Maria Bello insists on wearing distracting, possibly magical 'Prime Suspect' hat


Image Credit: NBC

Critics at their summer press tour in Beverly Hills are upset about Maria Bello’s hat. The actress starring in NBC’s update of Prime Suspect this fall wanders through the pilot wearing this hat, you see. And it’s sort of distracting. And they don’t really like it.

First, critics went straight to the top. You have a few minutes to talk to NBC’s head of entertainment Robert Greenblatt? You ask about the hat.

“I like the hat,” Greenblatt said. “It’s iconic and, you know … [1970s Kojak star] Telly Savalas, didn’t he have a hat? … I hope you all write about the hat.”

Then they turned to the Prime Suspect cast and showrunner, asking, “Some of us seem to think it’s a little distracting or outdated. Why the hat? Are you going to keep it?”

“It’s very accurate in terms of NYPD detectives,” said executive producer Alexandra Cunningham. “They all seem to wear hats. I don’t know whether it’s a weather thing or whether it’s one of the only fashion statements they can make, considering how buttoned down they all have to be. But I was surprised by the number of fedoras, especially given it’s 2011. So it’s Maria’s iconic idiosyncrasy.”

But the biggest hat defender was Bello herself. And, from the sound of things, the hat was her idea and she’s pretty serious about it. Which makes Greenblatt and Cunningham defending the curious wardrobe choice that has a modern female detective looking like a 1940s mobster make a bit more sense.

“I was obsessed with the hat,” Bello says. “Yes. I feel like it’s my magic hat. When I put it on, I was this character. It felt right to me. It felt like this is who Jane is. And I got it from my friend Claire. The first night I ever met her, she handed me the hat. She said, ‘This belongs to you.’ And I put it on, and for me, it’s Jane Timoney.”

Lesson learned. It’s Bello’s magic hat. Don’t mess with it.

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Comments (44 total) Add your comment
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    I don’t like the hat. It distracts from Bello’s good looks.

    • Cheery

      Who loves ya baby, you’re beautiful ;)

      • What?

        she looks like an idiot

      • silvanna

        LOVE the hat, and hats are fashionable once again. Neal Caffrey wears a hat.

    • DTO

      Granted she’s a female detective trying to be taken seriously in a man’s world and all that, but she’s pretty hot, so why wear a hat that covers up that awesome blonde hair of hers?

  • DanOregon

    Yeah – nothing wrong with distracting viewers wondering about a hat instead of focusing on what is going on.
    It’s not wearing a hat that’s the problem – it’s that hat.

    • Kristin

      And what kind of hat DanOregon would you prefer her in? Clearly you are a fashionista of authority?

  • Proofread!

    This is a national publication, for Pete’s sake!

    “Critics are press tour…” What?

    “I don’t know whether it’s a weather thing or weather it’s…” This is particularly aggravating since you used ‘whether’ and ‘weather’ the first two times, but not the third.

    “…it’s a one of…” Are you Italian? Did one of the Mario Bros. write this?

    • Proofread!

      Thanks for correcting. Not sure why that can’t be done BEFORE you post, but I guess it’s all about speed rather than accuracy with the Internet.

  • jmag

    I dont like it.

  • Victoria

    Charlie from Fringe!! YAY!

    • Cameron

      Kirk Acevedo is criminally underused on Fringe.

      • tracy bluth

        I’m just glad Charlie-albeit Alt-Charlie- is still able to be on the show. Hopefully he’ll return this season (after all, what will happen between him and “Bug Girl”?)

  • tnsmoke

    Maria Bello + hat + Aidan Quinn = “I’m in!”

    • Caroline

      Me too!

  • Jeff

    The hat just looks weird. Also, was it necessary to re-do “Prime Suspect”?

    • Bob

      If necessity was a requirement for re-makes, we would have been spared about 90% of TV and movie fare from the last decade. Alas, necessity is not even #147 on the pre-greenlight checklist.

      • clare

        Bob, what a simply perfect response to Jeff. Thank you.

    • Isembard

      This is not a remake in any sense of the word – at least if you believe those awful previews. Not sure why they even bothered to use the “Prime Suspect” name. Do they think PS fans are going to be drawn to this thing which does look, alas, like a very, very stupid mess. They need to worry about more than an ugly hat.

      Too bad. I love Acevedo and really like Bello, but I have a bad feeling when the previews already having me hating the lead character and the showl.

      • orville

        Those previews are dreadful. It looks as if they’re trying to “comedy it up.” You’re right–from the previews it looks *nothing* like the original series. Even down to the names. Why bother using the series name when you’re going to change everything else?

  • SarahE

    In some “real life” detective bureaus, the first time a detective solves a case, he/she receives a hat. Maybe that’s what the hat is all about?

  • pete

    Helen Mirren owns this role, this show won’t come close to being anywhere nearly as good, or enjoyable…sorry that’s the way it is.

    • Jennifer


    • Dylan

      Wow, Pete…sounds like you aren’t the most creative or open person out there. They say this is a total rewrite and got the highest ratings NBC has had according to press…let’s see our country have a good show with a great American female lead. Why not? I hope it is.

  • Cate

    I already have bad feelings about this show.

  • AJ

    like it.

  • Jennifer

    Like that hat’s the worst thing about this mess anyway.

  • Megh

    I thought it was nod to the fact Helen Mirren wore an English “bobby” hat in a lot of episodes. And if the hat is the worst people can say about the show, it must be pretty good.

    • Michelle

      I totally agree Megh, and I really like the hat. It’s cool, fresh, different and Maria Bello’s character clearly wants to be taken seriously when on the job. People above probably have zero fashion sense and go around wearing fake eyelashes or holey boxers. Onwards… and I so hope the show is excellent.

      • Steve

        I hope so too. Need a good procedural to fill the L&O void.

      • Steve

        It’s funny that L&O in the USA is gone now (I know you have SVU but those are sex crimes not homicides); and you have Prime Suspect in NYC based on a UK show and you have L&O UK lol

  • Riven

    Is Kirk Acevedo going to be a regular on this show? I’ve rumors that he won’t be back on Fringe and that makes me sad. :(

  • Tully

    From the pic above, the hat looks cute. I’ll have to see the show before knowing if I’ll like it or not.

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