Angie Harmon Speaks on Her Major TV Role 6 Years After ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Ended

by Suzanne Halliburton

Angie Harmon played a tough prosecutor on Law & Order. Then she starred in Rizzoli & Isles as a tough homicide detective.

And now, she’s back in a new role as Hazel King. Is it redundant to say she plays another tough character in Buried in Barstow? In fact, as Hazel, Angie Harmon is so tough that she plays a former hitwoman turned diner owner. She’s got a daughter to raise, so it’s a lot easier to try normal, as opposed to hit jobs to pay the bills. But she discovers she’s not meant for normal.

Buried in Barstow premieres tonight on Lifetime. It’s the first movie of a planned franchise featuring Harmon’s Hazel. Harmon, in an interview with TV Insider, talked about why she decided to accept this role six years after Rizzoli and Isles ended its run. It was all about the complexity of the character.

“Her devotion to her child,” Harmon said. “Being a mom myself, when your kids get hurt, it’s difficult not to just go absolutely bonkers. Hazel got to do all the things that I’ve really wanted to do. She’s trying to be on the right path. It’s just every time she turns around, something new is happening.

Angie Harmon celebrated the 100th episode of Rizzoli & Isles in 2016. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

The movie is Harmon’s first big role since Rizzoli and Isles. In the TNT series, she portrayed Jane Rizzoli. And right off the bat, the series hit some scary topics. Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles investigated a copycat serial killer who also was obsessed with necrophilia.

And there’s a whole lot of Rizzoli and Isles in Buried in Barstow. Bruce McGill, who played Jane’s former partner, is Hazel’s former boss in the Lifetime movie. Their relationship is interesting.

“It’s nothing short of admiration on his part,” Harmon told TV Insider. “And hatred on hers.”

Then Elliott, a handsome stranger, starts washing dishes at Hazel’s BBQ place.

Here’s Harmon’s back story on Buried in Barstow. She lived on the streets in Vegas when she was a teenager. Then at age 15, she trained as a hitwoman. But she ended that line of work when she became pregnant with Joy. Now that Joy is in her teens, her old profession may be pulling her back for one more job.

She points out another difference between her role on Rizzoli & Isles and the woman she plays in Buried in Barstow.

“Hazel’s retired, her back is bad, she’s got bum feet,” Harmon says. “I wanted her to look dramatically different than Jane.”

Harmon also talked about her first significant career role. That was playing assistant district attorney Abbie Carmichael on Law & Order. The show got a reboot earlier this year. And Harmon isn’t against bringing Abbie back to TV.

“I would love it,” she said. “I would love to revisit Abbie. She was just so fun and wonderful.”

It’s likely that Hazel could draw from Harmon’s time on Law & Order and Rizzoli & Isles. She knows how to play tough. Stay tuned!