Laila Robins on playing the lesbian lawyer with the best lines on “Murder in the First”

AE: So, I want to talk a little bit about Jamie and Holly’s relationship. Holly was upset with Jamie because basically she was putting her career in front of her marriage, but for the viewers we were a little frustrated because Holly already knew what Jamie did for a living prior to this case, so why all of a sudden is it a problem now? What do you think Jamie thinks about that? Do you think she was thinking the same thing?

LR: I think when she first met Holly, she was involved in the courtroom and it was intense and that aspect of Jamie’s personality and life was hard for Holly, so then she chose to get out of the courtroom and teach law at Stanford. They kind of had a quieter life for a while but then this case kind of pulled her back in to wanting to go back.


AE: So do you think basically Jamie chose her work over Holly at that point?

LR: I think she knew that the bug had bitten her again and it was an important aspect of her personality and the life she wanted to lead and that maybe she wasn’t the best choice for Holly. I think she fell in love with Holly but she eventually sees its just not going to work.



AE: Yeah. Toward the end, Jamie said to Holly we don’t bring the best out in each other, it seemed like Jamie was starting to realize that maybe this relationship wasn’t going to work.

LR: It was a sad but kind of mutual parting in the end.



AE: So let’s talk about that restaurant scene when you used one of my favorite TV lines of all time:“Without me, you would be just some bay area dyke teaching crafting out of your garage.”  That’s one of the best things I’ve ever heard.

LR: [laughs] I know, everyone got such a kick out of that one on set. We were kind of joking saying this should be put on a T-shirt! Everyone loved that line.


AE: Yes! I would buy that shirt! So what were your thoughts on that line because I would have had a hard time keeping a straight face trying to say that seriously!

LR: There were takes that were kind of intense where the crew was chuckling quietly to themselves when I would say it, but I personally was never tempted to laugh—but everyone else was!


AE: I’m interested in knowing what these lesbians on set you would all refer to for advice thought of that line?

LR: Oh, they thought it was so funny and really accurate. The crafting thing, though—do a lot of lesbians craft?



AE: I really don’t feel like we do but what do I know, which is why that line is so funny….it must have been your delivery. And then it was used against you by the bartender. Speaking of the bartender, am I reading the signal wrong or was there some kind of spark there between Jamie and this bartender?

LR: Oh, I think Jamie is feeling a nice connection with her but when she goes over to talk to her boyfriend she realizes she’s straight.


AE: I was hoping that was just a friend that she was kissing hello, but you are telling me that is her boyfriend. I’m disappointed.

LR: That is definitely intended to be her boyfriend.