Articles: The Drama from TNT’s "The Closer" Comes From Its Characters
   
 



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Cory Reynolds and Robert Gossett co-star with Golden Globe nominee Kyra Sedgwick in TNT’s new police drama "The Closer," an off-beat and gripping drama about a CIA-trained, Atlanta detective (Sedgwick) who is brought to Los Angeles to head up the Priority Murder Squad, a special unit of the LAPD that handles sensitive, high-profile murder cases.

The hitch is the Priority Murder Squad is dominated by men who resent a Southern woman heading up their department and taking charge.

Reynolds plays Sgt. David Gabriel, a bright young police detective who’s looking to make his mark in the department. Gabriel feels he needs to be in charge. His strength is he’s someone to defer to when an intelligent, well-thought-out answer is required. Gabriel feels at first that Brenda Johnson’s (Sedgwick) arrival as his boss is a slap in the face to the Squad.


Cory Reynolds

"People interpreted it as an indication that they weren’t doing their jobs properly – something was wrong with their methods, and there is resentment that someone from 3,000 mile away is the right person to do the job," Reynolds says.

As it turns out, Brenda has a great talent for knowing a person's secrets and obtaining confessions, with skills that stem from understanding her own imperfections and neuroses. She does whatever it takes to find out the truth, no matter what the personal costs.

Reynolds explains that Brenda struggles to earn the trust of a group of people who don’t really want to give her a fair chance. As the series progress, the squad begins to trust her quirky personality and hard-nosed approach, and realize that she’s a world-class interrogator, and when it comes to obtaining confessions, she is a "closer."

"I think what make my character so effective in the interrogation room is that she able to use different sides of her personality depending on what it is she thinks she needs to get out of the person," Sedwick explains. "She can be kind of friendly making them feel comfortable and at ease, then she can turn on them very quickly and intimidate them. Brenda can be soft and wily, then tough and scary."

However, not everyone is impressed with Brenda’s skills. Capt. Taylor (Robert Gossett) constantly knocks heads with her.


Robert Gossett

Taylor is a cop’s cop," Gossett explains. "He has worked himself up from the rank and file to the position he finds himself in today only to be usurped or replaced by an outside office who’s a woman and hasn’t had a day of experience on the streets of Los Angeles. He’s mad."

Sedgwick says that she doesn’t see her character as unlikable, but she can be tough, hard-nose, stubborn and can push guys around a bit.


Kyra Sedgwick

"Which may make the audience conflicted about her, but I think that what makes things interesting," Sedwick says.

Gossett adds, "The Closer" takes its audience inside a new level of police work. To the deepest, darkest, scariest pit of man.

"Some characters may repulse you – some you may admire," Gossett says. "The writing, the presence of strong, forceful characters and the subject matter; we do it all."

IF YOU WATCH
What: The Closer
When: Mondays 9 p.m. (ET/PT) 13 episodes
Where: TNT

An offbeat personality, a tough-as-nails approach and a track record as one of the country's leading investigators: these are just a few of the traits exhibited by television's next great detective, Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson, played by two-time Golden Globe nominee Kyra Sedgwick (The Woodsman, Loverboy, Cavedweller), in Turner Network Television's (TNT) new original series THE CLOSER. This gripping drama series comes to TNT from The Shephard/Robin Company in association with Warner Bros. Television. THE CLOSER is executive-produced by Greer Shephard (Nip/Tuck, The D.A.), Michael M. Robin (Nip/Tuck, The D.A., NYPD Blue) and James Duff (The D.A., The Agency). Gil Garcetti, Los Angeles district attorney from 1992 to 2000, is a consulting producer on the series. THE CLOSER premieres Monday, June 13, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) and will continue for 13 episodes. The premiere episode will air commercial-free.

In her first lead role in a dramatic series, Sedgwick plays a CIA-trained, Atlanta detective who has been brought to Los Angeles to head up the Priority Murder Squad, a special unit of the LAPD that handles sensitive, high-profile murder cases. Brenda is tapped to lead the team because she is a world-class interrogator, and when it comes to obtaining confessions, she is a closer. As the series' first episode opens, Brenda arrives in Los Angeles and immediately finds herself thrust into a very different way of life. She struggles to leave past demons behind her while dealing with co-workers who resent the fact that she leap-frogged over many veteran cops to the elevated position of Deputy Police Chief. Her quirky personality and hard-nosed approach to her job immediately rub her colleagues the wrong way, as does the fact that she is a tough-minded, Southern woman in a department dominated by men. Though focused on her career, she's also trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to overcome her love of doughnuts, chocolate bars and other snacks and reignite a personal life that has fallen by the wayside.

On the job, Brenda has a great talent for knowing a person's secrets and obtaining confessions, with skills that stem from understanding her own imperfections and neuroses. She does whatever it takes to find out the truth, no matter what the personal costs. Though she finds some support from her boss, Assistant Police Chief Will Pope, played by J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man, Law & Order, Oz), for the most part she must fend for herself in a hostile work environment.

In the pilot, Brenda is called upon to investigate the murder at the home of a multi-millionaire computer company executive. Brenda doggedly pursues leads in her case, eventually focusing on what may be a love affair gone wrong. When forensic evidence uncovers the truth about the victim's mysterious past, Brenda puts her skills to the test and proves to her critics that she is indeed the right woman for the job.

THE CLOSER co-stars Corey Reynolds (The Terminal, Tony nominee for Hairspray) as Sgt. David Gabriel, Johnson's right-hand man; Robert Gossett (Arlington Road, The Net) as Captain Taylor, head of the robbery homicide division; G.W. Bailey (M*A*S*H, St. Elsewhere) as Detective Lt. Provenza; Jon Tenney (You Can Count on Me, Get Real) as FBI Agent Fritz Howard, a close friend of Johnson's now living in L.A.; Tony Denison (Melrose Place, The Amy Fisher Story) as Detective Andy Flynn; Raymond Cruz (Collateral Damage, Training Day) as Detective Julio Sanchez; Michael Paul Chan (Robbery Homicide Division, The Insider) as Detective Mike Tao; and Gina Ravera (The Temptations, Soul Food) as Detective Irene Daniels.

The first episode, directed by Robin from a script by Duff, guest-stars Allison Smith (Helter Skelter, Holes), John Rubinstein (Red Dragon, Crazy Like a Fox) and John Prosky (The Last Shot, Hulk).

In THE CLOSER's second episode, "About Face," a model and wife of a movie star is murdered with nicotine poisoning in her hair conditioner. Brenda's investigation gets off to a shaky start as she has difficulty navigating the streets of L.A. She does, however, manage to convince her boss to change the name of her squad from Priority Murder Squad (P.M.S.) to Priority Homicide Division (P.H.D.). She also accepts a friendly dinner with Fritz. "About Face" is directed by Robin and written by Duff. It premieres Monday, June 20, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

In the third episode, "The Big Picture," the murder of a Russian prostitute becomes a priority investigation after her client list reveals some very high-profile names. Meanwhile, after her "date" with Fritz, Brenda is unsure if they are just friends or something more. "The Big Picture" is directed by Elodie Keene (Nip/Tuck, Joan of Arcadia) from a script by Nancy Miller (Law & Order, Threat Matrix). It airs Monday, June 27, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

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