For example, I'm taking the Red Eye tonight. i arrive tomorrow I'll be there less than 36 hours but that's what you do.
I am a single mother. I have to keep working, but I would definitely like to work with my little girls near me. I'll just see what God has in mind. I've had a lot of offers and of course that's flattering. I would like to do a comedy. I would love to do a super, super dark serious drama. We will see. It's a very exciting time.
The 100th episode ofRizzoli & Islandswill air tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT.