Paola Turbay on The Closer

This week on TNT's The Closer (Mondays, 9 pm), Detective Mikki Mendoza makes a lasting first impression as a Special Investigation Section officer who can kick butt with the best of them. That trait, among other things, draws the interest of Sanchez, who's overdue for some happiness. But is the match not meant to be? Guest star Paola Turbay told us about a roadblock to romance and her other summer gigs — as a nurse facing down Armageddon and an American Teenager's mom.

TVGuide.com: You've got a busy summer coming up.
Paola Turbay: Yeah, in fact last night I was on TVGuide.com and I saw that I'm on a whole bunch of things this month. 

TVGuide.com: Starting with The Closer, how do we meet Detective Mikki Mendoza?
Turbay: She appears in this week's episode, as the director of the SIS, a part of the LAPD that supports Brenda's squad when it's time to catch the bad guys. She does car-crashing, door-kicking, punching... all the tough stuff. And what has caught many people's interest is the fact that she is a lesbian. 

TVGuide.com: How does that reveal itself?
Turbay: You're not going to see her personal life — at least not in what we've done so far — but it does determine the dynamic between her and the guys... Obviously Sanchez is really interested when he sees her walk in, but then somebody tells him, "She's seeing somebody... and her name is Cindy." And he's like, "So what!" Mikki sees that he's interested and flirty, and she doesn't let it bother her. She's just there to work. She doesn't want to play around. 

TVGuide.com: So, Sanchez is the most devastated of the men?
Turbay: Yeah, his eyes were shining when I walked in that room for the first time. 

TVGuide.com: How many episodes are you around for?
Turbay: I've done two so far, and we just wrapped Episode 7. I think she will come back for at least another two or three more, from what I understand. 

TVGuide.com: On July 12, you're in the NBC TV-movie Meteor. What is that about and how do you fit into it?
Turbay: That's about a huge, huge meteor that fell out of orbit and is now on a path of destruction, and we're confronting the possible end of the world. I'm the chief nurse at a hospital that has to deal with the critical situations with people being victims of pieces of this meteor. 

TVGuide.com: So, you're not in a spaceship flying off to zap the meteor down with lasers?
Turbay: No, no. I'm sorry I won't be that aggressive! 

TVGuide.com: And lastly, will we be seeing more of you on The Secret Life of the American Teenager this summer?
Turbay: Yes! The kids are really raving about that series. I walk around the streets and they're like, "Oh my god! You're the coolest mom on the show!" That show is amazing, the ratings have been historical, and the social impact has been huge. [Talking about sex] is the most uncomfortable conversation you can have with your kids, but now you can speak in the third person about "that kid" in the story. [The parents] are really talking about their kids, and the kids are really talking about themselves, but they do it through the [characters]. It's great to be a part of that.

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