When Season 7 of TNT’s buddy dramedy Rizzoli & Isles premieres on June 6, it will mark the beginning of the end for the fan favorite, as this season will be its last. We chatted with star Angie Harmon about her memorable moments, what she’s taking from the set and what she’s really taking away from her time as Detective Jane Rizzoli.
How will this season be different from the other ones?
Angie Harmon: Well, obviously, there’s a conclusion. I think that’s going to be a fun thing for everyone to see and just sort of bring a little closure to each character, which I think is necessary. Personally, as a viewer, I want to know what’s going to happen to the characters after it’s over and done with, because you’ve lived with the characters for a long time. I think that everyone’s going to be pretty happy about all of our futures.
Do you get any input into where Jane’s character ends up?
I did, and I was very grateful for that. I think I’ve stayed pretty spot-on with who Jane is and what her character is. I received a really wonderful compliment from [author of the Rizzoli & Isles book series] Tess Gerritsen, saying [that] other than the way that I look, Jane was exactly as she had written her. And when she writes the books now, she hears my voice. That was a huge honor for me.
What are you going to miss about Jane?
Oh God, everything! I’m going to miss her sense of humor. It’s a fun time to be able to play a character like Jane, because Jane gets to say sometimes bitchy, sometimes snarky, sometimes funny, sometimes biting things, and it’s understood and funny and people get it, as opposed to being out in the real world and not knowing if anyone’s going to get your humor or understand what you mean or understand the nuance.
Can you tell us about some of the fun you’ve had behind the scenes of Rizzoli & Isles?
There’s always a time when we’re all exhausted and the giggles set in and anything is hilarious. We laugh about it all the time that Jane’s half-man, half-superwoman. It turns real inappropriate, real quick. I know I’m really doing well when my cameramen and my focus guys and everybody, they just have their heads down and you can’t see anything but their bodies shaking.
Is there anything that you’re looking forward to about the end of the series?
I don’t have the manicure that I want, and I haven’t in seven years. I don’t necessarily have the haircut that I want, and I haven’t in seven years … the only thing I’ve worn for seven years is a sensible pantsuit. I took a picture of Jane’s wardrobe the other day, and it was just 90 T-shirts — in a rainbow array. [Laughs]
What episode stands out as a favorite?
The pilot is definitely my favorite, [or] one of my favorites. Everything was so new and everything was so wonderful. Another favorite episode of mine, I think, is when Jane sort of ran around the city chasing Barry. That was a pretty important episode for us, [and] for me personally.
Are there any episodes this season that you’re especially excited about?
We’re coming up with a 100th episode, which I’m actually getting ready to direct. Jane has to go undercover in a women’s prison, which is something that we’ve never done before. I’ve got a tattoo going up my neck and down my arm and the whole nine yards, so I’m excited about that. I’m excited to be in the thick of it, but also to be watching it from the other side of the camera and directing.
Is there anything that you’ve mentally earmarked to take from the set?
There are a couple things in Maura’s house, in her kitchen, that I think I’m going to have to probably trip Sasha [Alexander] for and run in and get them real quick. I don’t know. Hopefully she’ll give up easily. I’ll probably take Jane’s belt. I’m definitely going to take my badge, because Jane’s badge number is the birthday of one of my best friends.
How are you different at the end of the series from who you were at the beginning?
When I started this show, I was in a very different place in all things. Very naive. I was a child essentially, in a lot of ways, and I’m not anymore. To have these people sort of go through that process of growing up with me and allow me to do it … I mean, my friends here, they tell me they’re super proud of the person that I’ve become and they’ve watched what I’ve gone through.
I’ve just learned to handle — let’s see, how would Jane put it? — I’ve learned to handle the bull@#$% of life a lot better.
You just deferred to Jane to answer a question. Are you taking a bit of Jane with you from the show?
Absolutely. Absolutely. I think the hardest thing for me when shows end is, it’s like all of those characters die, because you don’t ever get to see them again. You don’t ever get to play them again. You don’t get to play with the other characters and play with the other people. They’re just gone. That’s very difficult for me. I’ve lived this person for seven years. I haven’t acted; I’ve lived her. Jane has protected me in a lot of times when I really needed it. Jane has been a witty sense of humor in many times when I didn’t have one. Hopefully, in this process of becoming an adult in my 40s, I can honestly say that I truly hope that Jane Rizzoli had a lot of influence on who I am now and who I’ve become.
A lot of our readers are huge Rizzoli & Isles fans. Is there a message you’d like to share with them?
There’s such deep, heartfelt gratefulness for their support and their love, especially the ones that have stood up for us and who have fought for us and who have fought back the mean girls, so to speak.
Rizzoli & Isles > TNT > Mondays beginning June 6 at 9pm ET/8pm CT