Women's Impact Report: Defying Convention

To sit down with Kyra Sedgwick is to face an impressive arsenal of not-so-secret weaponry: her physical beauty, quick intelligence and genuine warmth — attributes topped off with a wicked sense of humor.

The Golden Globe-winning star and co-executive producer of TNT’s “The Closer” has every reason to be smiling these days. Her formidable acting skills have earned her an Emmy nomination for the third year running and helped propel the cable network’s first original series, now in its fourth season, to the No. 1 spot. And at a time when TV audiences are rapidly shrinking, “We’re actually getting more viewers every year — a lot more,” she notes proudly.

Indeed, her role as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson has not only resonated with audiences but also helped pave the way for other strong female leads (think Glenn Close in “Damages” and Holly Hunter in “Saving Grace”).

So what can fans expect in the year ahead? “Brenda’s got to deal with this reporter who keeps getting in the way, and she’s still neurotic and controlling — just like me, although I hide it far better,” she laughs. “And she’s still trying to balance her professional and personal life” — something the 42-year-old New York-based star and mother of two relates to. “Doing a series means regular work — every actor’s dream, but coming out here for six months every year, and the separation, gets harder every year. I don’t get lonely, because I’m so busy with work, but I do ache for my family. That’s definitely the hardest part of the job.”

The much-in-demand star is also juggling a busy movie schedule that includes the upcoming futuristic thriller “Game” opposite Gerard Butler. “And I’m hoping to get this book I optioned, ‘Story of a Girl,’ made. I have a director and writer attached, and I’m producing, which I also love doing.”

Role model: “My mother. … She’s changed careers four times, so she’s given me hope that if I ever want to throw away this whole crazy acting thing, I can always do something else.”

Three things in life I can’t do without: “Sex, sex, sex! Chocolate. And good human contact and meaningful conversation.”

If not Hillary, then who?: “Obama. He’s so inspirational and I feel he’ll protect us. Or Oprah. She’s not running, but I’d like her to.”

The most important issue facing Americans in this election year: “Global warming and the diminishing resources on our planet, and our addiction to oil. We have to deal with these issues.”

Career mantra: “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more