Making Her Case- Nadine Velazquez Talks Emma Rios and Major Crimes

By M. Sharpe

Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/TNT

Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/TNT

As a new cast member in season two of Major Crimes, Nadine Velazquez says she was nervous about stepping into the role of Emma Rios. “I was surprised at the reaction,” Velazquez told, of the initial backlash to the no-nonsense deputy district attorney. Now as the show approaches its summer finale, Velazquez says she is feeling a change in the character herself, and in the reaction from fans, but cautions, “I don’t want to soften Emma too much.”

Following the evolution of a character from outsider to beloved core member of the ensemble cast is a journey that viewers of Major Crimes are already familiar with, having observed Sharon Raydor, and to a lesser extent, Rusty Beck, already complete the transition.  Though much of the initial reaction to Rios (and Sharon before her) had to do with issues of gender and perceived antagonism towards the lead characters, Velazquez is eager to explore Emma’s hidden vulnerabilities, and how those traits may help the character learn to better interact with the rest of the squad. Continue reading

Major Crimes Season 2: What to Expect

2.02- provenza sykes lrTVFanatic talked to much of the cast of Major Crimes and found out what we can expect from their characters and storylines in season 2.

Tony Denison: Has Detective Andy Flynn changed much between The Closer and Major Crimes? “Flynn has more to do in terms of police procedural stuff that wasn’t there in The Closer,” Denison said of his well-dressed character. “You find out why he’s an alcoholic and he’s probably a tough guy to live with, which is great to play.”

Kearran Giovanni: We know Detective Amy Sykes had experience in the military, but will we find out more this season? “You’ll get to see a little bit more of her personality,” the actress told me. And while she’s waiting for more backstory on her character, “I make up my own little things about Amy.”

Graham Parker Martin: While Rusty brings out the maternal side of Raydor, who has taken the troubled teen in and given him a home, he’ll need as much support as possible since he’s involved in a case that brings up questions about his sexuality. Martin said he doesn’t know exactly where the story is going, but told me that it “adds to the complexity of his life and what he has to go through now because he’s trying to be normal and at the same time he was forced to go into this brutal lifestyle.”

And while Rusty may butt heads with DDD Rios, we’ll see bonds form with many of the other members of the Major Crimes division including Raydor’s ex. “He’s a guy who comes in and immediately starts bonding with me,” Martin said, “and it’s kind of an interesting situation for Sharon because she knows that he’s not supposed to be around for long yet he’s giving [Rusty] this kind of hope that ‘Oh, cool male influence.’”

Philip Keene: With Rusty going through a lot, Francis “Buzz” Watson becomes an important figure for him. “He does share a lot of things with me,” Keene said, who added what the teen character brings to the show. “It gives us more to play on than just the cases. It’s a more personal and familial atmosphere,” the actor said.

 Read more from the rest of the cast here


Nadine Velazquez Talks About Rios’ Introduction to Major Crimes

2.02-raydor rios sanchez2 lrIn a new interview with TV Guide, new cast member Nadine Velazquez discusses her characters icy welcome to the squad, and how D.D.A. Rios’ “ambition” and drive to win the Phillip Stroh case will cause tensions to rise.

“They’re not gentle and they’re not holding my hand in any way,” Velazquez tells of her character’s interaction with her new colleagues. “I’m a fish out of water, and they’re showing me what the environment is like. So I just get thrown into these situations, and I learn quickly — maybe the hard way.”

But there’s a reason Emma doesn’t exactly get off on the right foot with the unit: She has been assigned the Philip Stroh case and is dismayed to learn her chief witness, Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin), is living under Capt. Raydor’s roof. Emma believes she has a better chance of winning the case if Rusty is removed from Raydor’s home, but you can guess where Raydor comes down on that argument. “The Stroh case is the big one, and she wants to win,” Velazquez says. “Both [women] are ambitious, and that’s where it conflicts. Emma knows the law, but Sharon is the Captain [with the] authority. Captain Raydor is so collected and calm, but yet she’s firm. She never lets it throw her off, which is something Emma hopes it would do. But it doesn’t work with her.”

Read the entire interview here.


Major Crimes Season 2: What You Need To Know

2.02- raydor 1 lrThis article first appeared in the Comcast-Xfinity TV Blog, reposted here for international accessibility.

“The cast of “The Closer” easily made the transition to its spin-off “Major Crimes” last season — with the exception of Kyra Sedgwick, who retired Brenda Johnson. Instead, Mary McDonnell’s character — Captain Sharon Raydor — took over as the new head of the Major Case Squad, and therein lies the conflict.

Where Brenda was all about getting a confession, Sharon is all about making deals with criminals in order to save the taxpayers the cost of a trial. So the focus, which continues in Season 2, is more on how the American justice system approaches the art of the deal as law enforcement officers and prosecutors work together to score a conviction.

That said, the team is still about getting the bad guys and “Major Crimes” will continue to feature some major cases, including the murder of a big-time film producer’s wife, an apparent murder-suicide and a LAPD ride-along that leads to a startling discovery.

XfinityTV exclusively spoke with McDonnell, GW Bailey, who plays Lieutenant Provenza, and Tony Denison, who plays Lieutenant Andy Flynn to get the inside scoop on the new season:

Sharon is getting a husband this season, played by Tom Berenger: Last season, we learned that Sharon does have children, none of who live with her, so she seems to be estranged from her family. This season we will meet her husband … yes, her husband, not her ex!

“It is a very interesting complicated relationship,” McDonnell says. “It is a lot of fun to act, and there is really something off-center about them that I love. They are not divorced. They haven’t lived together in decades, so it is really fascinating about the complexity. And [Tom] is a fantastic actor. Without saying anything else, you will be pleased.”

Nadine Velazquez plays the new Deputy DA: Deputy District Attorney Emma Rios (Velazquez) arrives to challenge Raydor’s intentions and shake up the department, especially getting on Raydor’s case about her overseeing custody of Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin), who may be a homeless teen, but is still a material witness in a case, so it could appear as if she was witness tampering.

“She is a pain-in-the-neck district attorney,” Denison says. “That is what they do. They come and tell us why we may not have done the investigation properly and what they think we need to do more of, and she comes and she is really ‘frictionist’ in a cute and clever way. ”

” I think she is interesting, too, because she brings her generation into the room,” McDonnell adds. “And there is sort of an entitlement about her generation. They are very smart. They are very aggressive and very entitled as young women, but they are very clueless about some things and that is fun.”

As hard as it is to believe, Provenza is grumpier than usual this season: In the beginning of Season 2, Provenza wins a $4,000 kitty, which has been gathered from the other cops who were in his class at the Police Academy, and Provenza wins it because he is the last officer from his class still on active duty. This doesn’t help improve his mood. “Of course, grumpy people don’t find themselves grumpy at all,” Bailey says. “I don’t find him to be grumpy, but he is aggravated a lot, and he is not afraid to let that aggravation show, so it comes out as grumpy. You know, me personally, when I arrive in the morning … they started this years ago … for a 6 o’clock call, they have the ADs [assistant directors] on the walkie talkies say, ‘Is he grumpy or grumpier?’

“I am not a morning person, so what I do is play Provenza like it is morning all day long. This year it is interesting because he is really beginning to finally admit how old he is and because all the evidence is around him, he is the last one standing. They are all gone. [He is facing] those very basic, philosophical questions that have been going on since man could write and that is: What is this all about? What in the world are we doing here? Why do these bodies keep showing up? Why do people keep doing this to each other? He asks those questions almost every episode.”

One of the unique aspects of “Major Crimes” was the addition of Rusty to the cast. He continues his role this season, more like a family member than the material witness he is. When Deputy District Attorney Emma Rios discovers that her material witness is living with Sharon, she is not a happy camper. She insists on deposing Rusty, but he is reluctant to talk to her with Sharon present because he doesn’t want Sharon to hear all sordid details of his life on the streets.

“I think it is beautiful because, for her, it allows us to understand her in a different way,” McDonnell says of the humanity that Rusty adds to the story. “But in terms of how it affects us as cops, I think it allow us to start to interrelate in a way that we wouldn’t normally even though we work together every day. I think that [Rusty] has created a potential relationship here, where we may have had a little more trouble relating or understanding our feelings of it emotionally.”

And Bailey, whose character Provenza has a special, almost grandfatherly relationship with Rusty, says, “He has worked as a character because he is such a charming actor. He has worked as a great catalyst to bring us together. We may have differences about a lot of things but this kid’s well-being is glue to us.”

Also returning for Season 2 are Michael Paul Chan as Lieutenant Mike Tao, Raymond Cruz as Detective Julio Sanchez, Kearran Giovanni as Detective Amy Sykes, Phillip P. Keene as tech expert Buzz Watson, Robert Gossett as Assistant Chief Russell Taylor and Jonathan Del Arco as the medical examiner Dr. Morales.

“Major Crimes” kicks off its second season Monday, June 10 at 9/8c on TNT.

Excitement Builds for Season Two with Set Photos and the Return of Fan Favorites!

The excitement for the upcoming season of Major Crimes has continued this week as filming began on episode two! In addition to new cast member Nadine Velazquez tweeting a variety of wonderful behind-the-scenes photos, we also got word that two favorite recurring guests will also be back this year. Kathe Mazur (DDA Andrea Hobbs) tweeted yesterday, “Cannot wait to go shoot episode three of Major Crimes. So looking forward to my peeps and my perps.” Ransford Doherty (Coroner Kendall) also confirmed his return to the show, posting “I’m baaaaaaack for Season 2 of Major Crimes! Looking forward to a great day on set today!” and this fantastic photo:


Photo credit: Ransford Doherty, used with permission.

And some wonderful behind-the-scenes photos tweeted by Nadine Vazquez! nadinesetphoto

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First Look at New Cast Member Nadine Velazquez as DDA Rios

Thanks to twitter, we have our first glimpse of new Major Crimes castmember Nadine Velazquez as DDA Emma Rios!


From @NadineVelazquez on twitter: “Hi, meet DDA Rios and as usual, I share a similar quality with my new character: leaving a trail behind wherever I go (headsets on the floor).

Please join us in welcoming Nadine Velaquez to the cast of Major Crimes!