Actress Kyra Sedgwick talks about closing out The Closer with six final episodes starting Monday, July 9 at 9 PM ET on TNT
Kyra Sedgwick has made a career out of portraying diverse and unique characters in films such as Born on the 4th of July, Singles, Phenomenon, and my personal favorite, The Woodsman. However, for the past seven years, the actress has lit up the basic cable landscape with the critically-acclaimed series (and ratings juggernaut) The Closer on TNT. The show is wrapping up its seventh and final season with a run of six new episodes debuting Monday, July 9 at 9 PM ET with Episode 7.16: Unknown Trouble. I recently had the chance to speak with the talented actress over the phone about wrapping up this popular series. Here's what she had to say.
It must be quite a whirlwind, closing up this amazing run.
Kyra Sedgwick: Yeah, yeah. It's pretty wild.
It seems one of the biggest aspects of these last episodes is getting some closure with Stroh (Billy Burke). It seems like the case really takes some interesting twists and turns. Is this like the ultimate case that she really has to close?
Kyra Sedgwick: Yes, absolutely. I think it would really be doing a disservice to the fans, who have been watching the show forever, to not tie up things with her arch-nemesis. In the first episode, we think that she has gotten him. He wriggles his way out, once again, and then he comes back.
There are some new policies put in place, in the aftermath of this, and it seems like Raydor (Mary McDonnell) and Pope (J.K. Simmons) don't quite have her back as much as they used to. Can you talk about how that dynamic shifts within the precinct?
Kyra Sedgwick: I think it's really challenging for her. I think that she has to do her job with one hand tied behind her back, and I think that's really frustrating. I think that she starts to know what everyone has known for years, that Pope does not have her back, and that she really was this lone wolf, and that she really has been, in some ways, from the very beginning. That is a realization that she can't get away from.
Does that lead into possibly looking into previous cases, seeing if her behavior was on the up and up? Will there be any previous guest stars coming back from older cases?
Kyra Sedgwick: I don't know if any guest stars are coming back. Actually, that's not true, someone from the Terrell Baylor case comes back, yeah.
Is there anything you can say about getting the chance to work with Mary McDonnell, and how these final six episodes lead into the spin-off, Major Crimes?
Kyra Sedgwick: I really don't know how it leads into the spin-off, honestly, except to say that she is taking over, I believe, as Captain or as Assistant Chief, but I don't know. (Series creator) James (Duff) was very clear about wanting to end this show. It was more important to end this show, than to give the audience some kind of clue about how Major Crimes is going to function. I'm not really sure how that happens, except to say that there is a guest star, that is introduced in the last episode, who becomes a seminal part of Major Crimes
I also read that Jon Tenney is directing the second episode of this run. Can you talk about working with him, while he's on the other side of the camera?
Kyra Sedgwick: Oh, it was great. He did a great job. It was really fun. I think there's always a learning curve, because you always think you have more time to do the scenes as you do. As an actor, you always want more takes and more choices, acting-wise. You really have to get the scene, rather than get it five different ways. I think there was a bit of a learning curve for him, but he loved it, and he was so adorable and so incredibly sweet and supportive. He was always telling us how we were making him look good. He was really, really comfortable in that role. I think he'll go on to doing lots and lots of directing.
Brenda's parents (Frances Sternhagen and Barry Corbin) are coming back as well, so I'm sure that will be a fun episode. Are there any memorable moments you can tease from the parents returning?
Kyra Sedgwick: It's always great to have those guys back. Her dad is sick, so that's a little bit different. They're just so great. It's so wonderful to have them there as parents, because, no matter what, when you are at whatever age you are, when you see your parents, you're that little kid again. I love seeing that side of this force of nature, this woman who we think is such a mature grown-up, in charge of all these men, but her parents come home, and he's just that 12 year old little girl.
It seems another big aspect is the mole in the department. Obviously you can't say now, but when it's revealed, will there be any subtle clues in the past that the eagle-eyed viewer would have caught on to?
Kyra Sedgwick: I was surprised, and I'm in the show. I don't know. I think that's a really good question, and I don't think that anyone will guess it. I know that everyone has guessed everyone, so I think some people are secretly right. But, I think it's a big shock, a big surprise.
Can you talk a bit about shooting the last episode, that whole week, and what it was like to bring this character to a close, after seven years?
Kyra Sedgwick: It was the crying season. It was profound, it was exhilarating, it was very sad, it was moving. It's so hard to live with this many people, to be intimate with this many people for this long, this many hours, and then having to say goodbye, knowing it will never be the same again. Even if we stay friends, it will never be the same. I'm better for knowing everybody, and my heart is bigger for having loved them all. It was an impossible goodbye.
Are you looking to get back into TV again? Do you have your eye on another series? I know you have a couple of different films in various stages of production. Are you trying to shift your focus more towards film, or are you still looking for that next big series?
Kyra Sedgwick: Who knows what the future holds. I'm not looking for another series, but if the great one came along after a year or two, I'd be willing to jump on board. TV is a wonderful medium, especially right now. It's an even more exciting place than it was when we first started The Closer. So many eyes are on TV right now, because there is so much great writing, and so many great opportunities for actors. Living in a character's skin for a long time is actually really nice, and a wonderfully creative and fulfilling thing to do. You wouldn't necessarily expect it, but it really is. And, also, I love the idea of working with the same people, and forming that family. It can be really exciting and it can allow you to go places that you might not feel comfortable going, with a new group every few months.
Back when the show premiered in 2005, the ratings numbers that you guys have for a cable show, were unheard of. Last year the show averaged 8.3 million viewers an episode, which is better than a lot of network shows. Can you talk about the overwhelming response after that first season, and how that really set the table for you moving on?
Kyra Sedgwick: It's just an honor. I have no way of explaining it, except that we have really loyal fans. It seems we've grown our audience over the years, which is really unheard of. I can only say that we have loyal fans, and that we keep people interested. The writing is exciting, it's fresh, and we're always taking Brenda to these strange and unusual places. I think people really tune in to watch that drama, and the drama between the characters. That is really what they're tuning in for. The mysteries are great, it's always wonderful to see how it's all going to come together at the end, or not, but I think it's these longer arcs that the people really tune in to see.
Is there anything you can say about Kill Your Darlings or The Possession?
Kyra Sedgwick: Yeah. The Possession is this classic horror movie, this Exorcist kind of movie, but there is some really great acting. We had an amazing director, Ole Bornedal, out of Denmark, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and this young girl who is absolutely amazing, Natasha Calis. It's just a very well-done, very scary movie, and that's coming out August 31. Kill Your Darlings is sort of a film noir murder story, based on a true story, around the time of the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, played by Daniel Radcliffe. It's about a murder that took place, when they were all together at Columbia University. It's a really great story, but I have a really small part, like just a cameo.
Is there anything you're shooting this summer that you can talk about?
Kyra Sedgwick: Not yet, nothing right now.
What would you like to say to fans of the show about what they can expect from these final episodes?
Kyra Sedgwick: I think the fans will be incredibly satisfied. I don't think it's the happiest of endings, maybe, but it certainly is filled with some very exciting moments, and it's a very satisfying ending. I think that people will not regret watching these last six. They're among our very best, especially the last one.
Excellent. Well, that's my time. Thanks so much, Kyra. It was great talking to you.
Kyra Sedgwick: It was great talking to you too. Thank you.