Kyra Sedgwick opens up -- The ''Closer'' star talks balancing work and family

Kyra Sedgwick really wants the hot chocolate, even though it’s mid-May and pushing 60 degrees. ”I hope they have it,” she says, still breathless from the walk to one of her favorite restaurants on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The cocoa is all part of Sedgwick’s plan to squeeze as much enjoyment as possible out of her five-day jaunt home, a brief respite from shooting her TNT hit The Closer (premiering June 8 at 9 p.m.) in Los Angeles. After four seasons as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson, she’s used to the cross-country commute between the set and her family on the East Coast — actor husband Kevin Bacon, 50, daughter Sosie, 17, and son Travis, 19 — but that doesn’t make it any easier. And neither does the news that hot-chocolate season is over. ”It’s thick and magical and sooo chocolaty,” the actress muses ruefully, before choosing an alternative: triple berry ginger pie with soy ice cream. Or, as she calls it, ”sloppy seconds.”

Such is life for Sedgwick these days: pretty darn sweet — but not without a few laments. EW talked to the 43-year-old star about her sexy Tropicana commercial, life beyond The Closer, and the shock of seeing her name splashed across gossip columns courtesy of Bernie Madoff.

What’s it like being away from home for half the year?
It’s gotten harder. This year there was some discussion about moving the show to New York, which was shot down for many reasons, mostly fiscal. And I’m thinking, But what about me? I’ve given so much. So we’ll see next year.

You’ve been married to Kevin Bacon for 20 years and managed to stay out of the gossip pages — until news broke that you both invested with Bernie Madoff. How did that feel?
I always joked that the best thing for mine and Kevin’s careers would be for one of us to have an affair. I didn’t realize how unfunny it was until [the Madoff news broke]. Suddenly, I felt like when I walked into a room people were [whispering]. And they probably weren’t. Then they’re saying we lost everything? We didn’t lose everything, we lost a pension. Some people had it so much worse. I have such newfound empathy for people who are always on these covers, like Jennifer Aniston.

Do you pay attention to your press?
My husband is a Google Alert guy. He has one on himself and me. I’m like, Dude, I don’t want to know what people are saying.

How did that Tropicana commercial come together?
I’ve never done a commercial before. I’ve always been like, Meryl Streep doesn’t do commercials! But they called me and said, ”What do you think?” I got scared, but then I talked to the director, Peter Arnell. And boy, it turned out beyond my wildest dreams.

You call The Closer ”the most creatively fulfilling job” you’ve ever had. How long do you think you’ll stick with it after your contract’s up in two seasons?
I would hate for you guys to write, ”They really jumped the shark.” I mean, let’s quit while we’re ahead. It’s still great. But I don’t want to be bad.

What would you like to do after that?
I would love to do a romantic comedy. I definitely think, Hurry up! Let’s do it now, while [pats her cheeks] things are still all okay here.