Sedaris Gets Psyched for ‘The Closer’

by | February 16, 2009 at 4:52 PM | Interviews

Psychics, pseudo and otherwise, are everywhere on TV these days from “Medium” to “The Mentalist” to “Psych” to “Lie to Me.”

Now “The Closer” gets in on the act, or the sister act rather, with Amy Sedaris arriving like a whirlwind as someone’s sister on the acclaimed cop show for a two-part arc beginning tonight.

With Sedaris’ resemblance to star Kyra Sedgwick, it would seem like perfect casting to have her be Brenda Leigh Johnson’s sibling, but she’s not. She’s actually playing Claire, the sister of Brenda’s fiancé, FBI Special Agent Fritz Howard (Jon Tenney).

That is actually even more intriguing, in a Freudian way. Sedaris tells me, “How much fun is it that Fritz’s sister looks like his girlfriend? It’s funny.”

Fritzy is also a little reticent about his sister—an excitable vegan psychic or “intuitionist” as she likes to call it—meeting his girlfriend for the first time.

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Says Sedaris, “He is a little embarrassed at first, but I come to stay with Fritz and Brenda—Brenda likes me a lot—and I become involved in one of her cases.”

The case involves a cell phone containing lovers’ text messages that point to murder, which Sedaris says “is funny to me because I don’t have a cell phone. I do have a computer, but I have never done texting. That’s like some weird other world.”

The light-hearted episode also features Claire having a psychic friends connection with Lt. Mike Tao (Michael Paul Chan), who believes in her “gift” and Claire tags along with him and Brenda to help unravel the case.

With Brenda’s parents (Frances Sternhagen, Barry Corbin) also in town, the big question surrounds the impending wedding between Brenda and Fritz. Brenda’s been having cold feet, so could the arrival of Fritz’s zany sister turn her into a runaway bride?

“Maybe,” demures Sedaris, “I don’t know…I’m not gonna tell anybody what goes down in that situation.”

We’ll have to watch next week’s final episode of this mini-season to find out!

Sedaris, who’s best known for her role as Jeri Blank in “Strangers with Candy,” has cornered the market on quirky characters. I asked her what draws her to these kinds of roles:

“When you’re already pretty, it’s like, ugh, I don’t know, I’m sure they have a whole different struggle. But to me, it’s more fun to play unattractive people who think they are attractive.”

Amy Sedaris is also known for making the rounds as a talk show guest, with some particularly memorable spots on David Letterman. How did she get to be the go-to girl? “I think a lot of it is because I don’t have a publicist. And I’m not trying to sell something, like most people, so I think I’m invited because they just want me to visit. It’s fun that way, the pressure’s off.”

On top of her “Closer” stint, Sedaris is working on a new sitcom for Fox and a new book on crafts to follow up her last one, wonderfully titled, “I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.” Oh, and in between all that she bakes cupcakes which she sells out of her apartment.

Amy Sedaris’ two-episode stint on “The Closer” begins Monday, Feb. 16th at 9 p.m. on TNT.