If the adage of being careful what you wish for is at all ominous, Angie Harmon has got good karma. Considering that her new series, “Rizzoli &?Isles,” debuted last week as the most-watched premiere ever for an ad-supported cable show, it’s hard to believe the mom of three girls almost shut the door on acting for good.

How did you land the role of tough detective Jane Rizzoli?

TNT offered [the role] to me. I was pretty much getting ready to retire and thinking that I’m going to move back East with my kids and raise my little girls and go be mommy. I wasn’t really finding the roles that I wanted to play, and so I just sort of made a deal with God — I was like, “OK, I would love something on cable, shoot five months a year, and then I get to be mommy the rest of the time. [I’d] like to be funny and strong and intelligent.” And literally the next day the script was on my front porch because my manager lives down the street.

This series is based on Tess Gerritsen’s hit series of books. Are you a fan of mysteries?


I hadn’t read Tess’ books until we started playing the characters. Now I’m obsessed. And it’s been interesting. because Billie [Burke] and I are shooting scenes together and here I am reading about our future in the books. It’s so fun playing this out for the audience.

What is your interpretation of Rizzoli?

I think there [are characteristics about Rizzoli that] I really enjoy playing. I mean, she’s witty, she’s funny, and a lot of people, you know, don’t see me as a funny character because I don’t usually get to play them. I’m usually cast in the more dramatic roles, and it’s been a really fun time playing her humor and playing her attitude.

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