Regina King

Find out what fate has in store for Detective Lydia Adams when the popular police drama debuts its second season on TNT

Spurned by NBC but quickly picked up by TNT, Southland finally returns on March 2nd with a whole new run of never-before-seen episodes. The intense second season kicks off with S02E01: "Phase Three", a brutal look at life in the Los Angeles Police Department. The show follows Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King) as she adjusts to her partner Russell's (Tom Everett Scott) new replacement, Rene Cordero (Amaury Nolasco). Together, they must investigate the possible abduction of an elderly man by a known drug addict. Meanwhile, Detectives Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro) and Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) are investigating a freeway shooting and wind up threatening the integrity of a major undercover operation. On the other side of town, Officer Chickie Brown (Arija Bareikis) finds herself pulling Officer John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) and his partner Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie) into the middle of a mini-riot after her new partner shoots at a 13-year-old boy trying to steal a car. Its explosive must-watch TV that you simply can't miss!

In honor of TNT launching Southland's second season, we caught up with actress Regina King to chat with her about the show and her character Detective Lydia Adams. Here's what she had to say about living in the Southland:

Where do we see your character at the start of this second season? Do things pick up where they left off after last year's season finale shoot-out?

Regina King: Yes, things do pick up where they left off. I'm dealing with Russell and what his fate is going to be. Where his health status is. I've also been forced into a situation where I have to have a new partner. I was told originally that I would be able to work alone until Russell came back. You will see more of my personal background, but the show will also be delving more into some of the other characters that we don't know too much about yet. What there background is. You will see more about the other characters in upcoming shows. The great thing is that the creators and writers have been very smart in not trying to tell eight different stories in forty-two minutes. They are doing a great job of spreading that all out. If we are lucky enough to come back for a third season, you will get to see how all eight of these characters unfold, and what exactly is going on in their lives behind the badge.

What do you think makes Southland stand out from the other cop dramas that are on network television nowadays?

Regina King: There are a number of things. Number one is the style of our show. Especially the way we use the camera. NYPD Blue was the first show that introduced the shaky camera, which gave you a sense of reality. But on our show, we push past that. We like to do things that are out of focus. We shoot a lot of things that are taking place in the shadows. You get the sense that you are watching a reality show. I think that makes it stand apart. The way we use Los Angeles turns the city into a character itself. We use it to show different parts of our city. From the glamorous parts to the not so glamorous. I think that is also different. I don't think we've seen a show that takes place in LA that looks at more than just the corrupt side of things. The life behind the badge, as well as what goes on when you are wearing the badge. We look at the police as regular people. In real life, we sort of look at them as cyborgs. We don't look at them as people with feelings. They seem humanless. Like they are creatures. We create characters and storylines that offer a new found respect for law enforcement.

How do you feel Tweeter and other social networking sites have played a part in keeping this show on the air?

Regina King: I think they played a huge part. I am not on Twitter. But it's a different type of information highway. If you want to find out the latest on whatever it is you are interested in, if you are on Twitter, you have access to pretty much everything that is going on in the world. With our Twitter, people have been able to keep abreast of everything that happened with the show. They've seen it all blow by blow. I think it made some people who weren't yet interested in the show more interested in it because of what the fans were saying. Suddenly, everyone wanted to see us win. It has been pretty awesome to watch the whole Twitter thing take us on this journey we probably wouldn't have been allowed to go on had Twitter not existed.

There is such great chemistry between all of the cast members. How do you continue to maintain that?

Regina King: We truly look at what we do as an art form. First and foremost. I don't think any of the actors are involved in this because they thought it would turn them into the next big star or celebrity. I think everybody on our show, who is in front of the camera, signed on to do this particular show because they truly believed it was great work. And they wanted to be a part of it. When you have that common regard to the material, you can't help but have a situation where the people can't wait to work together.

When we see Lydia and Russell interacting in these first two upcoming episodes, Russell almost seems aloof to his partner's concern for his well being. He's a little rude. Can you talk about what is going on with their relationship and how it might resolve or play itself out in the next couple of weeks?

Regina King: You are going to have to watch to see how it plays itself out. The one thing I can say is that Russell is battling the unknown and what his future holds. Most officers never even have to fire their weapon within their entire time of being on the force. Let alone experience being shot. When you are an officer, and you are going through that experience, it is very emotional. You don't want to show emotion, even though something is eating you up inside. Like, when people are very shy they come off arrogant. The same thing happens with an officer. When they are scared, they don't want to show that fear. Sometimes that can come off as aloof or arrogant.

When are Lydia and Officer Ben Sherman going to hook-up on the show?

Regina King: (Laughs) That would be the most surprising storyline ever. I can't imagine that happening. But we've all seen stranger things.

They both seem to be at odds with their love lives right now. And I just talked to Ben McKenzie. He said he'd be down with it.

Regina King: Ben is hot. And I'm hot. He better be down with it.

Can you tell us where her relationships outside of the police force are going to be headed? Will we be seeing more of Lydia's personal affairs?

Regina King: We don't know. I don't even know. I wish I could tell you. Right now, she's not happy with the idea of having a new partner. A lot of that is because she's been partnered with Russell for so long. On the police force, your partner is almost like a spouse. To not have someone that you are used to seeing to your left or right, or to not have to respond to your dialogue, or to not have someone who knows how you think when it comes to certain situations when you are out on the field...Not having that person there anymore can be devastating. Both Lydia and Russell are going through an emotional roller coaster right now when it comes to the future of their careers.

What is you favorite part about being on this show?

Regina King: As an actress, my favorite part is being able to be a part of something that is so unique. It's hard to be part of a project that is unique nowadays. Obviously being part of a show that is about law enforcement is the most unique thing on TV right now. But it's all about the style in which we are shooting the show. And the honesty when it comes to portraying officers in Los Angeles. I get to work every day. And the people that I am working with have an amazing track record and love what they do. Sometimes I pinch myself when I am headed to work. Because it's awesome in that regard. Just as a person born and raised in Los Angeles, it's great to see my city being represented so well. I love seeing places where I grew up. People say to me, "I used to hang out on the corner where you shot that scene. Where the baby was in the middle of the street." Its great to see how people born and raised in LA are responding to the show.

Do you have anything to say to the fans that rallied around the show?

Regina King: Please keep watching. And get on the website. If you are still enjoying what you see, please let TNT know. It's because of you guys that we still have a life. I am calling us the Cardiac Cops.

Southland returns with all new episodes on March 2nd starting with S02E01: "Phase Three", which will air Tuesday night at 10/9 central.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange