Det. Jill Kirkendall steps up on 'NYPD Blue'
Andrea Thompson talks about her sexy character's undercover assignment as a prostitute
It’s been hard for the supporting cast of ABC’s ”NYPD Blue” to get a perp in edgewise this season, since the plots have largely been devoted to phasing out Jimmy Smits and introducing Rick Schroder. But Andrea Thompson, who plays Det. Jill Kirkendall, will be closing out the season as the focus of a five-episode story arc that began Tuesday night, in which she goes undercover as a prostitute to help trap a serial killer.
This is the first multi-episode story that’s focused on Thompson, but unlike former cast mate Sharon Lawrence — who told reporters in January that she was leaving the show unless ”Blue”’s producers gave her ”something juicy to do” — she has never felt shortchanged. ”Although it’s very nice when people say, ‘Boy, I wish they’d give you more to do,”’ Thompson, 36, tells EW Online, ”I feel like I have great story lines already.”
Thompson joined the series in 1996 with a role that was meant to last just three episodes. But after taping half of the first show, executive producer David Milch pulled her aside and said he wanted to make her and her character a permanent addition. Mastering the scripts’ cop cadences — with such specialized lingo as ”reaching out to a skel” and ”stop squeezing my shoes” — was no problem for ex-model Thompson, who was a pro at adapting to new shows after short-lived regular roles in ”Falcon Crest,” ”Babylon 5,” and ”JAG.” Still, the three-season veteran of ”Blue” occasionally finds the cop talk arresting. ”There are times,” she says, ”when there’s that odd line where we look at each other and say, ‘What the hell did I just say? What was this scene about?”’