"The Closer" is the most successful basic cable series of all time, earning Sedgwick an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe award. She sat down with The Early Show co-host Hannah Storm to discuss her life as tough-as-nails Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson.
Sedgwick attributes show's success to several factors. She said, "The writing is really smart. The characters are fascinating to watch. Brenda Johnson is someone we have not seen before (on TV)." She also noted that the program appeals to a large audience because of its ability to switch from a serious drama to a light comedy.
Many are drawn to "The Closer" because of Brenda Johnson's easily relatable personality. "She's so flawed," Sedgwick said. "She's struggling through life, like all of us are. She's very accessible in her flaws."
Despite the lighter side of Brenda Johnson's personality, Sedgwick regularly performs in intense scenes, which can take their toll.
"It's hard to churn up that much intensity and anger. And it's hard to go there and then stay soft and vulnerable and open because she can really get so hard and be kind of scary," she said.
Sedgwick sees certain aspects of Brenda Johnson in her own personality. When comparing herself to her alter ego, she said, "I think I am a really good listener. I think that I am very good at deciphering what people are saying underneath it all. I have always had good intuition and empathy for people."
With all of Sedgwick's success on "The Closer," other women in the 40- to 50-year-old age range are landing more television roles.
"You only get better as an actor as you get older. So if I am at all responsible for getting (women) jobs, nothing would make me happier," she said.
The grind of being an actress and a mother has been challenging for Sedgwick. Her husband, Kevin Bacon, and she have made a commitment to always have one parent at home with their two teenage children. This has allowed Sedgwick to pursue a movie career, in addition to her role on "The Closer."
Despite her show's popularity, Sedgwick still believes she owes a lot of her good fortune to chance.
"We just got lucky," she said.