After playing Sgt. Christine Cagney in the 1980s police procedural drama series Cagney & Lacey
for six years, Sharon Gless
has acquired a new role on the spy series Burn Notice
. Since 2007, she is known to viewers as Madeline Westen, the seemingly hard-hearted mother of lead character Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan
). However, the Emmy Award-winning actress says there's more to her character than meets the eye.
In an interview with Monsters and Critics, the 65-year-old actress sheds light on her hypochondriac character Madeline and her relationship with her two sons.
On Burn Notice
, Madeline appears somewhat unsympathetic but she is in fact family-oriented and shows her full support to her sons in times of need. Until recently, she has had only frequent contact with her adult son, who does not relish her company. Despite this, her appeals for help are Michael's one great weakness, giving her the edge to persuade Michael to do as she wishes.
"This is a spy show…You never see James Bond have a mother. But that's what makes this interesting. It makes Jeffrey's character, Michael Westen, so much more human. He doesn't want to be in Miami. They dropped him down in Miami because of his mother, because at the beginning of the show he was passed out, beaten and passed out and dropped and wakes up in Miami. The last place he wants to be is Miami because of that mother of his,” the Burn Notice
Apart from Michael, Madeline has another son, Nate, who is quite the opposite of Michael given that his gambling brother has a history of stealing and manipulating to fund his addiction. Nevertheless, Nate seems to be the more favored one in Madeline's eyes.
“Well, Nate is her baby. Nate is the one who didn't leave. Michael has, I don't know if she would consider it an acceptable job because she's still a little vague as to what he does, what Jeffrey does, but Nate just keeps trying. I think his brother was his idol. It's been established in the show when his brother left is when Nate started getting into trouble… Nate is her baby and so she protects him,” she said.
“It's dysfunctional and it's crazy. I think Madeline wants this family together and she keeps trying, but she sort of tries to make Nate's activities look more honest or plausible than they really are,” she added.
Fans can catch a new episode of Burn Notice
every Thursday at 10pm on the USA Network.
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Monsters and Critics
(Image courtesy of USA Network)