Sasha Alexander is savoring family time while "Rizzoli and Isles" takes its seasonal hiatus.
She plans to spend Thanksgiving here in California with her family and the Christmas season in Europe with husband Edoardo Ponti and his kin, which includes his mother, Sophia Loren.
"My mom is making Thanksgiving dinner. She's a great cook. She likes to cook alone, so I'm making pumpkin and blueberry pies to bring," reports the actress, whose hit series returns to the TNT lineup Nov. 28.
Then it will be off to Switzerland for the Pontis. Five-year-old Lucia has started to ski, says her proud mom, and baby Leonardo will turn one on Dec. 20 — another family celebration.
"I grew up in Los Angeles and never had snow at Christmas," says Alexander. "The last eight years with my husband, I've gone to spend the holidays in Europe, and I have to say, it's grown on me. They indulge Christmas down to every detail. It's so beautiful, so relaxing. I really love it now. I love to bundle up and go outside in the fresh air."
Alexander notes that she and fellow "Rizzoli and Isles" star Angie Harmon communicate occasionally when they're off work. "But she's in Charlotte, N.C., and I'm out here. She kind of buckles down with the family back east. We get back into our little family holes between seasons. We see each other all the time six months of the year."
According to Alexander, the new episodes that begin airing next week will show a testing of the friendship between Harmon's police detective, Jane Rizzoli, and Alexander's character, medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles.
"As my executive producer says, these two women are facing real-life issues," Alexander says. "They happen to be friends. Anyone who has friends knows they have disagreements; they don't always see eye-to-eye. These two are not fighting over who looks better in a little black dress or over guys. They're actually dealing with complicated issues about boundaries or rules."
Still, Jane's brother, Tommy (Colin Egglesfield) and his increasingly obvious chemistry with Maura is apparently going to be part of the reason for the clash.
Adds Alexander, "The season ends in kind of a shocking way. I'm very interested in seeing how the fans respond to it."
CELEBRITY THANKSGIVING DAY TURKEY BITES:
Holly Robinson Peete tells us that she and her family have a fried turkey every year for Thanksgiving. "Fried turkey's not for everyone," Peete says. "We have the fire department on speed-dial."
According to Bill Engvall, his traditional Thanksgiving feast goes like this: "I get up early and start smoking a turkey. We usually eat around 1 o'clock and then watch football."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus says she usually leaves the cooking of the main Thanksgiving Day meal to the rest of her family while she focuses on baking goodies. "I love to bake. I have a terrible sweet tooth, and I cook for that tooth."
FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT:
"People assume that I'm one of the ladies who has sex with Thomas Jane," reports actress and comedian Jill Jacobson, speaking of her upcoming role on HBO's "Hung." "Everyone's confused. My relatives in New York are going, 'You're too young to be Thomas Jane's mother' … 'What do you mean you're the pimp's mother?' Nothing is making sense. I just say, 'Watch the show and you'll see."
In fact, Jacobson and Jay Thomas are playing the parents of scheming, greedy Sandee (Analeigh Tipton) in the cliffhanger season finale episode coming up Dec. 4.
"We're total clowns," Jacobson says. "It's insanity, insanity. I'm not sure the producers thought we would go as far as we did comedically, but Jay is fearless. I love that guy to pieces. He said, 'We're really close now, but three months down the line, we may forget about each other.' Well, I'm not going to forget. It was one of those things where you bond with someone in a short period of time."
As for what they were called upon to do, she stresses, "I don't want to give anything away" — but notes cryptically that her part with Jay has nothing to do with the storyline about Sandee and gigolo Jason (Stephen Amell).
When she's not doing whatever she's doing with Jay, Jacobson is often doing standup gigs around the country. She derives humor from the fact, she says, that "I'm a cougar, an overt cougar, and I'm a Jew from Texas." As far as she's concerned, "You don't get any higher than making people laugh."
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