Russell Hornsby on Lincoln Rhyme & Amelia’s Alliance in the ‘Hunt for the Bone Collector’
In some ways, stepping into the role of revered ex–New York City detective and forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme “felt like home” for Russell Hornsby, who has played law-enforcement officers on the former ABC Family’s Lincoln Heights and NBC’s Grimm.
In other ways, though, the Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector role was completely new territory since the character — made famous in the 1999 Denzel Washington movie The Bone Collector — is a quadriplegic who can move only a few fingers and everything above his neck.
Left paralyzed because of a trap set by a notorious serial killer known as the Bone Collector, Rhyme comes out of retirement three years following his life-changing accident. The impetus: Amelia Sachs (Arielle Kebbel, The Vampire Diaries), a beat cop and aspiring FBI agent with a keen gift for criminal profiling, stumbles across evidence that suggests the sadistic madman (Brían F. O’Byrne, Prime Suspect) is still active. (Rhyme is also seen in flashbacks at the top of his game, working with Det. Michael Sellitto, played by Michael Imperioli.)
“There’s something about this young woman and her ability that sparks him,” Hornsby says. “It gives him a heightened fervor to find the Bone Collector but at the same time help solve other cases as well.”
The pair become partners of sorts. While in the field, Sachs wears a body camera and earpiece that allow Rhyme to view crime scenes on a high-tech screen in his apartment. It’s a big technological upgrade from the movie, which was inspired by the 1997 Jeffery Deaver book.
“There’s a symbiotic relationship between these two where they can now walk and talk as one,” says Hornsby, who admits the alliance isn’t without its problems. “There’s going to be conflict along the way.”
Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector, Series Premiere, Friday, Jan. 10, 8/7, NBC