|Looking to shake up her career, stirred by the possibilities, an old Bond girl is the new Law and Order lady lawyer. |
Carey Lowell, who starred opposite that lesser Bond Timothy Dalton in 1989's Licence to Kill, is the latest actor to step through the revolving door that regularly spits out cast members of the long-running police/legal drama.
Lowell will play the new assistant district attorney, Jamie Ross, replacing Canadian actress Jill Hennessy who, at her own request, left the show. Hennessy's character, assistant DA Claire Kincaid, appeared to perish in a car crash at the end of last season.
Of late romantically linked with actor Richard Gere, Lowell will play a successful, but disillusioned, criminal defence lawyer who crosses over to the other side. Jamie Ross will be introduced in the courtroom after, in keeping with the show's style, a minimum of information about her personal life.
"She's very smart and also very moral,'' Lowell said of the character in a recent chat. "I become a prosecutor because I'm sick of all the scumbags I represented as a defence lawyer.''
Lowell's character, like the actress, is a single mom and lives in New York. She does not expect that Ross will become romantically involved with Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston).
"I don't think it will happen in the first year," said Lowell, citing McCoy's implied relationship with Kincaid. "It would be insensitive to put me in the sack with him.''
Lowell's slightly checkered career includes the Geena Davis role in the sitcom version of A League of Their Own and the part of the bank teller who is harassed by Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas. She said the writing in Law and Order is far superior to the feature film scripts that pass her desk.
"Because I did the Bond film, I get offered a lot of tough-chick-with-big-gun roles,'' she said. Courtroom scenes will be acting heaven for Lowell, who signed a three-year contract.
Hennessy was the seventh major character to leave Law and Order in six seasons. Despite the exodus, which also included Michael Moriarty and Paul Sorvino, the continued success of the show (it is again nominated for best drama series at the upcoming Emmy Awards) appears to confirm executive producer Dick Wolf's belief that viewers tune in for its format and treatment of crime/justice issues, and not for its stars.
(Wolf makes a practice to not negotiate with unhappy actors who are under contract. He launched a lawsuit against the stars of New York Undercover, another Wolf show, and was holding auditions to replace Malik Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo when they held out for more money. They have returned to work - for the same salaries.) Law and Order returns for its seventh season Sept. 18 on CFRN.