Regina King, actress, SouthLAnd
If you haven’t heard of SouthLAnd, or the petition to save it (aptly called “Save SoutLAnd”) then it’s pretty obvious you’re either 1) not a fan; 2) don’t go on a computer; or 3) have been living under a rock for the past few years.
SouthLAnd is the little show the could. It started out as a midseason show on NBC, was canceled, picked up by TNT, given a second season a year later only to be cut short just eight episodes later. After its fanbase petitioned to #SAVESOUTHLAND, TNT picked it up for a third season, which will begin on Tuesday, January 4th for 10 episodes.
Regina King, one of the stars returning to the series, was kind enough to discuss what’s coming up for her character, Detective Lydia Adams, what goes on behind the scenes of SouthLAnd and a few teasers of the show. Enjoy!
TheTwoCents: Were you shocked by the fact that TNT picked [the show] up? Did you think after the first season that it was dead and gone or did you think it had that second life, that someone would see it and go, we’ve got to get this back on the air?
Regina King: I felt like it was not the end. I always felt like there’s just no way that all of these people, and I say all of these people I mean the crew as well as the people behind the scenes that make it a possibility to put this much work into something that turns out so great – that has turned out so great, that just be it. I just don’t feel like the universe works that way. I feel like the universe wants good to prevail. You know, I kind of have a fairytale mind like that. So I never thought that.
TTC: Where do we pick up your characters and how do you feel about what time is past since the last season?
RK: When you come to this season it is definitely clear that some time has past but not much. I have a feeling that only a few months have passed, maybe six or seven months since the last time you’ve seen our heroes. And I think we kind of pick up, I think especially for specifically [my] character, because [she’s] so by the book and wants to do [her] job well, you start to see how [she is] a little more flawed than what you might have thought in the prior seasons.
TTC: Can you tell us a little about Lydia’s new partner this seasons and how the dynamics between them are going to work out?
RK: Well, Lydia’s never worked with a woman before. And the character is a woman that’s been on the force longer than Lydia. She’s a bit older than her so there is that dynamic that – it’s not said but the tension is felt where you have one person that is really good at their job and feels like, you know, I’m this good because I’ve reached the level of success that I have because I’ve been this good.
And then you the other one that [thinks] I’ve been here longer – it’s kind of like – a little similar to what goes on with John Cooper and Ben Sherman but the only difference is Lydia’s been around longer than Ben Sherman’s character so she’s a little more vocal about not liking the way her partner does her job. Ben Sherman definitely does not agree with all the stuff that he or John Cooper say but it’s his training officer so you kind of catch his disdain for some of the things that Cooper expresses in his looks where Lydia actually is more vocal.
TTC: You are doing these amazing stunts this season (in the opener at least), which was what you were doing in all of last season, just really getting this kind of physical perspective of doing the job. Was this part of your training, the boot camp that you’re talking about?
RK: No, that part of it – the boot camp, most of the training that we were doing – that was gun handling, handcuffing, and just the overall command presence that law enforcement has. What’s been kind of like the added plus, I think where the studio got more bang for their buck is that they got an entire cast that is pretty frickin’ fit.
We kind of make a joke if there was a competition of us against another show we’d take anybody down. You know, we’ve got a really conscious group of people. We’re always on the set looking at the treats. I’m going to walk away from that cupcake. Somebody pull me away. But I think that’s just an added benefit.
TTC: Does playing a cop make you more vigilant, more cautious, more paranoid even about putting yourself in dangerous situations in daily life?
RK: Gosh, I don’t think paranoid but I definitely would say that I think all of us are a little more aware of our surroundings and aware of things that are going on when you’re not paying attention. What we’ve learned in all of our boot camp and training that we’ve done or just with officers and detectives, how they solve a lot of their cases, how they end up in situations where they’ve caught a criminal before an actual report was made. It’s just because they have this ability that they were trained to acquire to check out body language and tones of your voice. And all those things help an officer determine whether a person is guilty and just kind of speak to those gut feelings that you have as an officer.
And I wouldn’t go as far [to say] that we’ve got this gut feeling that this lady that’s in the car next to me is a criminal but I would say that when I am in public situations I am more aware of – like, you can catch somebody that you can tell is high that you might not have paid attention to before – before we started this whole two-year journey on SouthLAnd.
The third season of SouthLAnd premieres next Tuesday on TNT. But come back here before the premiere to see what Benjamin McKenzie has to say first!
Farrah Kaye – Sr. Editor