EXCLUSIVE: Nadine Velazquez Teases Return of ‘Major Crimes’

Nadine Velazquez in "Major Crimes" (Photo: TNT)

After three months of wondering what will happen next, “Major Crimes” is gearing up to make its big return to TNT tonight at 9pm. When last we saw Emma Rios (Nadine Velazquez), she confessed to Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell) that Rusty (Graham Patrick Martin), a troubled teen and murder witness under her guardianship, is in a lot more trouble than he is letting on.

We caught up with Nadine Velazquez, who plays the ambitious Deputy District Attorney on the police procedural, to find out what we can expect for the remainder of the season.

Emma has not been a very welcome character from day one, and now that she’s told Sharon about the secret letters Rusty has been hiding, will he hate her?

Yes, there will be that up until the very end of this season. The second half [of the winter season] will be mostly about the Rusty case and the case of a serial killer. So my involvement increases in terms of, “What are we going to do and how are we going to handle this?” Certain things start to unfold, which obviously I can’t say, that will lead us to make a very fast decision where we’ll end up in court.

The beef between Emma and the squad started after she discovered Rusty was in Sharon’s care. Do you feel that they are a bit blinded because of the love they have for him?

Emma thinks that the squad is coddling Rusty and is jeopardizing his safety because they are so attached to him. She is just all about the law, so she doesn’t feel bad in playing the antagonist in this case. Everyone just wants him to stick around and they don’t really want the law to touch him yet they want him to be protected.

Emma is more of the voice of, “Hey let’s look at the facts. He is in danger and he can be killed.” She feels bad that Rusty has to go through this but not bad to the point where she wants to stop it. She is committed to the process being lawful.

Even though Emma comes off as tough, there is definitely a caring side to her. Will we see her want to get more involved in Rusty’s case since its become more personal than other cases?

The writers are really awesome with things like this because they have the power to make a character unlikeable but they begin to empathize with her when they see the humanity of this person. Emma has a good heart and she has reasons for doing the things she does.

There’s an upcoming scene that Emma has with Rusty where she explains why she is doing what she does and how concerned she is about his safety. But he just thinks that she’s determined for him not to stay with Capt. Raydor. The way it’s written is really heartfelt and very much like she rules with an iron fist in a velvet glove. I think the audience will understand Emma and maybe even like her a little more.

I’m really blown away how she is strong yet vulnerable at the same time. In one scene she’s warm then in the next she’s laying down the law. I love that I get to play her. I’m never bored, and I’m never uninspired.

So by the end of season two, will the Rusty case have resolution?

We will be closer to it. It’s definitely open ended but there is some closure that is very satisfactory.

Emma is at her funniest when she ends up at a crime scene surrounded by blood and dead bodies. Will we see more of this?

I hope not! [laughs] There will be some more of it later this season but not much. I do hope that they bring that back. I know there are at least one or two more episodes when someone is telling her to get it together.

The bickering between Emma and Julio (Raymond Cruz) seems to have cooled by episode eleven when they agree to go for coffee. Is there any chance of a romance between them?

I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. The second half of this season will be very involved with Rusty’s storyline and not so much about the personal relationships although there are hints of it throughout.

There are a lot of new things happening this second half and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

“Major Crimes” airs Monday nights at 9pm on TNT.

Click the image below to watch the latest episode of “Major Crimes:”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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