The Closer's Kyra Sedgwick

updated 08/07/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/07/2006 01:00AM

On TNT's The Closer, she's LAPD's wallet-losing Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, an Atlanta native who y'alls her way to catching killers. Offscreen, Kyra Sedgwick, 40, is a wallet-losing, first-time Emmy nominee summering in Santa Monica with husband Kevin Bacon, 48, daughter Sosie, 14, and son Travis, 17. Sedgwick took time out to get closer to PEOPLE correspondent Pamela Warrick.

Are you similar to Brenda at all?

Oh, yes—I lose everything. [To Bacon: 'By the way, did you find my wallet?'] I left my wallet at home this morning. I change my mind constantly. Someone said Brenda wears her heart on her sleeve and doesn't know it. Maybe I do that.

What's in Brenda's big black bag?

Lipstick—she's had the same lipstick since prom, by gummit!—her brush, wallet, keys, DNA swabs, test tubes, pictures of past perps and some kind of candy always. But she's trying to be good, so NutriGrain bars too. She can never find anything in her purse. This woman is so brilliant at work, but keys, tampons and glasses? Forget it.

How do you prep for this role?

I spent the day with a [LAPD] detective. I have a tape recorder and listen to lines over and over, in makeup, at lunch—all the time. Brenda's [southern] accent is becoming second nature, but I also work with a dialect coach. I'm always learning how to say new words in that drawl. Morgue—it's like three or four syllables.

Will Kevin ever guest-star?

I don't think so. We've always tried to take over for each other. He didn't work the first season on purpose, and this year he hasn't worked much either. He's been amazing. He's ... [Bacon interjects: 'Amazing!'] I already said amazing! Okay, let's say Kevin's exceeded his—what's the word? [Bacon: 'He's gone above and beyond the call of duty.'] Well, that was a family effort—and the best we could do was come up with a bad cliché!

For more with Kyra, including talk of chocolate addictions and turning 40, go to www.people.com/sedgwick

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