NBC/Universal

There's nothing like a mother's love — fictional or not.

Lorraine Bracco's dedication to the role of Angela Rizzoli on 105 episodes of Rizzoli & Isles was unparalleled. She brought to life the vocal, tough-love mom who wasn't afraid of letting her kids live their own lives, but always had something to say about their choices. Many talented actresses auditioned for the role, but it was Bracco's unique portrayal that made her the perfect fit for the character.

Playing the mom of a feisty daughter, Jane Rizzoli, was a test that the actress aced. Bracco thought she could play a "good mama," and she was right.

"I've always looked for material that I think I could do well," the actress said during an interview with Assignment X in 2011. "I think that's my criteria for finding work. And I knew about Tess Gerritsen's books; I'd read them [and been] a fan for a long time, so when it came up, I said, 'Ah, somebody finally got it together.' And I knew Angie was cast; [I] thought [she] was a great Jane Rizzoli, and I thought I could be a good mama [laughs]."

As Rizzoli & Isles gained popularity, the cast's camaraderie grew, mirroring the on-screen relationships. Bracco believed that this bond was a significant factor in the series' success.

"We're starting to really know each other more this season. First we did the pilot, then we all kind of scattered, then we were picked up. It was different last season. I think we all just did our work and were trying to find our characters. Now I think we know our characters, and we're really getting to know each other a lot better. I think there's a big part of that."

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