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.
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.