After taking a few years off from acting, Angie Harmon — best known for her roles as Jane Rizzoli on Rizzoli & Isles (2010-16) and Abbie Carmichael on Law & Order (1998-2001) — is back with a new Lifetime project that she executive produces and, of course, stars in.
The first in a series, Buried in Barstow (Saturday, June 4, at 8pm ET/PT) centers on Hazel King (Harmon), an ex-assassin who first picked up a gun as a teenager and was in high demand as a professional killer. But her career ended when she unexpectedly became pregnant. Now, she is attempting to get away from her past, running a local diner in her small town and trying to remain on good terms with her adult daughter (Lauren Richards). But as much as she wants a normal life, she soon realizes that it might be impossible to avoid trouble.
Harmon brought this script around town for years to try to find the right home, eventually landing at Lifetime, home of reruns of Rizzoli & Isles. “This is my heart project. I’ve loved this script since I read it and started shopping it around three and a half years ago,” enthused Harmon. “I believed in this from the moment I read it. And so I was just [like] it has to be made; it has to be done. … I’m really, really excited about it.”
With years of experience acting as a member of law enforcement under her belt, this is the first time Harmon got to take on someone on the opposite side of the law. If there’s one thing she’s comfortable with, though, it’s handling a gun. “Well, being from Texas … I have no problem with [using a gun]. And to be honest, you know, I think it’s kind of an aspect of my career that just sort of followed me around the entire time. … At this point, I can break down a crime scene and prosecute a case and win or defend it. Whatever sort of law enforcement you might need — I’m your gal.”
Also starring in the film is Kristoffer Polaha as Elliot, a doctor with a mysterious past who shows up in the diner one day. “He tumbles in like tumbleweed into this diner and gets entangled with Angie’s character Hazel,” Polaha explained. “We don’t really know who he is or where he comes from.” But he immediately has respect for Hazel. “[She] is this character who is so broken, and she’s so damaged, and she doesn’t have love, and she lives in this really rough world, and we see the evidence of that until she has her daughter, and then she becomes this lioness or this mama bear who is willing to at all costs protect the things that she loves.”
The show was filmed in Shelby, North Carolina, which stands in for Barstow. The diner that Hazel owns already existed there in its entirety, from its barbecue pits to real wood paneling all over the walls and even the ceiling. The casino in town also appears as the makeshift setting for scenes taking place in Las Vegas, where a young Hazel is learning her craft as a killer.
Buried in Barstow promises to be a thrilling look at the assassin life and how, as much as Hazel might want to, she can never escape. Plus, viewers who get attached to Hazel and her friends and family will have more to look forward to as subsequent movies in the series are released later on.