Sign­ing up for ma­jor fun

Mary Mcdon­nell is loving life in the world of crime, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

MARY McDon­nell is re­ally in her el­e­ment. She loves be­ing the head of the pack in the LA po­lice drama Ma­jor Crimes, now in its sec­ond sea­son.

In the spin-off to The Closer, which airs in Aus­tralia on dig­i­tal chan­nel Gem, Cap­tain Sharon Ray­dor has great sto­ry­lines (let­ting a teen mur­der wit­ness stay at her house comes to mind) – and even bet­ter hair.

We talked to the 61-year-old star, who be­came in­stantly un­for­get­table af­ter play­ing Kevin Cost­ner’s love in 1990’s Os­car-win­ning epic Dances With Wolves. How is it play­ing Sharon Ray­dor since 2009? Still fresh?

I am liv­ing, breath­ing her. There isn’t that search­ing for iden­tity and won­der­ing how it’s go­ing to fall to­gether. We’re done. Hello! It’s now, ‘Where do we want to take her?’. We are truly in some won­der­ful sto­ry­telling mode right now. There are some danger­ous mo­ments. I think fans are go­ing to have a ball. How is sea­son two go­ing?

I’ve been so happy with it so far; the dilem­mas and in­ter­est­ing tex­ture and new char­ac­ters and all kind of things. A new dis­trict at­tor­ney ( My Name Is Earl’s Nadine Ve­lazquez) has come to visit the squad. On one hand, it’s ex­tra­or­di­nary to have young fe­male tal­ent to help with a ma­jor case. On the other hand, she presents prob­lems. It’s ex­cit­ing, the way she in­ter­acts with the group and what she stim­u­lates. Any love in­ter­ests for Sharon?

Oh, this (plot­line) has been fun: The in­tro­duc­tion of Sharon’s es­tranged, but not di­vorced, hus­band in the form do­ing? Or not do­ing?

Well, if I could give you my trade se­crets, I would. But I don’t have any big ones. Genes, maybe. I feel very for­tu­nate. I swim al­most ev­ery day. I was an ath­lete as a child. I also have to hon­our the fact that the peo­ple in the crew hon­our me in what they do with me. I don’t want that to go un­ac­knowl­edged.

Ma­jor Crimes: Mon­days, 8.30pm, Gem. Mary McDon­nell of Tom Berenger. He’s an amaz­ing ac­tor. It’s a de­light to work with him. Tom jumped on board and dove right in. There wasn’t one bit of hes­i­ta­tion. We have some his­tory, so we have won­der­ful chem­istry. He and I did a play to­gether (2005’s National An­thems) when we were hus­band and wife. You tackle some se­ri­ous sub­ject mat­ter on this show. What is the on-set chem­istry like?

I’m telling you, it’s not a reach. OK, you gotta do your job, what­ever it is. But boy, when a lot of the his­tory is out of the way and you trust each other enough to risk and it clicks. It’s a ridicu­lously funny cast. Do­ing ta­ble reads is like be­ing with your sib­lings at the din­ner ta­ble. If we could, there would be a food fight ev­ery week, and peo­ple would be laugh­ing. We just don’t have time. That’s the level at which there is the po­ten­tial at any mo­ment for high hi­lar­ity to break out. You look be­yond amaz­ing. What are you

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