Rizzoli & Isles star gives us the scoop on new season

2017-04-25 11:34

Cape Town – I couldn’t believe my luck when l got the chance to call sunny Los Angeles on a cold Mother City night to speak to TV star Sasha Alexander. 

I have been a fan of Sasha’s since I first saw her on South African screens in NCIS. Then when I saw her as medical examiner Maura Isles on Rizzoli & Isles I was overjoyed that she would be back on my screen every week. 

So, I just want to say, as a warning, that because I have watched almost every episode of the show my questions are more general at first and then there is a spoiler for the end of season 5.

Sasha dished on what she loves about the character, her co-star Angie Harmon and their great chemistry, filming a epic bridge scene and I ask her if she's planning on visiting SA anytime soon.

Maura Isles is one of the strongest characters on TV and a lot of women identify with her. What has been some of your favourite moments while playing her?

Well some of my favourite moments were definitely in the first two seasons, particularly in the first season, when I was still finding out who she is in terms of how she looks at the world. Like there was a moment in season 1 where she goes on a date and she ends up diagnosing the man with a skin disease (laughs).

There’s also a really cool moment during season 5 where I end up doing this really cool thing with a pig’s heart in a fish tank, it’s dissected and is just so hilarious because I think it shows this really nerdy brainy part of Maura that loves science. I think I’ve had a lot of great scenes with Jane and everyone. Like this season (season 5) is a great one for Angela because she’s going through a new phase in her life.

There’s a very funny scene with Angela where we establish that Maura can’t lie and doesn’t like to lie. There were so many great moments I enjoyed watching the difference between Maura in her professional life and how she reacts to situations in her personal life. It’s a huge growth over the years and it changes and she changes over the years. I think that she becomes a bit more in touch with herself over the years. 

I’d like to go into Maura and Jane’s tight bond. What has it been like embodying that relationship with Angie Harmon? 

Well I think a lot of it has a lot to do with luck and finding the right actors. Because it doesn’t really matter how Angie and Sasha feel like on the day it has to do with how those characters come across on screen.  And that’s made some of the greatest relationships on film, casting it well. Angie and I had chemistry from the very beginning and we were able to bring that into our characters who are very different people. We let them grow and affect each other and I think that the most important thing that we saw in their relationship was two women supporting each other.  In terms of monumental, life threatening situations that could have torn them apart, but they always manage to find their way back.

This season (season 5) they take some time away from each other and it becomes more about the crime and their other relationships but they always find their way back to each other. For me it was very rewarding to play a character involved in a relationship that was appreciated by so many women. Women of all ages. 

This season contains one of my favourite moments on the show – when Jane jumps from the bridge to save Paul the prosecutor, putting herself in danger. Do you remember filming those scenes and how do you think it changes Jane and Maura’s relationship?

Yeah I remember filming that, it was a really difficult shoot. We filmed all throughout the night on this bridge, in San Pedro, in California which is a very, very big bridge in a busy, busy habour that has a lot of boats coming through. When we filmed that, we tried it at a time that we thought there wouldn’t be boats but every now and then there would be so we would have to clear everything and move and let the boat pass, because the bridge would go up and we would have to let it pass and it would come back down and then we would run back in to shoot. So it was a really difficult shoot and we ended up cheating some of the stuff, meaning that we shot on the side of the bridge so that you could see the face of Maura. It was very dramatic. And how does it change the relationship? Well I don’t want to give away season 6. 

Have you been to South Africa? Do you have plans on coming here? 

I have never been but I do have plans to visit. It's one of the top places of my list of places to go, I have been to Northern Africa, I have been to Kenya and Tanzania but I have not been to the South. But I hear it’s gorgeous and you’re all really wonderful people so I look forward it one day. 

Rizzoli & Isles airs Tuesdays at 20:00 on Universal Channel (DStv 117).

(Photos supplied)

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