When she picked up the Golden Globe this year for the popular detective series, in which she plays ace LAPD interrogator Brenda Leigh Johnson, she had written a speech. "But just as we were getting ready to leave for the Golden Globes, I realized when I had got in the car I had forgotten the speech," she recalls. "Then I thought, 'I am not going to win.' " She was in shock when she did win, she says, but thankfully remembered what she wanted to say.
Sedgwick, who has been acting for 29 years, has been married since 1988 to actor Kevin Bacon, who has also directed her in two movies and in two episodes of the series. They have a son, 18-year-old, college-bound Travis, and a daughter, 15-year-old Sosie.
What episode were you nominated for?
I think we submitted something called "Slippin'," which was one of the first episodes we did last year, which was about something that looked like a gang shooting and turned out not to be. I chose it because it was a mixture of what we do best on the show, which is drama but some laughs and a really smart story. We go from tragedy and comedy with pretty much ease.
You are in practically every scene of "The Closer." How do you keep your stamina going week after week? Do you just get accustomed to working 17-hour days?
I think I have a real desire to stay focused. I am really creatively fulfilled, so that keeps my engine going and refueled. It's a tremendous amount of work, but I have never been afraid of hard work. It's like running a marathon, a little bit, and I have gotten better at learning my lines, which I think is always challenging for me but especially challenging the first few years. I feel much more ease with it this year. It still takes up most of my time, but I know that I'll get it, whereas I used to pick up a script every week and go, 'I don't think I can do it,' because there were so many words and so many different shifts within each scene emotionally. I don't feel that way anymore.
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What makes Brenda such an interesting character is that she is an actress in her own right when she's trying to get a confession.
She is a master manipulator and a master of disguise. Even without really changing her costume, she becomes someone else, depending on who she is dealing with. I think she's really smart figuring out people's weaknesses or what they are intrigued by, what might bring about some shift in them. She plays to that and is really smart in that way.
"The Closer" is still the biggest cable TV series of all time. Were you surprised when the series quickly took off?
I really loved the character, but you never know how things are going to turn out. So often I have chosen things that I thought were so great and they weren't necessarily popular with the masses. [Becoming a hit] is always something that you hope for, but I didn't have any expectation around it, so it's been a constant sort of beyond-my-wildest-dreams kind of thing and continues to be that. It is sort of a phenomenon and that's great because everyone works so incredibly hard. I am so far away from family.
Your home base is New York. How do you manage with the children and Kevin?
My son, Travis, is 18 and he's been on the road most of the summer playing music. He came out here a little bit here and there, and my daughter was here most of June and a lot of July. Kev has been working a lot, so it has been catch as catch can. We try to see each other every two weeks and you know, it is hard. It is probably the most challenging in a way about the show.
Do you just hibernate when you finish the season?
Yes, all I really want to do is stay home every night and not go out and just be with the kids. And now there will just be one at home!
You also have a movie coming out with the Rock called "The Game Plan." Are you his romantic interest?
No. I am actually his agent. He is a quarterback for the NFL and I am his agent. It's a fantastic, funny part. It was great to do research, because according to every male sports agent, there does not exist a female sports agent, and according to the female sports agents there are only about five of them, truly, and only about three of them have NFL clients. But according to the men, they say they don't even exist, and they are really threatened by [the female agents].