Rizzoli & Isles: Sasha Alexander Talks 'Raw Emotion' Of New Season, Guest Star Eddie Cibrian

“Rizzoli & Isles” returns to TNT tonight at 9 PM, and star Sasha Alexander said the show picks up just a beat after it left off — when a gunshot started a rift in the friendship between Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles.

“It’s fun because Season 3 begins shortly after that moment in the Season [2] finale,” Sasha told AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman, referring to the scene where Jane (Angie Harmon) shot Maura’s (Sasha) mobster biological father.

Picking up at that point in the narrative, fans will get to see some real conflict between the two colleagues and best friends this season.

“It’s great because you get to see this sort of raw emotion coming out of both of them because of the confusion and the intensity of the situation, which I think is great for the characters, because I think you see them win their way back into their friendship,” Sasha continued, as she visited Access on Monday. (Click HERE to watch the interview). “They will not be angry at each other for too long. Everybody’s like, ‘Are they gonna be in a fight for the whole season?’ No, but it is a game changer. I think it deepens their relationship and certainly you see different sides to them. I know for Maura, it’s just a darker and just a different side to who we’ve seen for her character.”

Sasha explained that the mystery of her character’s parentage – specifically, her biological mother – figures into her Season 3 arc.

“The whole storyline for Maura has been really fun for me to play, because it’s like unraveling this mystery of her life and the audience gets to experience it with me because we don’t really know what’s coming,” she said.

One thing that is coming this season, in another aspect of Maura’s life, is a new “Rizzoli & Isles” hunk, played by the easy-on-the-eyes Eddie Cibrian.

“Maura meets him in a very interesting way. I don’t want to give it away, but [it’s] on the autopsy table. So let’s just say we think he’s not alive and then he is alive,” she laughed. “There’s a lot more to it.”

But fans shouldn’t expect to see Eddie shirtless right away.

“No, he’s in a suit, but he still looks incredibly handsome,” Sasha laughed with Laura of the actor’s “Rizzoli & Isles” introduction. “When they open that body bag it’s like, ‘Wow, he looks really hot — for a dead guy.’”

With the show averaging 8 million viewers an episode, Sasha and her co-star Angie have had a few thoughts about how long the show could go.

“Angie and I do have a joke about it… depending on how long this goes we’ll be like putting in our teeth walking on our canes, fixing our wigs,” she laughed.

Catch Sasha in “Rizzoli & Isles” Season 3 on TNT, beginning Tuesday, June 5 at 9 PM.

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