'Elementary' Star Lucy Liu on Why Holmes & Watson Will Never Get Together, Despite Baby Plans (VIDEO)

Ileane Rudolph
Exclusive CBS

Not only does Lucy Liu play Joan Watson on Elementary, but Monday's (September 27) episode marks the sixth time the multi-talented star has directed the detective series.

The week’s typically twisty-turny case focuses on a book that correctly predicts when and how three random people would die. Among the book’s purported soon-to-be victims: Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller). The late author, a schizophrenic obituary writer, was a believer in the Simulation hypothesis that proposes our creator is a computer and we’re all just background characters in a video game. (See under The Matrix.) Come on, can anyone imagine the great Sherlock Holmes in anyone's background?

Below, Liu talks about the joys of directing her old friends in Elementary, making a new one in Marvel’s Luke Cage, the possibility of a romantic Watson and Holmes, and the phenomenon of Crazy Rich Asians.

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From 'Fresh Off the Boat' to 'Shadowhunters.'

What do you love about directing?

Lucy Liu: Elementary is always changing, but it’s wonderful to work with regular cast member. Working on my show is a family environment and there’s a real sense of trust. I think that to develop trust is the best way to be a director. If you have that, the actors feel comfortable. That’s my main goal: to get people to be comfortable.

Which of your Elementary colleagues has busted your chops the most when you direct?

[Laughs] No one has, because they know I’m going to show up when I’m done directing. They know they would get it back in spades!

Were you nervous when you left  the embrace of your TV family to direct Luke Cage?

I was excited because I didn’t know what to expect. But everyone was super welcoming and I made some lifelong friends after spending about a month on that show.

Mike Colter in 'Marvel's Luke Cage' (David Lee/Netflix)

How easy was it to shoot Mike Colter, who plays the title role?

[Laughs] The guy looks so good in a tee shirt, it’s ridiculous. I have to say that he is one of the kindest, nicest people that you could work with in the business. He’s got a daughter who’s a little older than my son and we share stories.

Let’s go back to Elementary. In the August 27 episode, Sherlock decides to surprise Joan and show her his substantial  will. Why now?

He’s looking at life in a very different way now. He can connect with people in a more human way. That’s where the writers are going and I love it. It gives our characters more of an ability to connect on a human basis.

Their relationship, especially this season, seems deeper.  I didn’t believe it until very recently, but I can see the work partners becoming eventual romantic partners. They’re so important to one another and not just for crime-solving.

Oh my God. People still want to see them together. That’s not what [creator] Rob Doherty wants. He’s vowed never will they be together. As is, we’re breaking tradition by having Watson be a women, so we don’t want all of a sudden to have Holmes and Watson have sex.   We'd really going out of that realm!

(Photo: Jeff Neira/CBS)

Will Joan keep trying to adopt a child to raise with Sherlock, even if  they're not shacking up?

I don’t know. It was written as a way to broach the subject and find where they are in their relationship, how they would react to having a child. It's about creating the environment for the characters that takes them outside of where they normally are..

Elementary is popular around the world. Is Watson how you’re most recognized ?

Actually Ally McBeal was so popular I feel like that’s what people first recognize me for. When people recognize me, they love watching Elementary, but a lot of them have known me in the business for such a long time that it’s kind of hard for me to tell. I know they’re watching Elementary because it’s a big international hit. That’s a very positive thing.

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Everyone’s been talking about the amazing success of Crazy Rich Asians. Do you agree that it’s a breakthrough for an all-Asian cast?

It’s wonderful.  The fact that people are watching it and enjoying it and it’s entertaining, which it’s supposed to be, speaks volumes. It's like when people were so blown away by Black Panther — that’s wonderful, but it’s also kind of sad. Like why are you blown away that the movie did so well? It’s kind of embarrassing to even have the discussion, to be honest. It’s an African-American movie, yes, but just see it as entertainment. The same with Crazy Rich Asians. It shouldn’t be such a major thing, but because it is, well, great. If it’s encouraged fantastic actors and actresses who haven’t had the opportunity to shine, that’s wonderful. They see there’s a possibility for them.

Check out an exclusive sneak peek below, in which Sherlock and Joan confront billionaire Simulation believer Henry Baskerville (Tom Everett Scott).

Elementary, Mondays, 10/9c, CBS

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