Alana De La Garza Hopes Law & Order: LA Role Will Give 'Mothership' Fans a Little Closure

Much is new with NBC’s Law & Order: LA as it returns from a revamp-induced hiatus this Monday at 9/8c. Skeet Ulrich soon will be out, while Alfred Molina‘s Morales is switching jobs, from Deputy DA to detective. But the freshman procedural is also adding a touch of the “familiar” by having Law & Order alum Alana de la Garza reprise her role of ADA Connie Rubirosa.

Might the return of this friendly (and rather telegenic) face help give fans of the abruptly ended “mothership” a hint of closure that they never got last spring? De la Garza hopes so, as she shared during her TVLine Q&A.

TVLINE | How did your “reunion” with Connie come about? Who called you about joining LOLA?
I was in negotiations for a pilot when the head writer sent me a quick email to say, “Don’t do anything rash, we’re trying to resurrect Connie.” I was like, Hmm, that’s interesting. And the offer came in the next day. When they were originally casting LOLA, we [on the Law & Order cast] couldn’t believe how great everyone was. “Cool, they got Alfred Molina! And Terrence Howard!” Linus [Roache, ADA Michael Cutter] and I were like, “That’s going to be a great show.” So to be asked to join them, I was honored and excited.

TVLINE | Had you assumed you had said goodbye to Connie?
Yeah, when the word got out, “Hey, [Law & Order] has been canceled,” we were like, “Oh man!” There goes Connie.

Dick Wolf on Law & Order: LA‘s ‘Bold’ Revamp and ‘Painful’ Cast Cuts: ‘The Proof Is In the Pudding’

TVLINE | Is Connie brand-new to L.A. or has she been there a bit?
It turns out Connie had gone to school and passed the bar in California, and then went to New York. When her stepfather in L.A. passed away, her mom had a stroke, so she came to be with her mom and help her.

TVLINE | Has she formed any particular take on the L.A. justice system versus New York City’s?
I think she’s still feeling her away around, but the thing about Connie is she’s feisty, so she challenges whomever she is working with. She’s very opinionated, and it’s fun to play that.

TVLINE | What is her dynamic with Terrence Howard’s Dekker and Alfred Molina’s Morales?
She goes head-to-head with Dekker, but in the end she’s his partner — she’ll defend him in public and behind closed doors go, “What are you doing?!” And Alfred, well, he makes a great cop and the dynamic between him and Corey [Stoll as Detective TJ Jaruszalski] is fantastic.

TVLINE | Having barely watched the first Law & Order: LA episodes, I was surprised how affected I was by the way they write out Skeet Ulrich’s character this week. It certainly raises the stakes moving forward.
Yeah, yeah…. The stakes are higher and the amount of blood spilled is higher. It gives Corey a little more to play with, somewhere to go.

TVLINE | What is the status of Connie’s love life?
I think she’s single right now. I’m voting that she’s on the prowl!

TVLINE | Which of your Law & Order cast mates would you like to see pop up on LOLA at some point?
Oh, gosh… I love them all. I’d love to have Sam [Waterston, Jack McCoy] come in. And Linus — he’s my buddy, he’d be amazing as well. He and I always had this joke that the finale of Law & Order would be him brushing his teeth and me popping out of the shower: “Honey, can you pass the shampoo?” [Laughs]

TVLINE | Hey, even a “dream” finale would have been better than the non-finale fans got.
Yeah, it was unfortunate – and it wasn’t only the fans, but all of us as well. The cast, crew, everybody. We were all taken aback by it. “Man, this is my family, and I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye!” So maybe this will give them a sense that Law & Order is still going on, it’s just not on the air.

Law & Order: LA returns with two episodes airing this Monday starting at 9/8c, then settles into its Mondays-at-10 time slot on April 18.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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15 Comments
  1. Eric says:

    “…it wasn’t only the fans, but all of us as well. The cast, crew, everybody. We were all taken aback by it. ‘Man, this is my family, and I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye!'”

    – Why CAN’T there be a finale for the original Law & Order??? Someone get on this! A TV movie, something on LOLA, c’mon!

    • Nicotine says:

      1000 gold coins to you, sir!

    • Ace says:

      Agreed. The show was on the air for 20+ years. Can’t we at least give it a respectful send-off (and YES PLEASE a Mike/Connie scene)?

    • Selbs says:

      I’m a little late and I hope this gets published, but they don’t call it “stunt” casting for nothing. And, using Khloe Odom in last night’s episode was a stunt in the true sense of that word. Shame on Dick Wolfe, etal, for bringing a great franchise down in such a sad way with this foolish person being dignified by being cast in what was a great show. Sam Waterston must be horrified!

  2. luke says:

    nice interview Matt! I’ve seen every single episode of the original series and I loved the original series and was a big fan of Connie and had they made Rubirosa the D.A. this would work for me. This is a silly trick to bring some of the original series die hard fans like myself back and it’s not going to work.

    THEY never should’ve cancelled the original series!!!!

  3. Stehpo says:

    One thing i like is that Linus Roache was recently cast in the new HBO pilot “The Miraculous Year”. Somehow, he was one of the big reason i turned into Law And Order the weeks they aired for the last seasons. And before that, Jesse L. Martin and Jeremy Sisto. But i also got around to see some of the older episodes when they where airing in Norway(somewhat always around midnight here).

    I like LOLA, and that`s because of Alfred Molina and Terrence Howard. What i like about LOLA is how both get more screentime when the season continues this week. Never liked Skeet Ulrich, not even when it comes to Jericho. He has like a likeable face, but actor-wise i dont like him.

    But my biggest love will always go to the mothership, and maybe a bit to Criminal Intent.

    Dont like SVU so much, dont find the characters that great, besides John Munch who almost dosent get screentime on that show. Please send this guy to Los Angeles to. They could easliy give him a main defective-job like have Molina and the other guy one week, and Munch and some other guy the next week.

  4. jen says:

    I’ll admit to being a L&O junkie. I go with the flow having experienced all the cast changes over the years. And, there are enough reruns in syndication to get my fix. Alana was one of my faves so I’m glad she will be back. I enjoyed Skeet Ulrich, though, so I will be missing his character. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night!

  5. Bart says:

    I have no complaints about LOLA, and I’m sure I won’t tomorrow night. It’s better than most of the crap that comes on NBC… The Event; what event, it being on the bubble? A lot of people are trying to pop Criminal Intent star Vincent D’Onofrio to go into executive producing of his own Law & Order series (I heard Law & Order: Miami, or L&O: Criminal Intent: Miami, whatever) to tell his stories.

    That is what the L&O brand needs. Gruesome written stories, good acting, and those personal-life elements that this brand tells so well. These L&O shows are about the writing/story telling and the characters! Which I’d be thrilled if Sam Waterston came to Los Angeles. I heard that Alfred Molina is trying to do a deal to get a guest spot in one of the final episodes of Law & Order: CI… so Dick Wolf is TRYING to hit all ends of the fans best he can. I’m not angry that the original Law & Order is gone. I have 456 episodes and over 20 years of history I can look back at.

    It really is time to move on, in all honesty. People are getting worked up because they attached ‘LA’ to the word ‘Law & Order’. You forget – it’s still Law & Order. Watch SVU, LOLA, LOCI. Don’t watch SVU, LOLA, LOCI – Does it matter?

  6. Liliana Rose says:

    I love her joke about her and Linus’s character, always thought at the end they’d end up together. I hope they both end up in LA, and I do miss Sam Waterson. What an all-star ‘Law’ cast.

    • bklyngirl says:

      I didn’t care for his character. He’s not going to be a main character on LA. Wishful thinking.
      Connie has a sexier presence with Corey Stoll and Terrence Howard that generates on screen.

  7. Rick B. says:

    I do agree w/ Bart and Jen. There are enough episodes of the original series to pacify any fan. I like LOLA because it’s telling a totally different story than what was told on the mothership. I think Alfred Molina will do Skeet justice in the police detective role. And Terrence Howard wasn’t bad on that SVU episode, so if he’s doing the same w/ LOLA I’m fine with him. I’m glad Alana’s back in the game and Corey intends to say on w/ Molina as partner. – Los Angeles can be a dangerous place (not SouthLAnd dangerous though).

    As for ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Miami’ (‘Law & Order: Miami’) – long title. That’d only work if it were stricly USA Network’s brand w/ Vincent D’Onofrio (and likely Chris Brancato) running it. (I myself spoke to a rep of ‘Burn Notice’ and they told me that creator Matt Nix is looking to do other projects; IDK if he meant ‘Law & Order [: Miami]‘ or something Nix has plans to do. This makes me feel like Dick Wolf is trying to resurrect ‘Miami Vice’. If it follows ‘Criminal Intent’ writing style then fine but if it’s another “police solve crime, district attorneys prosecute offenders” thing it’ll get old fast!

    I’m ready for L&O: LA myself!

  8. Taylor says:

    I’m glad to hear about Alana! She was always one of my favourites on the mothership. And I love the joke with Mike and Connie! I always thought they would end up together myself.

  9. robinepowell says:

    She’s single, but what about the fact that if L&O had been around this season, Connie would have had a baby? That storyline seems to be forgotten.

  10. Jackie says:

    I agree with those who wanted Mike and Connie together. I had been watching L&O for a long time and was really disappointed, to say the least, when it was canned. The current cast was probably my all-time favorite. They all worked really well together, cops and lawyers.
    @Robinepowell, even though Alana had a baby in real life, I don’t think Connie was ever pregnant, but I could have missed something. L&O doesn’t always give the whole story right away.
    While there is an excellent case for “letting it go”, I think a reunion movie would still be excellent! I would settle for that. :)

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