Mary McDonnell joins Creator and Executive Producer of TNT's Major Crimes, James Duff tonight for his weekly in-season chat with fans on Facebook.
Here's what we learned:
- Sharon is more analytical than Mary and that can drive her nuts at times.
- Mary viewed the transition from her character's role on The Closer to her role on Major Crimes as a tremendous challenge. She went from being a villain of sorts to being a hero, but not changing the characters motivations.
- James has a surprise for us that he will be announcing soon. Any guesses? I have a few, but I am keeping them to myself.
Here's the recap of James answers. As always, I've just included James' answers here since he encapsulates the question in his responses.
Don't forget that Major Crimes returns on November 2.
James Duff Here we are everyone! We'll post a picture later. But Mary and I are anxious to spend this finale with you.
James Duff Avery F asks if Sharon would break any rule, or commit any crime, what would it be? She can't think of anything that might be too incriminating
James Duff @Illona asks what part of Sharon is hard to play. Mary says it is extremely hard playing someone who has such respect for the rules and for order and sometimes she just wants to run naked down the halls, screaming, with her hair on fire. She's thought it over, and has now decided she doesn't want have anything to do with her hair.
James Duff @Sarah-Jane wonders if we have ever considered having Hobbs and Rios (Kathe and Nadine) in the same episode. We love the idea of this, but usually only one D.A. per case.however, we have thought about criss-crossing D.A.s with different agendas. Maybe Nadine and Kathe could be that for us!
James Duff I can say this has been a huge consideration for all of us doing Major Crimes, and we thought it was a perfect dramatization of courage in our daily lives.
James Duff Kate W scares Sharon more about a relationship with Andy more: the professional or personal issues? Mary says it's the personal side, of course. Sharon moves toward Andy, and risks all the order she has achieved, and changes her life around. Because love does that. But making room for a new person in your heart does make you more vulnerable.
James Duff María T asks how Sharon's faith informs her life. We have to assume it's pretty strong, but, also that her faith is extraordinarily personal. And that she must concentrate on her own life, and not judge those around her. She believes, I guess, that everyone has their own idea of faith, and would not try to impose her own on another.
Certainly, she never tries to take Rusty to mass! Though I would love to see the scene where she asks him to go with her!
James Duff Ashley B asks if I always knew until Mary and Andy would be dating or if it was something the fans pushed us to do. No one even really thought of this idea, to my knowledge, before Sharon volunteered to join Andy at his daughter's wedding because he had no one with whom to go. And that was extremely deliberate. Mary and I both like the idea of love being a life long avocation, and you don't see enough of it on television. More violence than hugs.
James Duff Of course, this is a procedural show, and, as I have already told you, there will be violence tonight. I'm sorry in advance.
James Duff To all the people who are asking if we are getting a season five - and I guess fully one-third of them are related to me - I feel fairly confident that having been the number one scripted show on cable in our live telecasts nearly every week we have been on the air, is a good sign.
Well, quite obviously, she is a Ravenclaw, because of her intelligence and intensity. Buzz would not be a Squibb! He would be a Hufflepuff. Sanchez would have to be a Gryffindor! Okay, that's enough of my other obsession! I know you guys are well aware I'm a Harry Potter fan.
James Duff @Stefanie W wants to know if Mary would do a Major Crimes panel in Germany! We'd love nothing more! If we could get that on the schedule, I think everyone would like that! The cast often travels in a horde, as people know!
James Duff Deborah Lacy asks how playing Sharon and President Roslin (from Battlestar Gallactica for the three of you who haven't watched it) are different. For one thing, Mary says, Sharon isn't dying. And that's a big emotional chance. Also, Sharon has always been extremely and openly ambitious. And wanted to be in the job she's in. Roslin never intended to be President, and the job was pushed on her, and she rose to the occasion.
James Duff @Sue B asks when Sharon let herself fall in love with Andy. One day, this season, at work, Sharon gave the division a directive, and she happened to look up and caught Andy just smiling at her, and something in her heart turned naturally.
James Duff @Tamera asks if Mary is as calm and collected as Sharon is in her everyday life. Mary says absolutely not. She operates from a much more emotional place than Sharon does. I think she's also pretty analytical, but she just won't say so.
James Duff @Kellie M asks where Flynn rates in her love interests. Mary says she does not rate her love interests. So allow me. I liked Kevin Costner, personally. But Mary is saying there is no rating system. So I win. It's Kevin Costner!
James Duff Nicole LF asks what Mary's favorite Sharon moment is and she doesn't exactly have one single scene, but she does love the moments she gets surprised. And taken off guard. Because it's a glimpse beyond the order of her life. I think that's why the chemistry is so terrific between Mary and GW and Mary and Tony and Mary and Graham and Mary and Raymond and Mary and whomever you put her with, because they always bring that surprise and she gives it back with all her heart.
James Duff @Judith McDonnell says how great it is to see two of the greatest actors working in our tie in the same episode. Patricia Wettig and Mary.
James Duff @Richard Cappucio wants to know what it was like working with Patti. Mary says she was fantastic, daring, highly skilled and packs a lot of power into every scene. Plus, Mary really loves her to pieces. They are longtime friends. Patricia has three Emmys.
James Duff @Lindsay M - I think that's the name - asks what its like playing Sharon on The Closer and move the character on the way to Major Crimes. She says it was an amazing challenge. She was something of a villain on The Closer and she is just the opposite on Major Crimes, and yet she's the same person. I think her performance is remarkably, remarkably subtle. The scene she has in the Electronics room with Patti is exactly the old Raydor. She hasn't really changed. We just know her better!
James Duff Our ratings success is something we're so grateful for. And Sharon continues to grow more visible, both to the other characters and to the viewers. And the more Mary and I work together, the more we anticipate what the other needs. This is part of the fun of collaboration.
James Duff And now we have to figure out what to do for the winter since this is the last episode of the summer. I told you I might have a surprise for later, so stay tuned to Major Crimes.
James Duff Major Crimes returns to TNT on Monday, Nov 2 for another run and we intend to stick with you until Christmas, if you'll stick with us.Someone said we are coming back a little earlier than usual. I worry about November sweeps! The network competition. Monday Night Football. Oh well.
James Duff Also, don't forget to check out Rusty's v-log, Identity, which will have its final post, tonight. You can catch up with it on this page, on YouTube and at the Major Crimes website on TNT and at www.majorcrimestv.net
James Duff Michael Robin directed our finale tonight, my producing partner for the last twelve years. He did an amazing job. And now we finish Alice's story.
James Duff I want to thank all of you for the time we've spent together, and for making a moment in your lives to spend with us every week. I love this time we spend together. And I'll be back next November to do eight more.
James Duff And I will be back to make an announcement here in the not-too-distant future. Enjoy the rest of your summer and we'll see you mid-autumn.
Major Crimes will be back on Monday, November 2nd at 9:00 pm for the winter season.
You can see our previous Facebook chat recaps here, including one with Tony Denison here.