Heather Locklear – Franklin & Bash Bring in the Closer
by Jay S. Jacobs
It seems like whenever a TV series wants to shift things into overdrive, they call on Heather Locklear.
Locklear has become the television equivalent of a shut-it-down relief pitcher, joining a game that is already in progress and ensuring the home team a winning hand.
The lovely Miss Locklear has been a staple on our television screens since the early 1980s. She had been a teen working her way through UCLA when she took a guest starring role on the popular show CHiPs. This guest shot brought her to the attention of TV super-producer Aaron Spelling, who championed her career for the next two decades. By 1982, Locklear had the very unique situation of being a star on two concurrent popular series: playing spoiled heiress Sammy Jo Carrington in the classic nighttime soap Dynasty from 1981-1989 as well as perky young cop Stacy Sheridan on TJ Hooker from 1982-1986.
This alone would be enough to make Locklear a TV star, but for her it was just the beginning. In the early 90s, Locklear was signed on to a four-episode arc on a recently debuted series called Melrose Place, which was having trouble finding its footing. Locklear came in and took the apartment complex and series by storm – her character of Amanda Wentworth became a 1990s icon. When Melrose went off the air in 1999, Locklear shook things up, taking a break from her drama roots and joining Michael J. Fox’s popular sitcom Spin City right after Fox announced his battle with Parkinson’s disease. Locklear played off of Fox for his final season with the show, and then helped the show convert to new lead Charlie Sheen for two more seasons. Since the show went off the air in 2002, Locklear has been brought in for recurring roles in such established series as Scrubs, Boston Legal, Rules of Engagement, LAX, Hot in Cleveland and the attempted reboot of Melrose Place.
Her latest gig is shaking up TNT’s lawyer dramedy Franklin & Bash. She plays Rachel King, a smart, savvy lawyer brought into the firm Infield and Daniels by the firm’s head (Malcolm McDowell) to run things, meaning she occasionally has to babysit the firm’s loose cannon litigators Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar).
A couple of weeks before her debut in the third season premiere of the series, Locklear was nice enough to talk with us and a few other media outlets about her show and her career.
When you first joined the cast, was there instant chemistry between you and Mark and Breckin or did it take a bit of time for you all to gel?
You know what? I think anyone have instant chemistry with those two boys. So that was pretty much right away. They were joking and laughing right away.
What was it about the role that interested you in being a part of this show? It’s sort of a comedy mixed with a drama.
Right. First, because of that. That’s different. Also because I never played a lawyer before. And when shows are on a couple seasons already, it’s always nice to go in on that when they are well-oiled machines.
I was curious what brings you back to being a series regular after being away for a couple years?
Well the very fact that the show does because it’s really good and funny. I’ve always loved being on TV. I loved being in a series. I love having a regular place to go to all the time. So it’s never been surprising that I’d want to be back on a series.
Is Rachel going to pull any Amanda shenanigans on the show?
Well, I think she does towards the end. You think she is. But she’s really not pulling shenanigans. She does have a few sexcapades.
What do you like about the character?
I like that she’s strong. She’s well educated and knows world leaders and knows her stuff. Business.
Malcolm McDowell is such an amazing actor. His character’s obviously going through a bit of a personal crisis in the first couple of episodes that I saw for the new season.
You think? (laughs)
Yes. Do you see Rachel and Stanton sort of having a power struggle over the firm down the line? And what is he like to work with?
You know, I do see that down the line. I mean, yes I do see that a little bit, because he hands over the reins to her to get everyone in shape. And then I step on toes a bit. But it’s so fun working with Malcolm. He’s so twinkly and sparkly and such fun. Have you met him?
I’ve spoken with him. I interviewed him before.
Oh. Isn’t he great?
Yes. He is a really wonderful guy.
Yes. That’s what I think.
Now was it fun to do the Piers Morgan scene with the guys? It was sort of an interesting way they’ll introduce your character?
Isn’t that good? The ending, when I win the bet? The best I’ve ever bet it on. I loved that. I was there in person live and saw everything.
It feels like your character is sort of setting up Reed Diamond’s character almost to have someone on her side – maybe a lackey or maybe more. How do you see that relationship proceeding?
It goes back and forth. Sometimes doing it for the good of him and also he’s Stanton’s nephew. But also she doesn’t always respect everything he does, in her thought process.