Do you have a question about Rizzoli & Isles? Each week, show creator Janet Tamaro will answer questions from fans of the show, so Become a fan of Rizzoli & Isles on Facebook and you'll be able to ask your questions and keep up with all things Jane and Maura.
Question from Brittney Embry:
How did you choose the actors and actresses that you did to play the
Have you ever tried to set a friend up? Did it work? That's what it's like trying to
“set up” actors as co-stars for a series. Our challenge was to find someone who could
hold her own against a powerhouse like Angie Harmon, the first actor we cast for this
series. Angie so clearly embodied the Jane Rizzoli I wanted to write: feisty, funny,
tough – and underneath all the armor - vulnerable, down to earth and warm.
We saw MANY wonderful actresses, but nobody really sparked with her until we found
Sasha Alexander. The chemistry between them made that decision a no-brainer. Sasha
also brought a goofy, geeky, loveable quality that I seized on to heighten the Odd
Couple feel of these two women.
We auditioned actors for all of the key roles: Korsak, Frost and Frankie Jr. Bruce
McGill, who had turned down TV to do feature films, found out about the role of Korsak
and expressed interest through his reps. Once we heard that he might do it, the role
was his. I’d seen Lee Thompson Young (Frost) in FLASH FORWARD and loved his energy.
He had some stiff competition but won the role. Frankie Jr. (Jordan Bridges) was
another tough role to cast because we needed a believable brother-sister dynamic
between Frankie Jr. and Jane. We saw many great actors, but Jordan was Frankie Jr.
and there was immediate and believable chemistry between him and Angie.
Lorraine Bracco was the only actress we ever considered to play Angela Rizzoli. She
was a fan of Tess Gerritsen’s books, which is why we were probably lucky enough to get
Question from Loretta Rose:
I just have to tell you, your writing is really wonderful! Love the relationship
developments and the humor!!! How long does creativity like that take per
Uggghh…a long time…We spend many, many hours in the Writers’ Room tossing around ideas
for stories. There are four other writers besides me. Once we land on an area that we
all seem to like, we start to “break” the “beats.” That is to say, we sketch out the
six-act structure. It’s a little like drawing up blueprints for a house you want to
build. You start by not knowing if it’s going to be a log cabin or a stone castle.
Little by little, you make choices and get more and more specific, down to the color
of the tile grout…okay, that’s enough of that analogy.
Once that process is done (a week, sometimes two), the writer of the episode goes off
and writes about a 12-page outline. And from there, after many, many notes from our
studio and network partners, the writer begins a 55-page screenplay.
Writing, as they say, is rewriting. I weigh in all the way through and often do
several writing passes on the script before it goes to the cast.