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<i>Law & Order: L.A.</i>: The Molina and De La Garza Interview

Law & Order: Los Angeles returns next week, with two very familiar faces in new roles. Alfred Molina's D.D.A. Ricardo Morales will be taking a demotion to rejoin the police force, and New York A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) will be moving to L.A. On the eve of this rejiggered procedural's second go-round, we talked to the two of them about their new jobs, and what's in store for the new season.

Alfred, what did you think when they first approached you about making the switch from D.A. to detective?
Alfred Molina:
I thought it was an incredibly audacious move, and I think it's made for a very different kind of show. And I think the writers have handled it very well.

Alana, were you more shocked or disappointed when the flagship Law & Order got cancelled?
Alana De La Garza:
Both. Honestly, at the end of the season, we were like, "See you next year," because we thought everybody was coming back, and then we found out, and none of us had had a chance to properly say good-bye. Which is easier, I suppose, because then there are no tears. And I was pregnant when we wrapped, so it was bittersweet. We didn't have to worry about hiding my bump, and I got to spend more time with my son -- three and a half months! -- back at home in L.A., where I live.

Alfred, your first perp walks in through the front door, but will you have to chase down suspects in the future? Or will you leave that to Corey Stall, who plays your partner?
Molina:
Right now, we share the police duties. The running joke on the set is that Corey does all the running and jumping, and I do all the thinking, but that may be because I'm the laziest actor in the world. But we try to share the arresting and the cuffing, although currently Corey does most of the driving. But that may change.

Alana, was there any hesitation to return to the role you played for four years, since you'd had some time to get used to being away from it?
De La Garza:
Absolutely not. I got the e-mail saying "We may be bringing Connie back," and I was already in negotiations for a pilot. I was literally going in the next day to sign the contracts, but they said "Don't do anything rash." But I was thrilled. When they were casting LOLA, with Alfred and Terence, we were in New York, saying, "Oh, my God, I can't believe who's in this thing."

Both of your characters have trouble at home -- do you want to see their personal lives take more of a role in future episodes, a la SVU or even Criminal Intent?
Molina:
I don't know if they're necessarily troubled, but the writers are certainly going to explore every avenue available. If you look at the way the New York show evolved over the years, it doesn't focus on the same things it used to, and I think you'll see our show change that way, as well.

The all-new, all-different second season of Law & Order: Los Angeles airs its two-hour premiere on Monday at 9/8C. Let us know what you think below, then see why the entire SVU staff should be fired.

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