Angie Harmon: Getting What You Want at Any Age

As a girl, she learned to shoot a gun—and to stick to her guns in making her dreams happen. The star of TV's top-rated Rizzoli & Isles talks about faith, family and swimming against Hollywood's political tide

by Margy Rochlin
angie harmon image
Diane von Furstenberg jumpsuit; 646-486-4800. Hearts on fire Illa diamond earrings; heartsonfire.com.
Photograph: Peggy Sirota

Waterston says what he remembers most about Harmon is “her spirit, clarity and energy—the freshness and readiness that she brought to work every day.” She also, he adds, can play a tough woman whom viewers find endearing, because that ferocity “comes from strength, not from anger. She doesn’t seem like an angry person; she just seems like she’s got a lot of spine.”

The Law & Order part gave her a chance to make viewers forget that megawatt model smile and beach-ready body and just accept her as a woman. “That’s what made her a star,” Rizzoli’s Alexander says. “The thing about Angie is that as beautiful as she is, she’s extremely relatable. She really communicates on camera.”

It was during her Law & Order years that Harmon met New York Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn. Despite her instant attraction, she says, she made sure they “had a relationship” before moving to the bedroom. Otherwise, she says, “that’s just setting it up for ‘God, I hope he calls me again.’ I am too emotionally distraught for that. I’d be a wreck. So I didn’t sleep with him for two months.” Less than a year after meeting, they were talking marriage. Still, Harmon was blindsided when, as she chatted with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, Sehorn walked onstage, dropped to one knee and proposed. And even though Leno, guest Elton John and more than five million viewers were watching, Harmon remembers only the intimacy of the moment. “Everyone just disappeared,” she says, “and it was just him and me.”

In 2001 she walked down the aisle of Highland Park Presbyterian Church on her father’s arm dressed in a white satin Vera Wang gown and an antique tiara. Her parents’ divorce had left her with no fear of marriage, she says, “because I never knew what it entailed. It was like a fairy tale to me.” Twelve years and three daughters later, what she wants is to bring up her children—Finley, nine; Avery, eight; and Emery, four—in a traditional home. “I didn’t have that,” says Harmon, who lived with her mother in a series of apartments (“It was sort of latchkey”) until she moved in with her dad at age 11. When asked where she learned what it means to be a close-knit family, the kind she and Sehorn have formed, she shrugs uncomfortably and admits, “The Cosby Show.”

Three years ago, Harmon started worrying about raising children in Los Angeles. “It was too fast for my little girls,” she says. “They were coming home and talking about things that they had no business talking about”—things like making out with a boy. It was while she and Sehorn were visiting -NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson—Harmon is a huge NASCAR fan—in Charlotte, North Carolina, that she fell in love with the city’s wide, canopy-oak-lined streets. “It reminded me so much of Dallas when I was growing up,” she remembers. “I said to Jason, ‘Isn’t it beautiful? Can’t you imagine raising the girls here?’ And he stupidly said yes. So I basically bought a house the next day.”

During the nine months when Rizzoli is in production in L.A., Sehorn, now a commentator for Charlotte-based ESPNU, holds down their female--dominant fort. “He’s quite gifted as a father, very dedicated,” Harmon says. Every night she checks in on her iPhone via FaceTime. Or at least she tries to. “It’s hysterical,” she says, laughing. “The girls are making faces at themselves and looking at their little window and don’t even talk to me, and the next thing you know, I’m looking up somebody’s left nostril. I say, ‘Sweetie? Can you pull yourself just a bit back?’ And so they pull way back, and then I’m looking at the refrigerator. They’re all screaming and running and laughing. I think, OK. They’re happy. So that’s good.”

First published in the September 2013 issue

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Comments

Suzanne Carle09.01.2013

What a dichotomy. Angie Harmon is portrayed as a smart, kind, funny, family-oriented woman within the content of this interesting story. Yet the photographic imagery disconnects. Was the photographer trying to channel Farrah Fawcett? She's made to look like an 80's flashback, in bad clothes. The photos, styling and font choice for titles cheapens the entire article, and Ms. Harmon. I don't need to know what she's wearing and how to buy same.
I realize there's a desire to update the presentation of the magazine to attract (more? younger?) readers, but this is carrying it in the wrong direction. I'd buy Seventeen Magazine if that's what I desired. Let the magazine grow up again, please!

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