If you’ve ever wanted a hard-headed woman to steer you through the ups and downs and take your side, Denise G. Sanchez is your girl. Sanchez has big shoes to fill on “Bosch: Legacy” as Reina Vasquez, the sidekick and mentor of Maddie Bosch (Madison Lintz), a rookie police officer and daughter of lead character Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver). “Bosch: Legacy” debuts on Friday, May 6 (exclusively on Amazon’s Freevee streaming service, formerly IMDb TV), a follow up to “Bosch,” the seven-season series that streamed on Amazon. Bosch fans in Albuquerque await this latest iteration of the mystery/thriller series written by best-selling author Michael Connolly, whose “The Lincoln Lawyer” series also debuts this month on Netflix. “Bosch: Legacy” has already been renewed ahead of tomorrow night’s premiere as announced this week.
There was no template for this role; the character of Reina Vasquez is not in the books. “They gave me a clear breakdown of the character, though, and I have three brothers, so I had a good base for her,” said Sanchez. “One of the best things about being an actor is building a character.”
On TV and in movies, male police partners are almost always sarcastic bordering on hostile in their banter with other cops. In the series trailer, Reina seems encouraging and supportive. Sanchez says that there’s not a lot of room for girl talk between these two police officers. “I’m her training officer. She makes a drastic switch between wanting to be a lawyer and wanting to be a cop; our first interactions are pretty tough. She’s very fresh. It’s a lot of tough love there. It’s still hard for women police officers to be taken seriously. I’ve got to show her the ropes, from foot chases through domestic violence calls. There’s a lot of banter back and forth, but the nods and looks and the pats on the back are really important,” she said.
A first-generation American, Sanchez was born in Connecticut of parents who emigrated from Peru. As a child, she taught them to speak English. “It was Spanglish in the house all the time! My mother and I still speak it to each other.” Her passion is rescuing shelter animals and she has the pets to prove it, with two rescue dogs and two rescue cats. “I grew up on farmland with a lot of animals. I am especially concerned with rescuing senior pets.”
Playing a cop has been a “uniform” experience for Sanchez. A former model, she doesn’t get a chance to dress up in “Bosch: Legacy.” She’s in LAPD gear the whole season. But she didn’t mind skipping all of the fittings that the other actors went through. “It was so much fun. We had some tech training beforehand, shooting guns, acting like cops, etc. There were the core Bosch people but a lot of us newbies,” she recalled.
You’ve seen Sanchez in recurring or featured roles on “The Good Place” (NBC), “Mayans” (FX), “Criminal Minds” (CBS) and “General Hospital” (ABC), among other TV series.