Kyra Sedgwick was inspired by ‘Prime Suspect’ to play Brenda on 'The Closer'

By: Start TV Staff     Posted: May 13, 2021, 4:00PM

It’s hard to imagine anyone else as Brenda Leigh Johnson on The Closer. Having received multiple Emmies and Golden Globes and a Hollywood walk of fame star for her work on the show, Kyra Sedgwick helped make The Closer the stand-out crime drama that it is.

While she helped push the show to new heights every season, Sedgwick was initially hesitant on considering the role when it was first offered. While living and having done most of her work in New York and the east coast, Sedgwick refused to even consider a show on the west coast.

“Don’t send it. I’m not going to do it because it’s in L.A.,” said Sedgwick to her manager.

Prior to working on the series in 2005, most of Sedgwick’s work had been movies or brief TV roles. At the time she didn’t even want to consider committing to an hour-long TV series, especially one that was on the other side of the country from her family.

It wasn’t until her agent mentioned that it was like another popular crime drama, Prime Suspect, starring Helen Mirren. That got Sedgwick’s attention to look at the script because she was both a fan and a friend of Helen Mirren after working with her on the 1996 TV movie, Losing Chase.

“I read the script and thought it was great. I saw so many possibilities for this Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, so much potential,” said Sedgwick about reading the pilot script for the series.

Sedgwick’s husband, Kevin Bacon, gave her more encouragement to take the role. Bacon agreed to take on less work while she was on the show so he could be at home more and ease her worries about being away from the family. Sedgwick then agreed to fly over to L.A. and meet the showrunners of the series.

“I sat down with James Duff, director Michael Robin, producer Greer Shephard, and casting director Bruce Newberg, and they were among the nicest and smartest people I’d ever met. They had a vision that was important, meaningful, and big. And I felt safe with them.”

Sedgwick would quickly grow to love working cross country. She was even able to keep her family close by having her husband direct a few episodes and even had her daughter make her first-ever TV appearance on The Closer.

Watch The Closer on Start TV