Kyra Sedgwick and James Duff Tease THE CLOSER’s Return

Kyra Sedgwick

It’s been another successful season so far for TNT’s THE CLOSER: still lauded by fans and critics, the show’s ratings have remained strong and Kyra Sedgwick won her first Outstanding Actress in a Drama for her portrayal of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson. The midseason finale left several plot threads dangling: Does Pope still have a job? Will the Major Crimes unit survive and if it does, will Brenda still be in charge of it? Those stories will be picked back up when The Closer returns Monday, December 6 to finish out the season.

Daemon’s TV was there when Kyra Sedgwick and creator/executive producer James Duff teased the remainder of the season and answered questions about the show’s humor, Brenda’s relationship with Captain Sharon Raydor, and how Brenda has been extra alone this season.

Be sure to watch The Closer when new episodes return to TNT Monday, December 6 at 9pm/8 central and read all our The Closer coverage here. In the meantime, enjoy what Kyra and James had to say. There are teasers but no outright spoilers.

On the competition to become chief

When asked why put Brenda into politics when she isn’t a “political animal,” James said that was exactly why they did it. “It’s a huge obstacle for her and it gives something interesting to be played.” He also said that he has never been in an apolitical workplace, so it was something that needed to be explored.

While Brenda may not have gotten this promotion, James teased that she’s going to have another chance at something else soon enough. He also talked about how we are told all our lives that we should be ambitious and strive to succeed, with that success usually measured through position and status, but not everyone wants that and Brenda will have to figure out what she wants.

Kyra thinks that what Brenda wants “gets completely lost because she doesn’t know what she wants. Others put their dreams and aspirations on her.” She also said that “at some point during the final five episodes [of this season], Brenda figures it out.”

Now that there is a new chief, James said that will bring changes and new order. Plus, Major Crimes is once again on the block and Pope’s job is hanging by a thread. This will complicate Brenda’s situation while keeping long-time fans interested in the show.

On Brenda being alone this season

Despite Brenda’s marriage to Fritz, Kyra thinks Kyra has been more alone than ever this season, partly because of the race for chief. She explained, “Everyone has been projecting onto her what they think she should want and need and Brenda is having to make these decisions that leave her alone.”

James agreed, citing the antagonism Brenda has had with both Pope and Fritz this season. He also said that The Closer has always been about the special issues found with a woman in power and that those issues are never simple.

Kyra again referred to other characters projecting onto Brenda, saying that Brenda has spent much of this season under the influence of the ones she loves. In fact, according to Kyra, “Brenda spends most of her life knowing what makes other people tick,” while at her core, Brenda’s “not a very self-aware person, so it’s a wonderful moment when she figures out what she wants and doesn’t want.”

To complicate matters, James said that “Brenda’s parents will arrive in episode 14 with a huge surprise.”

On Brenda’s relationship with Sharon Raydor

James said that “Brenda and Captain Raydor are moving toward being closer,” but he added that a friendship between someone in IA and a deputy chief would be unlikely in real life. He said that Brenda will introduce Sharon to her parents as a friend, “stunning her squad.” James added that really it’s “more of a détente they need to establish first and they are.”

When asked if Brenda and Sharon have a tough time because they are too alike or too different, Kyra stumbled a bit with her thoughts, saying first that they are very different in some ways, noting that it becomes clear Raydor only took the IA job because it was the fastest path for advancement, something Brenda wouldn’t care about. She added that Brenda and Sharon think they are very different from each other, but that “by the end of the season they’ll learn that they are more alike than they thought.” Of course she also said, “Captain Raydor and Brenda have a way to go before they get close,” so clearly nothing will magically smooth out.

On The Closer’s often humorous tone

James said that the show’s humor comes from the fact that “police officers are at their darkest and funniest when they’re six feet away from a dead body.” He explained that the humor of the hangman is necessary to both give the show balance and to keep it fresh. “We go to dark places and we want to bring a flashlight. Humor is our flashlight,” adding “We wanted both the mystery of crime and the tonal mystery to keep the formula from hardening.”

The other reason James gave for all the humor is to help the actors “not live in those dark places” something Kyra immediately agreed with and took further, saying, “Those lighter episodes feel right and necessary. It’s important for the audience, too. We don’t want to be solemn and glum all the time.”

Kyra gave special credit to one of the writers for striking the right tone. “One of our writers is ex LAPD detective who makes sure our scripts have a lot of dark humor.” Kyra explained that’s how real detectives get through their jobs, so it helps keep the show’s tone authentic.

In talking about the show’s tone, Kyra joked that the last two episodes of the season “are the darkest because they’re around Christmas.” She clarified that there are light moments but that the cases are very dark.

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