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Kyra Sedgwick

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Sitting in her trailer parked outside "The Closer's" sound stage at Hollywood's Raleigh Studios, Kyra Sedgwick emitted a soft sigh as she stared at her cell phone with misty eyes and a weak smile slowly crossed her lips.

"I just got a little picture on my phone of Kevin (Bacon) and the kids," she explained, her voice trailing off to never-never land. "They look so cute and they're having such a nice time at dinner in New York City, probably at an outdoor cafe. I'm insanely jealous!"

But Sedgwick, 41, takes some comfort in the fact that she sees her New York-based family in Los Angeles (her place of work) every two weeks, a hard, fast rule between them seldom broken. And shooting "The Closer" only six months of the year - from February to July - she usually has plenty of summer vacation time to be with Travis, 18, and Sosie Ruth, 15.

As her new contract with "The Closer" calls for approximately $250,000 for each of the new season's 15 episodes, it is now her househusband's turn to leave the nest and to bring home the bacon.

"I really want to try to stay home and spend all my time with my kids, but we'll see what happens," she said optimistically. "It's crucial this year because Travis is going to college at Washington State and Sosie is going to a new school in New York next semester. But first, I'll eat them up."

Hopefully, the domestic bliss will last until late September, when Sedgwick will be called on to hit the road again in order to promote a Disney family film titled "The Game" opposite ex-grappler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"It's a fun, sweet movie about a very successful, self-involved NFL quarterback (Johnson) whose world turns upside down when a 7-year-old girl who claims to be his daughter that he didn't even know existed shows up," she explained. "I play his agent."

Then it's time for her to cover home base as Bacon is expected to hype internationally in October his next "really cool" movie, "Death Sentence" - probably between gigs with his band and lensing a handful of TV commercials for Hanes underwear.

"They just called him one day and he thought it would be a fun thing to do," she said, laughing. "I don't think the kids are too embarrassed about it."

They are working again together this season on "The Closer," with Bacon directing his wife in a two-part episode - just like last season. He also directs and produces some of the movies she stars in, including "Loverboy."

"As a director, Kevin is able to get amazing things out of actors. He has a fresh voice and an interesting eye; we don't have a lot of creative differences."

Born into a well-to-do New York family, Sedgwick attended a series of exclusive private schools before enrolling at the expensive perennial football power University of Southern California. The skinny, 5-foot-5 actress took on the soap opera "Another World" at 16 and now counts 45 movies and telefilms to her credits, including "Kansas," "Born on the Fourth of July," "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge," "Miss Rose White," "Something to Talk About," "Door to Door," "Secondhand Lions," "The Woodsman" and "Cavedweller."

But it seems as though every role was leading up to playing the eccentric, CIA-trained Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson in "The Closer." A former Atlanta police detective with interrogation techniques that the FBI would kill for, the highly intuitive cop was brought in to head the LAPD's elite Priority Murder Squad, a special unit designed to solve politically sensitive, high-profile murder cases.

"What I really like about Brenda is that she hasn't evolved that much over the past couple of years," laughed Sedgwick. "She isn't someone who wants to assimilate in the Los Angeles culture and way of life - she has very much stayed true to herself in the way she does things and gets the job done.

"It will be interesting this season to see how the relationship with her boyfriend, Fritz, the FBI agent (Jon Tenney) changes," she continued. "Brenda will have to deal with whether or not to make a commitment to this guy. And things definitely have changed between them. He seems less interested in fitting into her life exclusively. I think he is asking that she'd try to fit into his life, too.

"It's a shocking realization to her. Sometimes she gets so into her own head that she doesn't understand why everyone else doesn't think she's doing an absolutely perfect job. Some scary health issues will cloud things up along the way, too, and you will see two protagonists (apparently Brenda and Gabriel) go at it (apparently over procedural matters). It will be profoundly disturbing, I promise you that."

And if she has an ounce of energy left after her daily chores, Sedgwick plans to lobby politicos for huge reductions in greenhouse gasses.

"It's about future generations, too," she said. "We've made a mess of it."
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