Rescue Me's Callie Thorne knows her character Sheila has a tendency to act a little... what's the word... crazytown? But come season five of the FX drama series (premiering April 7, 10 pm/ET), the 9/11 widow has every intention of starting fresh and putting her past — Tommy included — behind her. Unfortunately for Sheila, that may be easier said than done.
TVGuide.com: After nearly two years between Season 4 and 5, what can we expect?
Callie Thorne: It feels like forever! A lot has happened between the end of last season and this one. When we begin, Sheila decides to sort of reinvent herself. She wants to put the past, and whatever is going on with Tommy and his demons, behind her. She wants to be a better mom and person, so in her mind, she believes that's putting Tommy behind.
TVGuide.com: So no more extreme behavior, like, say, drugging Tommy?
Thorne: Not in the beginning! [Laughs] Sheila is trying to be good and steer her life away from Tommy and the bad things she thinks Tommy made her do. She doesn't take responsibility for her actions and thinks it's the volatile love-hate relationship that made her be a bad person. But nothing ever works out on Rescue Me, so the fun part is seeing that fall apart later.
TVGuide.com: What is the attraction between Sheila and Tommy if she sees him as such a negative force?
Thorne: I think that she sees so much of herself in him. They fuel each other. They act on the kind of things people only think about and never do. But that sort of lends to their sexual chemistry and also to whatever we find in the fifth season. I have to say this season is like going back to what our first season was about, not only with the energy of the show but with Sheila and Tommy. It's like we go back to how we first found them and how they were first discovering each other even though she's trying to put him in the past. It discovers a new kind of relationship with them.
TVGuide.com: And Sheila's son Damien is joining the NYC Fire Department?
Thorne: Yes. It's not her decision for her son to become a firefighter, but through the avenues she's taking to grow up and be a better mother, she realizes she has to acquiesce. It's the last thing she wants her son to do, but she realizes the more she pushes him not to do it, the more he's going to do it. She knows the best decision is to go to the fire house and have Tommy not only mentor him through the academy, but have Damien join Tommy's firehouse so he can watch his back. That way she feels like she has a modicum of control instead of being so terrified since her son is adopting a lifestyle that took away her husband. So even though she thinks she's putting Tommy behind her, she's still connected subconsciously.
TVGuide.com: What guest stars can we expect this season?
Thorne: Oh my god, Michael J. Fox! It wasn't my storyline, much to my chagrin, and when we found out he was coming and going to be Janet's new boyfriend, I stomped around the set and made a big deal about it. We also had Maura Tierney. We met when I did an arc on ER, and I totally had a girl crush on her — I was drawn to her immediately. It's so amazing because she's totally on the Rescue Me page in the wheelhouse.
TVGuide.com: Any other scoop on Sheila besides her Tommy storyline?
Thorne: There's going to be some really juicy interaction between Sheila and Janet. When we read it, we were like, "Oh my god, this is what we've been waiting to do together." We don't really get to do scenes together even though there was the whole baby thing last year. But this is completely different. It's really what fans have been waiting to happen between these two particular characters.
Crave TV scoop? E-mail senior editors Matt, Mickey and Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org.