For action buff Keesha Sharp, the role of defense attorney Trish Murtaugh on FOX's Lethal Weapon was a dream come true. Since landing the role opposite funny man Damon Wayans, who plays detective Roger Murtaugh in the dramedy, Sharp has garnered critical acclaim, earning multiple NAACP Image Award nominations along the way, including one in 2017 for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.
In her latest chat with LA Confidential, the actress gives us the scoop on the fall finale of Lethal Weapon, what it was like to direct one of the season's most explosive episodes, and what superhero role she's always wanted to play.
With the fall finale on its way tonight, what can we expect to see in it? I did spot a few Santas, an explosion, and plenty of action in the promo...
KEESHA SHARP: I will say it’s funny, funny, funny. Even from the promo you can tell that. And it’s also about family. And sometimes you’re unaware of what family is. It may not be blood, it may be someone you invite into your family. You’re also going to get a glimpse of [Wesley] Cole’s past and the dynamic of his family. You’ll see a little more of that. I think people are going to really love to see who he is and why he is the way he is.
Speaking of Cole, what kind of chemistry did Seann William Scott, who plays him, bring to the set this year?
KS: He is such a nice guy. I don’t know if you’ve caught any of his interviews on late-night, but he’s the guy. He’s such a dork. His persona as Cole is so different from who he is. He’s the nicest guy with the best dog ever! [Laughs] His name is buddy. He’s so cute! He’s a lab. I love working with Seann.
I got a chance to watch "Panama," which is the name of the episode you directed on Season 3, and like the fans, really responded to it. Talk to me about what it was like to direct such an action-packed episode this year.
KS: First of all, I was so grateful that they gave me that episode. When I opened the script, I really thought I was going to get a feel good episode with maybe one action scene in it. But they gave me one of the biggest. So when I read it, I thought, “They really trust me.” I was actually very giddy because, as you know, I love action movies. I love them. So this to me was my little piece of action movie heaven that I got to direct. I loved every bit of the process. I loved being able to have my finger on every single thing and choose what I wanted to be, what I wanted to look like, and to do it with the best crew in television. I couldn’t have done it without them. To be in charge of such a talented group of people, and to have them trust me and to trust them, was everything.
The very last shot we got, in the 100 degree desert weather, was the scene where the car blew up in the episode. It was supposed to happen earlier that day, but the stunt wasn’t working. So, of course, the crew that we had made it work and was it worth everything to have it be the last thing we shot. On the hour drive back home, all I kept thinking was, “Oh my god, that was amazing!” It was a Friday, and I went into that weekend with smiles on my face because we had captured such an amazing shot for the episode. As far as the fans are concerned, I loved that they were okay with us taking a bit of a departure from what they’re used to in Lethal Weapon by letting me be a little darker.
I’ve got to tell you, the show really does do a good job of balancing both drama and comedy though.
KS: I don’t think there’s anything on television that really does that. There are great dramas and comedies, but to combine them all here makes sense. It’s really rare. It’s a testament to our writers and showrunner Matt Miller, because to be able to combine all those elements without making it feel off takes an extreme level of talent to pull off.
I know you’re a huge action buff, so if you had to choose to remake one of your favorite action films, which one would you reboot?
KS: Oh, the list is endless! I could go as far back as the blaxploitation film Cleopatra Jones or even True Lies. True Lies would be everything. I would love to remake that and play the Jamie Lee Curtis character. Mission Impossible is another one or James Bond, I’m just saying.
Is there a role you’d like to play that you haven’t yet experienced?
KS: The truth is, I really do want to do an action film where I am the action star. I actually know how to fight. I have a deep appreciation and love for Krav Maga and boxing, which I do. Sometimes, because I’m a petite woman and a little busty, I think I want to prove, this woman, me, with this body, can be fearless and that I can do that. And on some level I want to show people that you don’t have to look a certain way to be an action star. I’m going to write it myself if no one writes it for me. I have a short that I’ve written for it already, but that’s how much I want to delve into that world.
And, when you have down time, where can we find you hangin out in LA?
KS: Everyone is going to find out that I'm extremely boring now, haha! I like to hang out at Krav Maga. I love Sycamore Kitchen, which is in LA. It's a cute little spot. I love to sit and write and sip on a great decaf coffee, if I go that far. Sometimes I order a chai and people watch. I do a lot of hiking and running too. And to be honest, I love being with my husband and our son at home.
Photography by: Photography by Brett Erickson; Hair by Gina Everett; Makeup by Stacy Gibson Andrews; Styling by Keisha Stewart