Zap2it: What’s your overall view of taking your role as police captain Sharon Raydor from “The Closer” into “Major Crimes”?
Mary McDonnell: I can already feel the potential in some of these scenes rising. I look around cable television, and there are strong women on every single network who are not 25 years old; let’s put it that way.
Zap2it: Has it been a comfort to launch “Major Crimes” alongside other actors who also carried their roles over from “The Closer”?
Mary McDonnell: What has been really exciting for me, and kind of tickling to observe, is that the characters weren’t really friends. The other actors were always perfectly lovely to me, but as we’re examining the relationships more and the game is changing, we are discovering each other as people. And it’s been a blast!
Zap2it: You’ve worked on other series, including “Battlestar Galactica,” so what keeps you coming back to television?
Mary McDonnell: I grew up in New York honing my craft on American plays, which meant I’d do a lot of new material with the writers and directors right in the room. I’d be in rehearsal rooms trying to make something work, so the way I work is highly collaborative and in the moment.
With this form of drama, you’re constantly working at the edge of the story. You get new bits of information and try not to lose things about your character, and you must collaborate. Otherwise, you can’t blossom and bring shining moments to a story.