An Update on Amy Brenneman

Not only did the Screen Actors Guild strike earlier this year keep Amy Brenneman from spending much time at her Vineyard home, but she joined a coalition of actors that call themselves Unite for Strength.

Unite for Strength will challenge the slate of candidates running for election in September. Why? Unite for Strength claims they dropped the ball in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

A lot of Amy Brenneman’s loyal fans date from her days in court on her TV series Judging Amy. She created the program, and originally she and Tyne Daley, who played her mother, were both going to be judges. That would have made the show a little more like real life, since Amy’s mother is a judge.

The show was abruptly cancelled in 2005, but Amy says, “They could have had us for another season. If it had continued, she probably would have had a romantic liaison with Court Services Officer Bruce Van Exel, played by African American actor Richard T. Jones. Interestingly enough, a kiss between the two that aired had mysteriously disappeared in reruns of the episode.

Amy talks about how confusing it was at first for her to act on TV because it was about the face. “It’s intimate, just like a poem,” she says. “In some ways, it’s almost like being at the dentist. Tyne Daley describes it as like ‘a lover on a pillow’ – it’s up your nose.”

Amy picks her projects based on the quality of the scripts. “You go where the writing is,” she says. She doesn’t censor herself at all, saying, “The stumbling gets interesting.”

Amy first met her husband, Brad Silberling, on the set for NYPD Blue. Brad was directing, and she was playing a mob-connected cop named Janice Licalsi, who was romantically involved with Detective John Kelly, played by David Caruso.

(An online extra following a story originally published in the July 2008 edition of Martha's Vineyard Magazine)