ROOKIE BLUE: Enuka Okuma Teases Traci’s ‘Major, Major Episode’
June 28, 2012 by Marisa Roffman
For ROOKIE BLUE’s Traci, she’s finally achieved her goal of becoming a detective. But since this is television, don’t expect things to go so smoothly for her.
I spoke with Enuka Okuma (Traci) about her character’s new job, the support of the other rookies, Traci and Jerry, and more…
Now that Traci’s officially a detective, naturally things can’t be easy. What can you tease about tonight’s episode?
Enuka Okuma: Well, you will see some nerves. You will see some mistakes, some rookie mistakes. And she’s got to make it through, but this time she’s not a beat cop with four others — she’s on her own. Of course Jerry’s there, so there’s going to be some tension with Jerry throughout the season, I can tell you that. But those rookies are going to have her back, because that’s what it’s about in the end: the five of us always support each other. So we’ll see how they help Traci get out of the jam she gets herself into in the episode.
And does that include Gail? They seemed to come to a resolution at the end of the last episode, but will there be any resentment at all going forward?
EO: She’s not necessarily that happy about it when it comes to this episode. [Laughs] But, at the core of it, Traci and Gail really are friends. So she’s going to have her feathers ruffled a little bit, but in the end, she’ll be there for Traci.
Is tonight’s episode the biggest one of the season for Traci? Or are things more spread out for her?
EO: I would say it gets spread out throughout the season. What’s kind of cool about this year is that the writers are starting to branch out and explore the ensemble and that was sort of fun for the actors. I think this is the first time Traci has had a major, major episode. And the spotlight gets turned on to everybody this year. It’s great. It breathes a little bit of new life into our show and it’s been fun for the actors to play. But yes, it’ll happen again.
Well, given that Dov just quasi-resolved an issue where he made a mistake — but it looks to have long-standing consequences — will what goes down in tonight’s episode be contained or will it be ongoing?
EO: I would say it gets spread out a little bit. By the end of the episode you know she’s had some help from the rest of the crew and things get solved, but let’s just say that not everything is resolved.
Do you enjoy it more as an actor to have those threads to play with? Or do you find it more enjoyable to move on to new things?
EO: Well, what’s nice — and what I think our show does a really nice job on — is there are certain stories and usually the crimes get figured out by the end of the episode, but there’s always something lingering in terms of the relationships that doesn’t quite get figured out or still needs more time to ruminate. So that is what is going to carry over. And not just for Traci, but for all of the characters.
How are the relationships going to evolve as Traci gets more comfortable being a detective? Is she going to press anybody’s buttons we wouldn’t expect?
EO: That’s a good question. [Laughs] I think the main, main issue is going to be watching how Traci and Jerry navigate this new development in their relationship at work and realizing that it takes a toll on them personally as well.
Do you want them to be happy? Or do you want there to be a little bit of a struggle.
EO: As a fan, I want them to be happy. [Laughs] As somebody who enjoys the characters outside of me being involved, I want them to be happy. But as an actor, it’s so much more fun to play when they’re not that happy. What would I be doing if they were just happy?
Yeah, that would be an interesting struggle for you, I’d imagine.
EO: Yeah. But one wants to make sure the reasons they are unhappy are organic and make sense and are something you can play in. That’s what I really appreciate about the writers because this is a very new, real conflict between them.
Will we be seeing a lot of her home life in the rest of the season, or will things be more contained to the drama at work?
EO: We’ll be focusing a lot more on Traci’s new position at work. It’s less about Leo and her home life; that’s still going to be a struggle, that’s always going to be inherently there. But [this year is about] her new kinds of insecurity and fear that comes from this new position as detective-in-training.
ROOKIE BLUE airs Thursdays at 10pm on ABC.
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