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Interview with Maria Bello & Executive Producer Alex Cunningham from Prime Suspect

Creator/Executive Producer Alex Cunningham and star Maria Bello from NBC’s new fall drama, Prime Suspect, recently spoke to the press about the upcoming new series. If you haven’t seen it, here’s what NBC has to say about it:

Based on the critically-acclaimed British television series of the same name, Prime Suspect has been redeveloped for American audiences by Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives) and Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights. The crime drama takes a look inside a New York City homicide department. The series stars Maria Bello (A History of Violence) as tough-as-nails NYPD homicide Detective Jane Timoney, an outsider who has just transferred to a new squad where her new colleagues already dislike her. Jane is confident and focused – and also rude, abrupt and occasionally reckless. She has her vices, and rumors of a questionable past follow her everywhere – but at the end of the day she’s a instinctively brilliant cop who can’t be distracted from the only important thing: the prime suspect.

Also starring are Aidan Quinn (Unknown) as Lt. Kevin Sweeney, Brían F. O’Byrne (Flash Forward) as Det. Reg Duffy, Tim Griffin (Star Trek) as Det. Augie Blando, Kirk Acevedo (Fringe) as Det. Luisito Calderon, Damon Gupton (The Last Airbender) as Det. Evrard Velerio, and Peter Gerety (Blue Bloods) as Jane’s father, Desmond Timoney.

Check out the great questions & answers below.

On how Jane connects with witnesses and suspects

Alex Cunningham: Well, I think the key thing about Jane is she’s a story teller and an actor and she is going to put herself into any situation and decide in the moment what is the way to get to this person in a way that she can’t do in her personal life.

And I think we’re going to see Maria do a lot of different empathetic or, you know, just whatever the situation requires.

Maria Bello: I was going to say a similar thing which is she is – I think Jane is strategic without being manipulative.

Alex: Exactly.

Maria: She – every [suspect], different ones that she talks to, she is being strategic psychologically and trying to find the in that would work with them to get information from them.

Alex: Our cop consultant who was a homicide detective likes to say – and he was the most – he had the highest homicide closure rate in the history of the NYPD when he was there, and he was really great at getting people to confess.

And he says everybody wants to tell you. You just have to figure out a way to create a situation in which they can, which we’ve kind of taken that into the show and tried to use it in a lot of different situations.
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