Jennifer Beals, about to jump back into series TV stardom with production cranking up on her forthcoming Fox “Ride-Along,” says that her new character is “even tougher than Bette – much, much tougher than Bette.” That is, Bette Porter, the lesbian art gallery owner she portrayed for six seasons on Showtime’s “The L Word.”
The “Ride-Along” character is “the first female superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.” Is she gay or straight? “Straight, so far,” answers Beals. “We’ve only shot the pilot.” She’s been doing research to prep for the part including real ride-alongs with cops “to see how they handle people, and how people see them. It’s definitely a whole new world for me – a very, very masculine world, and she’s trying to maintain her femininity within the context of that world.”
Beals has her “The L Word Book, a photographic journal” memoir/fundraiser newly on the market. And she has “The Book of Eli” coming out on DVD June 15. She looks back on production of the Denzel Washington post-apocalyptic sci fi feature with fondness. It marked a decided change of pace after “The L Word,” but Beals says that wasn’t the attraction: “I was just looking to be part of a really great, complex story with meaning.” She expected to find “an incredibly testosterone-driven action movie set,” but filmmaker brothers Allen and Albert Hughes “were so sweeet and giving, you want to give your best to them, and to Denzel.”
Her character, the blind mistress of top villain Gary Oldman “is an extremely powerful human being to be able to survive in her situation, learning how to talk the halls of politics, not giving into despair or to anger,” she adds.