Every now and then you meet a character long before the actor who gets hired to portray said character does. It usually only happens in the most intricate and soon-to-be infamous of cases, when reputation precedes physicality, but when it does occur, you know history is being made. So when Rizzoli & Isles first started alluding to another Rizzoli clan member early in the first season of the show– one that was in prison, no less– we sat up and took notice, patiently waiting for the little drips and droves of information that would be given through expositional dialogue. Until the second season when troublemaker Tommy got out of prison, and Colin Egglesfield made his seemingly nonchalant, but subtly layered with secrets, entrance onto the show.
In that rare case, the audience knew more about Tommy simply from what other characters had previously, and biasedly, we must point out, shared about him than Egglesfield himself knew stepping into the casting session with just the character sides and specific audition scene in front of him.
“All I knew was that Tommy Rizzoli was kind of a hot head. He was this guy who was just getting out of prison; he was kind of unpredictable; you never quite knew what he was going to do [because] he was involved with some shady stuff. But at the heart of it, he was a good guy; he was a loveable guy. He was just lacking a little bit of direction,” Egglesfield told LA TV Insider Examiner.
“I read the break down, and I went in to audition for him, and you know, it was really exciting because this was a character I hadn’t really played before. He was kind of spontaneous, and you never quite knew what he was thinking or if he was going to get into some trouble. You never quite knew what was going to happen with Tommy, and that’s been what’s great about playing him.”
When we first finally got to see Tommy emerge from prison, he did so in a low-key way, simply turning a key in the door to Maura (Sasha Alexander)’s house where he and his mother (Lorraine Bracco) were staying. But his presence was weighted, especially with older sister Jane (Angie Harmon) because of the things he had done in his past, as well as the things he “just can’t help himself” from doing in the near future.
“You definitely see him dive back into his old ways a little bit,” Egglesfield revealed, noting that Tommy does mean well but is often misguided. “Someone doesn’t change overnight completely just because they’ve gone to prison. Tommy’s someone who I think enjoys pushing the envelope and seeing what he can get away with. You know, his brother and sister are both cops, so I kind of feel like he’s the kind of person who likes to have his own identity by doing things that aren’t always by the book. He kind of gets a rise out of seeing his brother and sister and his mom get a little worked up over some things. I don’t think he necessarily thinks what he does is that big a deal.”
So naturally when he starts flirting with Maura, he doesn’t see a problem there, either. It’s his personal life, right? So it shouldn’t matter who he wants to sleep with. But she may see it another way.
“He wants something to happen, but Maura is a little more hesitant just because she is friends with Jane, and she kind of feels like that would be a little more awkward,” Egglesfield previewed.
“But you never know when love’s going to bite, and you can’t always choose who you’re going to fall in love with! Sometimes you fall in love with quote-unquote the wrong person…and that’s sort of what happens with Tommy and Maura.”
Egglesfield will appear in two more episodes of the second season of Rizzoli & Isles, though not only would he be open for more, he said his storyline does leave it open for more. We can safely assume they won’t have him riding out of New England on a Harley, then; thank TNT for that!
“I think potentially down the road, that would be just an incredible storyline where they need Tommy,” Egglesfield said after we asked if there was a chance that Tommy might use his “inside knowledge” of criminal minds to actually help his brother and sister solve a case.
“Or he decides to go into the force and become kind of an undercover cop and explore the seedy underworld of Boston. It’s a great idea! It hasn’t come to that point yet, but I could definitely see something like that happening with Tommy’s character.”
Clearly Egglesfield would love to stick around a little while longer, and we’re co-signing that. There’s just something fresh and exciting about the bad boy perspective he brings to an otherwise goody-two-shoes group of individuals. So Janet Tamaro, you are free to use that story idea as long as it keeps Tommy (and Egglesfield himself) on our TVs a little while longer.
Rizzoli & Isles airs on Monday nights at 10pm on TNT.
By Michelle • August 24, 2011 • Interviews, Rizzoli & Isles • Comments: 0
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