LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O’BRIEN (TRANSCRIPT OF MARG’S INTERVIEW)
Transcript of Marg’s Interview
June 6, 2007
Conan: Our first guest is an Emmy Award winning actress who stars on one of the biggest shows on television, CSI. Now, she can also be seen co-starring with Kevin Costner in the film Mr. Brooks. Please welcome Marg Helgenberger!
Marg: Thank you!
Conan: That’s a nice outfit you’re wearing. It’s summer…summery…
Marg: Summery, yeah. Very feminine.
Conan: Yeah. You look fantastic.
Marg: Thank you.
Conan: Thank you for being here.
Marg: Thank you for having me. It’s always fun to be here. I haven’t been here for a few years.
Marg: It’s great to be in New York. Oh my God, the weather is perfect.
Conan: It’s perfect right now. Outside it’s the perfect temperature. That’s why we’ve left our windows open. The breeze…
Marg: I can feel it.
Conan: coming straight through. Play along, everyone.
Marg: I walked to the park today. It was fantastic.
Conan: That’s nice.
Marg: Washington Square Park yesterday.
Conan: Yeah. I was noticing something today actually – just before the show, we go through the meeting where we go over all the different cards for things. And I was looking at your name and I was thinking it’s funny because so many people, you know, change their name when they decide they want to get into show business to something like Blaze Storm or Conan O’Brien (audience laughs)…because I was Chip Whitley and that wasn’t going to wash, and uhhh…but you…this is your real name.
Marg: My real name.
Conan: Did you get pressure…Marg Helgenberger…Did anyone say like, ‘you gotta get something sleeker’?
Marg: The only time I was actually asked to change my name. And I did, briefly, for two months, was when I was nineteen years old and I was a weekend weather girl in Kearney, Nebraska, and ummm…they changed…I changed it to Margi McCarty, which was my grandmother’s maiden name, McCarty.
Conan: Margi McCarty…
Marg: Margi McCarty, yes. Mmmhmmm.
Conan: That’s…here’s Margi McCarty (audience laughs). I like it! ‘Here’s Margi McCarty with the weather, the local weather, Margi McCarty.’
Marg: Yes, that’s right.
Conan: That works. And so uhhh, but…and so you changed it and it was a good decision. Why did you change it for that program but not…
Marg: Well, I changed it because the anchor team consisted of Harvey Knocklinger and Joyce Eisenminger (everyone laughs). It would have been the Knocklinger, Eisenminger, Helgenberger Report.
Marg: And I was the low person on the totem pole…
Conan: Sounds like a kooky law firm.
Conan: That’s funny, yeah. What is it again? Eisenberger? What is it?
Marg: Knocklinger and Eisenminger
Conan: That’s great. They didn’t change…
Marg: No! Well, I was the little newbie.
Conan: Right. So they made you change. That’s not right. I understand.
Marg: But I got outta there.
Conan: Well, you got out of there and you’re back to Marg Helgenberger. Now, what about…this would be flattering – you’re not doing it, but you were offered a photoshoot in Playboy Magazine. Is that right?
Marg: Yeah. I was offered…
(audience laughs and claps, and some wolf whistles are heard)
Conan: Sorry. I said she’s not going to do it. Someone said, ‘YES!’
Marg: Uhhh. Very flattering, but I passed. I passed, yeah. Um, you know, my husband would have been…My husband actually started boasting to his buddies a little bit, saying, you know, ‘You know, my wife was offered the cover of Playboy.’
(Conan and audience laugh)
Marg: And one of his friends was really funny about it. He said, ‘she really ought to that take up because the next offer’s going to be the cover of AARP. (Everyone laughs)
Conan: What nice friends!
Marg: I know, I know. You gotta know this guy to understand…
Conan: No, it’s cool though. It’s flattering…
Marg: Yeah, of course.
Conan: Now, what about CSI? This show is everywhere. Do you…
Marg: You can’t get away from us.
Conan: Yeah, well no, it’s a terrific show. It’s all throughout the world. Do they promote the show everywhere?
Conan: Do you ever go to other countries to help promote it?
Marg: Yes. A couple of years ago, I went to Rome and England and went to The Vatican. In fact, I recently got a request to be a guest on The Vatican Radio Hour, and I…I get a fair amount of requests and I guess I sort of spaced it off and didn’t deal with it right away. And I heard from them…a chastisement, you know, like a…. ‘We can’t understand why Marg…Ms. Helgenberger has not responded to His Holiness’s request’ and I felt so guilty…like this major guilt was on me…and I said, ‘You know what, when I get back…’
Conan: When people turn us down, that’s what I say. When people turn us down for requests: ‘We can’t understand why your Holiness wasn’t responded to right away’ (audience laughs)
Marg: You were raised Catholic, right?
Conan: I was raised Catholic, yeah.
Marg: Yeah, so you know the whole guilt thing.
Conan: Yeah. They were playing on that guilt.
Marg: And I responded! I reacted. I said, ‘Oh, when I get back from New Yor, I’ll take care of it. I’ll take care of it, sure!’ But they told me like as an enticement ‘Oh, these are some of the people who, you know, have been a part of this’ and one of them was Steven Seagal, which they said in parentheses ‘whom you have worked with’. As if I’d ever forget that I worked with Steven Seagal!
Conan: You know, Steven Seagal is uhhhh….
Marg: He’s not an easy person to forget.
Conan: I think we always have a photo of Steven Seagal standing by. There he is (audience laughs because it’s a very unflattering picture) coming out of the all you can eat buffet at The Sizzler. (more laughter)
Marg: What’s he have in his hand? (everyone laughs)
Conan: It’s a carp. Uhhh, he walks around now with a fish. I don’t know what he’s got in his hand!
Conan: That’s so funny. Why is it…first of all, many questions. The Vatican Radio show…you’d think they’d be talking to spiritual leaders, but they’re desperately trying to talk to Hollywood celebrities, AND, they’re using the fact…’We got Steven Seagal on. Ehhh, pretty good!’
Marg: Well, who’s Jewish, isn’t he? I mean…
Conan: You’re asking me a lot of questions (more laughter)
Marg: Not that it matters, I guess. You know, but…
Conan: Yeah. He’s Jewish and he carries a fish around. It’s …it’s a white fish. I don’t know! I don’t know what’s happening.
Marg: It’s chum?
Conan: It seems very strange to me, but I’ll talk to The Vatican about it later. We speak nightly.
Marg: Please tell…send my apologies and I’ll take care of that ASPAP (makes funny face)
Marg: AARP, whatever.
Conan: Yeah, I’ll tell them you said ASPCA.
Conan: Uhhh, I have a question for you, which is, of course…everyone loves the show CSI, but I have a concern, which is that your show actually seem to…I would think that show educates criminals about how to avoid…because you watch that show, you’re like ‘Oh, okay. I see how to do it.’ And on the show, you’re always making it very clear he wouldn’t have been caught if he’d only gotten these three things that you can buy at any drug store and sprinkled it on the rug (audience laughs).
Marg: Well, yeah, we are educating…we’re educating everyone, not just criminals. In fact, most people who watch that show or the many spinoffs and other derivatives…
Marg: Ummm, know that if you were to commit a crime in which blood is involved and…that you can’t just use soap and water to clean up the blood. You have to use bleach. You have to bleach the floor.
Conan: So if you’re watching right now, remember – soap and water won’t get the blood out. Bleach! And you’ll walk free for the remainder of your life (audience laughs).
Conan: It seems…that’s an interesting problem.
Marg: Well, yeah. Yeah. Because luminol, a product called luminol, when you spray it on a…what appears to be a dr….(covers her mouth as audience laughs). Woops, I should…I’m going to shut up.
Conan: You keep going.
Marg: Luminol, you can’t buy in the Rite Aid or the CVS Pharmacy or whatever it is out here (laughs)
Conan: Where can you get luminol?
Marg: Uhhh….you’ll have to take it up with me…
Conan: Any Staples, I think. No. Staples, yeah.
Conan: It’s an interesting problem. Have you ever had a device on your show, because they use, they feature real devices that are used by FBI and used by police forces…have they every shown you…What’s like the coolest device you’ve seen recently?
Marg: Well, there was a machine…we get a lot of state of the art equipment, which sadly, a lot of the crime labs don’t have the resources to get, by anyway, there was a …. (audience laughs)
Conan: So, again, the equipment the police have isn’t very good (Marg has her head in her hands, laughing), so maybe go on that spree now before they get that equipment.
Marg: (laughing) I can’t believe I said that…I always…
Conan: No, it’s very easy to get away with a multiple murder.
Marg: We’re always trying to do fundraisers to get money into…
Marg: Yeah. Ummm…I don’t even know what the official name of this particular device is, but it literally, it’s some kind of infrared thing in which…if you were to like sit down, and …I would leave my butt print there. But how…butt prints aren’t on file…I don’t really…I don’t quite get how they can…track somebody down…
Conan: Maybe you don’t keep a file (audience laughs and Marg has her head in her hands again). For years on this show, I’ve been scanning the seats when the guests leave. I have the most extensive celebrity ass file in the world!
Marg: We’ll get you that butt print machine.
Conan: I’m going to be called in by the FBI at some point. ‘Conan will tell us who did it!’ Ehhhhh (pretends to be scanning his file). ‘Steven Seagal! He stole that fish from your store!’ (Marg and the audience laugh).
Conan: I want to make sure we get to this – the film, Mr. Brooks.
Conan: This is with Kevin Costner, uhhh.
Marg: Yes, and William Hurt, and Demi Moore. Great cast.
Conan: That’s right. And a terrific cast. And he plays…you were playing his wife…
Conan: He’s a serial killer, you’re his wife, and you have no idea. He’s…and it’s believable when you watch because he’s so smooth. He’s such a smoothie.
Marg: He’s elegant. He’s elegant, yes and he plays a man who leads a double life, and I’m the good…the Dr. Jekyll part of his persona, and ummm, you know, I’m very, we have a very…he’s the perfect man, you know. To me! He’s the great provider, great husband, great lover, great father…
Marg: Blah blah blah blah blah…..but you know, he’s got this addiction.
Marg: To murder.
Conan: Murder. (audience laughs). Ahhh, you always have to take the bad with the good. (audience laughs again).
Marg: Exactly. That’s marriage, you know.
Conan: We have a clip here. What can you tell us?
Marg: The clip, I believe, is…in the beginning of the film, Kevin’s character is honored as Man of the Year and we are returning from that particular even, and …you’ll see how much we like each other.
Conan: Terrific. Let’s take a look at this clip from Mr. Brooks.
(clip is shown)
Marg and Conan are talking as the clip stops but what they say is drowned out by the audience clapping.
Conan: Mr. Brooks is in theaters now. Marg, thank you so much for doing it. Always great having you on the show.
Marg: Thank you, Conan. Thank you.