Shades of Blue star Ray Liotta, star/EP Jennifer Lopez, and EP Jack Orman got sucked into a question about news reports questioning “whether cops are either heroes or creepy murderers,” during their TCA Q&A, by a journalist who wondered how making their NBC drama series might have changed how they participate in that conversation.
Lopez, who plays a single-mom NYPD detective forced to work in the FBI’s anti-corruption task force, in the NBC drama, answered cautiously that the conversation is a “must bigger social issue that needs to be addressed” and has become a “huge issue in this country.”
Orman called policing “a very challenging job” noting how young police academy graduates are, and added that “we ask a lot of our police beyond the law enforcement element of it,” while acknowledging “there are very serious issues” of community and race involved.
Liotta, however, answered more full-throatedly: “I really respect and am thankful to policemen, as I am to servicemen that protect us in our armed forces.
“What you don’t see is what happens every day – the day before, the close call that maybe they could have lost their life really quick. And that bleeds over into what happens in some of these instances. We don’t know the everyday-ness of this. And, as horrible as it is, the percentage is really low as opposed to all the good they do…To live that lifestyle and be involved in danger, day in and day out, it always is with you. It’s obviously horrendous what happens, but I’m not sure we always get the full story.”
Asked if the series role is “redefining” him for viewers, Liotta answered that “Goodfellas will always be there,” but it has been challenging to get volumes of people to see independent movies he’s done since. This chance “to do something millions of people are seeing every week…I think it reminded people that I know how to do this.”
“I’ve had an up and down career and this has put me back in the public eye,” he added.