Marg posted this photo on twitter this morning. Looks like she and her former castmates had a CSI series finale viewing party last night and from what she said in interviews this week, Jorja Fox was their gracious host for the evening. In addition to sharing this wonderful photo, Marg also offered a heartfelt salute to all of the CSI fans: “To all the fans we salute you! Immeasurable thanks for your devotion.”
— Marg Helgenberger (@MargHelgen) September 28, 2015
Here are a couple of great new promotional stills from tonight’s CSI series finale, Immortality. Thanks so much to Marg and to TV Guide for sharing these images with fans. Enjoy tonight’s finale!
The website ‘Zap2It’ also had a chance to interview Marg about the CSI series finale. They discussed why Marg returned for the finale, why CSI caught on like it did, and what her thoughts were on the show becoming such a worldwide success.
Zap2it: What does it mean to you to return for the final episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”?
Being involved in that show for close to 12 seasons was, certainly, the highlight of my career … and it had such a huge impact on my life. Being a part of a show that becomes a cultural phenomenon, that doesn’t happen very often. The phrase “the CSI effect” was coined because of the show, and just the amount of kids who were inspired to become criminologists — that’s certainly an impact I wouldn’t have anticipated when I began the show.
Zap2it: Why do you think “CSI” caught on the way it did?
The audience was ripe and ready for it, and just from the few commercials that existed for it, they said, “Hey, this looks exciting.” I do remember the teaser, and it was pretty exciting, actually. Obviously, I’m biased, but I can see why an audience would be engaged and intrigued.
Zap2it: What do you make of the international success “CSI” has enjoyed?
I sometimes don’t think about that until I travel abroad. In some ways, I’m more recognized there than I am here, and that always takes me aback. The most recent time that happened to me, I was in Cuba in November. This was before the travel embargo was lifted, and one would assume they didn’t have American programming there … but how wrong I was. From the moment I stepped foot through immigration, I was recognized throughout the entire country, and the people were so incredibly lovely. It was like the old days, when in our country, the whole family would sit around and watch a show as it was broadcast. Who does that now?
The interviews just keep coming! I think we’re all going to be very bored once the CSI series finale airs and the paces of the interviews slows back down to normal. The latest interview comes to us from ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ who spoke to Marg about why she didn’t miss her character after she left CSI, the surprising scene in the finale that kept causing her to well up with tears, and whether the show should have called it quits after the core cast stepped away. Here are some highlights from the interview. You can read the complete interview HERE.
Did you shed any tears while filming the finale?
It was mostly laughs — there were a few tears, but in odd, surprising ways. When I finished my last scene, I didn’t have tears — it could have been because it was late at night, and I had to catch an early flight the next morning. (Laughs.) But it happened on a crime scene, believe it or not. All of the CSIs were there, collecting and gathering evidence, and Catherine breezes back in and [is] stating “I have jurisdiction,” blah blah blah. Every time I got to those lines, I was welling up. Some of it had to do with what [my character] had just experienced prior to that scene. I didn’t know if it was the combination of seeing the team together and doing what they do best — here I am all these years later, and they’re still passionate about what they do. It was a bit of fiction taking over reality and vice versa. You’ve played that character for so long, it lives inside you, as do all the other characters.
What was it like to inhabit this character again?
When I left the show midway through season 12, I did not miss Catherine Willows. The thing I missed about the show was obviously the people and the structure of the show that it provides. You get into a rhythm, and when that is removed, you’re like, “Wait a second!” (Laughs.) I was really looking forward to a break, which I enjoyed for the first few months, and then it was like, “Hmmm.” (Laughs.) When I actually got around to shooting [the finale], I realized I was really glad to be back in her suits and her boots and her swagger and her savvy and her sass. It was just really fun because I liked the character a great deal, and I was lucky to have played her for all those years.
Did you have second thoughts after leaving the show, and was there something that you missed the most about it?
I never really doubted [leaving] — sometimes, you just instinctively know that you need a break, and I knew that I needed a break then and there. [But I missed] just the camaraderie we had on the set was just so amazing — and not just the cast. It was the crew, it was the writers — the whole journey that we had taken together, this enormous magical mystery tour we were on for 15 years.
What’s your take on the show’s lasting legacy?
[I’m proud of] the impact it had on young people to become criminalists, and how it really illuminated what criminalists and coroners do, people that were always behind the scenes when it came to crime solving. Now all of sudden, they got the attention, and it just became this phenomenon — that was a joy ride to be on. It also had an effect on the way trials happened. In a trial, if you have forensic evidence, it’s irrefutable. I think the fact that people all of a sudden had something they could hang on to — “Oh, this is the truth” — and I think that’s what people liked so much about it.
Is this the right time to end the show? Should it maybe have ended back when the core cast left?
For all of my friends that were still involved with the show, I would have wanted it to continue, as they would have, because they all really enjoyed their jobs. (Laughs) I think [this] was probably about the right time to have the show go off the air. Fifteen years is a good long time, and I think the show was still really solid. Every year, it always becomes harder when a show becomes really popular — three spinoffs and numerous shows that were inspired by CSI, so the idea gets watered down, and it gets hard to keep it fresh — it’s hard to keep new inventive ways of presenting the science. If anybody could pull it off, it was the core group of people that were involved in the creative decisions of CSI.
This show had such a magic — when you read a new pilot now, is it hard for anything to compare to CSI? Are there still shows out there that get you excited in the same way?
Because of the length of time that I did the show, it’s hard not to compare anything you do from this point forward to CSI because that was a real chunk of my career was devoted to CSI. But you’ve got to look at everything with fresh eyes and an open mind and open heart to what that experience entails. The only way you’re going to be inspired is to remain open.
The CSI finale airs Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. on CBS.