Jill Hennessy continues her TV life in ‘City on a Hill’

Former 'Law & Order' regular plays Kevin Bacon’s wife on Showtime

Jill Hennessy of ‘City on a Hill’ Sunday on Showtime and Crave 1

Q: What do you think about the shifting nature of the relationship between your character, Jenny, and her husband Jackie on “City on a Hill”?

A: In Season 2, I think they came to a slightly more stable — and, dare I say, a more respectful and loving — stage in their relationship. Now, in Season 3, another wrench thrown into their marriage dynamic that they have to struggle through.

Also, they have a daughter going away to college, and that’s another stage they’re going through. That’s the easy part, though. Some other things that come up are completely devastating, viscerally disturbing themes that we’ve explored on the show. They’re sort of showcased this season. Every time I’ve picked up a script, I’ve sort of been shocked. Which is great.

Q: How did you master the Boston accent that the series requires of you?

A: I tried to look up videos of people from that area of Boston at that time (the early 1990s). I used to date a guy from Boston, and his accent was different than someone from Quincy (Mass.). I’ve been looking at these videos for four or five years now, just to refresh and remind myself, and also to look for new material.

I also just talk to people, especially if I know they’re from the North End. I’ll just engage them in conversation. Every actor wants to do a good job, and it’s appreciated when it’s acknowledged that you’re doing it right.

Q: Though your alter ego Claire Kincaid apparently died, have there been any conversations about your appearing on the revived “Law & Order” in some form?

A: Well, maybe they thought she was dead, but she’s actually been in a rehab center for some time! Why can’t she be bartending somewhere near where Jack McCoy is still working? I would buy that. I’ve tried to pitch that idea, but … nothing yet.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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