Last night, the new Saban Theatre in North Hollywood opened its doors to Emmy. NBC Universal hosted an FYC event for Shades Of Blue featuring cast and crew.
Ray Liotta, Jennifer Lopez, Drea de Mateo, Dayo Okeniyi, Sarah Jeffery and Jack Orman attended the packed event. The straight to series show premiered on NBC earlier this year stars Lopez as Harlee Santos, an NYPD detective, and single mother who is in with dirty cops and uses protection money to provide the best for her daughter.
The audience filled with Emmy judges, SAG/Aftra and press were treated to the season finale where Santos’ past came back to haunt her, and the shady dealings caught up with some of “her crew.”
Shades of Blue is contentding for Best Actress in a Drama and Best Drama Series. For those who have yet to catch up on the season finale, let’s just say there was plenty of drama and an unexpected twist that led to the audience gasping and applauding the final moment.
When asked about how they managed to be so convincing, Oyeniki joked that he watched cop videos on YouTube. Liotta who plays Lieutenant Matt Wozniak, the corrupt leader of the 64th Precinct said he would go on ridealongs with real cops as part of his research. Lopez added, “You have to watch real cops, not TV cops.”
The physical and emotion intensity of the show were so exhausting that Lopez said, after a day on set, she would go home and “Wash off Harlee because she’s so not me.”
Part of what made Shades of Blue unique for Orman and the cast was that as it went straight to series. There were no note, no audience feedback, and no pilot. Orman said, “It was a laboratory experiement as the only people involved in feedback were the people involved in the show.” He added the nework told him to go for it. Director Barry Levinson directed the first two epsiodes of the show, cross-boarding the episodes.
“He set a tone for us right off the bat,” Lopez said on the experience of working with Levinson. “He saw that I was trying to seek the truth in everything. He was with me in that, and that put me at ease.”
Reflecting on the season highlights, Liotta said he learned and understood his character’s motives. His daughter had committed suicide just as Santos came into his life and that love was transferred to her and her daughter, Christina. The confessional scene was that pivotal moment for him.
Given the intensity and drama of the show, Orman said there was one scene early on in the season that the network didn’t allow to pass. The controversial scene occurred when Wozniak was in an alley pointing a gun at a dog. However, they were lenient with other scenes. Liotta joked about a scene being passed that allowed him to grab a character by the balls.
The Q&A was passed over to the audience who mainly praised Lopez on being an inspiration and juggling many hats from Executive Producer and acting on the show while conceiving her Vegas show and being a judge on American Idol.
Shades Of Blue starts filming its second season this month. Season one can be streamed in full on NBC.COM.