Giacomo talks about her character, working with Holly Hunter, and the themes of this new show

Laura San Giacomo plays a criminalist in the new police drama Saving Grace. This series is different from other police shows in that the main character, Grace (Holly Hunter), is being guided by an angel, Earl, who is a tough guy himself. Grace's friend and co-worker Rhetta is on her side. She provides a balance in Grace's life as well as a sounding board.

Below Laura San Giacomo talks with TNT about her new role.

What is Saving Grace about?

Laura San Giacomo: The series Saving Grace is about religion, spirituality and redemption within the medium of the world of law enforcement. It's an interesting mix. There's always the question of what is good and evil and the gray area in between where that most people live. In everyday life, things aren't black or white, but rather there's a lot of coping and really tough decision making. So there is something really true and honest about what we are doing and that talks to real life.

Who is your character, Rhetta?

Laura San Giacomo: I think that my character is a woman who in some aspects of her life is completely sure of herself, especially in her work, because it is a process of elimination of doubt. Her ultimate goal is to be sure and to present what is the truth. In her personal life and in her religious beliefs, she is someone who is looking for the same thing. She has great faith and great conviction in her beliefs but also a really wide understanding of people. She gives people room to be who they are but is less forgiving of herself.

What is Rhetta's relationship with Grace?

Laura San Giacomo: Rhetta has been Grace's best friend since they were really little. There is something about them that dove tails each other. They just kind of fit. I think they have great love and friendship, and through each other they can live parts of their lives that they can't live by themselves: dreams, ideals, fantasies and maybe some nightmares.

Where is the drama in Saving Grace?

Laura San Giacomo: The drama of Saving Grace is going to come from the interpersonal relationship. There are going to be questions of faith and religion and the question of living a good life. Coincidence and miracles will come into play, as well as questioning, "What if I made a different choice?" All of those themes will come up, and all human beings face those questions in their everyday lives.

How does second-chance angel Earl fit into the series?

Laura San Giacomo: Second chances, miracles, angels, faith and religion all promise us a way of doing things better to smooth over the regrets and hope we make better decisions in the future. We all want to become better than who we are now, and we're all continuing to know ourselves better. I think that people will love the angel Earl and want to see more of him. I think audiences will be really intrigued by him and wish that they had an Earl.

Saving Grace premiers on TNT July 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

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