By M.L. Sharpe
Introduced in season five of The Closer, Kathe Mazur’s character Deputy DA Andrea Hobbs tended to have an adversarial relationship with Brenda Leigh Johnson, who often perceived her presence as hindering with her investigations. However on Major Crimes, Sharon Raydor has been quick to embrace Hobbs’ presence, and has rapidly learned to utilize her skills and position in the DA’s office to help solve their cases, as well as being an ally when it comes to dealing with the situation with Rusty.
In this exclusive interview with MajorCrimesTV.net, Kathe took time out of her busy hiatus schedule to answer a few questions about the transition from The Closer to Major Crimes, Hobbs’ relationship with the rest of the team, and about her other major role, as an award-winning narrator of audio books.
MCtv: Despite being a recurring character since season 5 of The Closer, we still don’t know that much about DDA Hobbs. Do you have a backstory that you or the writers have created that you work from, or are you as curious as we are to find out more about her? Do you think we’ll find out more in future seasons?
KM: I always feel that the Major Crimes writers have a tremendous feel for the characters on the show and we are working together with them to build the character without ever talking about it. I love the way the writers have been expanding the characters we’ve come to know, and we’re finding more out about them all the time. I have ideas about who Hobbs is, and what her life is like. But I trust the writers and producers on this one. All I can say is that this is the greatest group of people to work with. It’s a total joy.
MCtv: What were your initial thoughts when Major Crimes was announced? Was there anything about the transition that surprised you?
KM: Well, so many of the people are the same, the cast, the crew, producers. So the feel is very much the same. I was so happy about the spin-off, and because it focuses more on the judicial system, I get to be involved more.
I remember the first table reading of the script for the 2nd episode of Major Crimes. I had no idea how they were going to make the transition, and I walked away so impressed by the choices the producers and writers had made, the way they had begun to move us into the new show. Everyone was clapping.
Kyra Sedgwick is an angel. She’s a tremendous force to be around, and a great pleasure to work with. Mary is as well. She is a fantastic person to act with, and both of them have made it wonderful. I think the most interesting thing for me was that it felt a lot like life–most things stay the same, but then some things change, and those changes toss everything around, and change our perspectives. It all felt, and feels, very human to me. It is a different show, but so many of the characters we already know, the place, the offices, the tone. I like it. And of course, there are some very new things, like Kearran (Giovanni, Amy Sykes) and Graham (Patrick Martin, Rusty Beck), who bring a lot of freshness and creativity, and are tremendous fun as well.
MCtv: What do you think about the differences in the working relationships between Hobbs and Brenda and Sharon, and how that reflects upon women working in such a male-dominated field?
KM: All three of women are smart, strong and powerful. But the actors and the writing has always made them human. Their relationships change and shift according to what happens between them, and how they relate to each other, just like any relationships. There is definitely an element of understanding between them… and us. It is a male dominated field that they work in, and I think they are tough on each other and hold each other to a very high standard. Mary and I have talked about this. Again, it feels very human. They fight it out, they push other, they demand from each other. And they also support and admire each other.
MCtv: It’s been very exciting to see you and some of the other cast and crew of the show interacting with the fans on Twitter. What has that experience been like for you?
KM: I love it! I started on Twitter because, as an audiobook narrator, our community–narrators, publishers, listeners, bloggers, authors–has a lot of interaction. So it was a big surprise to me when the Major Crimes fans started to contact me, or mention Hobbs. It was a real thrill. It has seemed an extension of the family feeling on the set. The fans are why the show is there at all. I don’t think any of us take that for granted.
MCtv: In addition to acting, you’ve voiced over a hundred audiobooks. Do you find that it is a much different performance experience, or do you approach it in a similar way to when you are acting on screen?
KM: It’s like Olympic Acting! You can do over 50 characters in a single book, every age, nationality, relationship you can imagine. And I am a narrator that covers almost if not every genre I can think of. I get to delve into history, science, romance, murder, all of it. But the heart of the matter is always the same– telling a story, finding the emotional center of each character, and what drives them, bringing something to life.
Audiobooks have a very different performance demand, and an entirely different experience. It’s really an intimate relationship between the material, the narrator and the listener. The book is the most important thing, the story, what the author intended. They pour their whole lives into the books they write, and we represent that book. No lights, cameras, makeup, wardrobe. On set, you’re creating something together, you’re dependent on each other. It’s about all of us, everyone who’s involved, from creators and producers, to the crew, and all the actors in every single part. It’s about making this big thing together, that we can all watch. It’s public. Narration is completely intimate.
Photo courtesy TNT
MCtv: The return of the show is still many months away, but have you thought at all about what you’d like to see in season two?
KM: No, actually. I just can’t wait to get back and see what the writers and creators have planned. It’s like Christmas morning– what’ll be in the script when we open it!!??
If I sound completely positive it’s because I am. It’s an amazing show, and a great group of people, and there’s so much respect and care and love that this company puts into it. I hope this show lasts a long time.Thanks so much for watching, and for being so supportive and engaged. One couldn’t ask for more from our audience.
A veteran of Hollywood for 25 years, Kathe Mazur has worked extensively as an actress in film, television, and theaters as well as being an award-winning narrator of audio books. She most recently narrated the books Becoming Clementine by Jennifer Niven, and QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. She is currently recording the narration for the novel Anya by Susan Stromberg Schaeffer, and can be seen in an upcoming episode of The Mentalist. You can follow her @KatheMazur on Twitter.