ELLEN, TRANSCRIPT OF MARG’S INTERVIEW
February 19, 2004
Ellen: Our first guest is an Emmy award winning actress on television’s #1 show CSI. Let’s watch her in action
(Clip of CSI shown)
Ellen: Please welcome, Marg Helgenberger!
Ellen: Welcome Marg. How are ya?
Marg: I’m good, Ellen. Thank you for having me. It’s nice to be here.
Ellen: Well, we’re pleased to have you here. And I saw you last week at the Grammy’s.
Marg: I saw you too, although I didn’t grab you hand. You were on stage.
Ellen: You were right there. I saw you…and did you enjoy it?
Marg: You know what…I thought those were some awesome performances. Some of the best, one of the best Grammy shows I have seen.
Ellen: It was really great.
Marg: My son was with me. He had… my son and a friend of his, two thirteen-year-old boys. They just sat there like this. (makes face to imitate them) My son was biting his nails.
Ellen: Oh, wow. That must have been really cool.
Marg: Yeah. I mean, you know, what a couple of lucky boys they are.
Ellen: Yeah, a thirteen-year-old being at the Grammy’s. And does he like the White Stripes? Is that his music?
Marg: I think he was most interested in seeing OutKast actually.
Ellen: Oh yeah.
Marg: Oh, they’re so zany.
Ellen: I know.
Marg: They’re a riot, aren’t they?
Ellen: They’re amazing.
Marg: They’re so imaginative and creative.
Ellen: Yeah I love ‘em. So now a thirteen-year-old boy. That’s a hard age, isn’t it?
Marg: It’s challenging.
Ellen: I would think.
Marg: Yes, it’s very challenging. You know things like… In fac,t that night after we got home you know it was, ‘Why couldn’t we go to any of the parties?’ You know, because it was a school night, first off. And I had to work and all this. But then he’ll demand like, ‘Well, read me a story, tell me a story.’ ‘No, you’re being rude.’
Ellen: He’s got a gruff voice for a thirteen year old. (laughs)
Marg: But then, you know, ‘I’m not reading to you now. Just chill.’
Ellen: Are you’re still reading him stories at thirteen?
Marg: You know what I do…I tend to read…he wants me to read the scripts to him.
Ellen: Of your show?
Ellen: Of dead people?
Marg: Well, you know…
Ellen: Night, night. Sleep tight.
Marg: That thought has crossed my mind from time to time.
Ellen: Did I meet him at that…when you all were on vacation?
Marg: Yeah, he was with us.
Ellen: I think I met him, yeah. He seems very special.
Marg: Big Sur, gorgeous Big Sur. Of course, he found it uninteresting.
Ellen: Yeah, well, there’s not a lot to do there.
Ellen: It’s where we go to relax. A thirteen-year-old boy wouldn’t enjoy just hiking.
Marg: Hates it more than anything. A beautiful vista is not interesting to him.
Ellen: Someday though. That’s when you’re getting older…you appreciate a beautiful vista.
Ellen: So, again, I do my research, and I know that your first job on television was you were a weather person.
Marg: Yes, that was my first job.
Ellen: A lot of people that have been on the show start out doing the weather.
Marg: It was a complete fluke. I was in college, and there was a guy in my Interpretation of Drama class who did the weekday weather, and he said, ‘We’re looking for a weekend person would you be willing to come out and audition?’ And it was in the middle of nowhere in Kearney, Nebraska…literally in the rural area, middle of corn fields and everything. And I went out and gave a terrible audition. But I was just there to have a good time and winked into the lens, and that got me the job. Don’t ask me why.
Ellen: Really? Like what kind of wink? What you do?
Marg: Like that (Marg shows how she winked)
Ellen: There are different winks. There’s the really big one (Ellen shows big wink), and then there’s that (Ellen shows little wink). I’m not a winker. I’m not into winking. Do you wink a lot?
Ellen: You just happened to wink then.
Marg: Yeah, Don’t ask me why.
Ellen: ‘I messed up. I was really bad.’ (Ellen winks)
Marg: It was that. Exactly. It…
Ellen: We actually have a clip of you doing that. Did you hear that?
Ellen: I haven’t seen it yet. So this is you doing the weather in Kearney,Nebraska.
Marg: That’s right.
Ellen: How long ago was this? What year?
Marg: I was nineteen, so it was…
Ellen: A couple of years ago.
Marg: A couple of years ago. Yes, that’s right.
Ellen: Let’s take a look.
(Clip of Marg doing the weather shown)
Ellen: There’s just one area that looks like a whole bunch of eggs, and then there’s two temperatures up there by New Mexico. That’s all you cared about. Nobody else really existed, except random 107 and 43. That’s all you had up there.
Marg: You know, I did make my own maps. I don’t recall making this one…
Ellen: You made that map? And it was just thunder storms, that’s all you had. That’s fantastic.
Marg: Gold ball size hail, but there are no injuries reported yet. (Laughs)
Ellen: Over the entire state, you had it. (More laughter)
Ellen: we have to take a commercial break. We’ll be right back.
Ellen: We’re back with Marg Helgenberger. And it’s Marg. Now everybody knows how to pronounce it. I bet for a while they called you all kinds of things. But it’s Marg Helgenberger.
Marg: Yeah. My production company’s name, which I’ve had for like ten years now, is ‘Don’t Call Me Marge.’
Ellen: Because everybody did.
Marg: They still do.
Ellen: How can they do that? You’re on the number one show.
Marg: That’s right.
Ellen: That’s right. What’s it feel like? I mean, how do you feel being on the number one…such a huge hit?
Marg: Well, it’s exciting. It’s really fun. I mean, you know I won’t deny that. It’s fun being on a hit. You know it’s become…I guess you become sort of a pop culture jargon. You know, because I was mentioned on The Sopranos, this very funny scene involving something…oh I know it was. Do I have time to tell this whole story?
Ellen: I don’t know. Let’s try.
Marg: Aida Turturro’s character, Janice, is that her name? She was dating a guy who’s recently widowed, and they were on a date and…
Marg: She said, ‘You’ve been to see her, haven’t you?’ And he says, ‘What are you talking about?’ And she says, ‘I can see that there’s cemetery dirt on your shoes.’ And he goes, ‘What, what are you Marge Heggenberger?’ Like she was a CSI.
Ellen: And they didn’t pronounce your name right as a joke.
Marg: It was a joke.
Ellen: That’s how inside it was.
Marg: That how inside it was.
Ellen: That’s good. I like it. That’s flattery.
Marg: Yes, it was.
Ellen: I was an answer on Wheel of Fortune. I mean I hadn’t been on a Sopranos thing, but I’ve been on Wheel of Fortune.
Ellen: So what have you learned doing that? You’re a criminologist…What do you play exactly?
Marg: It’s actually…the official term is criminalist.
Marg: Criminalist, yes. Criminologist is, I think, the psychology of the behavior, understanding the behavior.
Ellen: Okay, so you don’t understand the behavior.
Marg: No, no, no. We just analyze the goodies. There’s all kind of equipment we’re given. I see you’ve got gloves here.
Ellen: Yeah, I know. Because I understand that you have to be…I would hold people up constantly trying to get these things on. You have to act like this is old hat because you put them on all the time.
Marg: Yeah, well, the women on the show are much better at it than the guys, of course.
Ellen: Why is that?
Marg: I guess women are just better with their hands, in general. I don’t really know. Guys always need assistance.
Ellen: Really? I’m not gonna touch that. (laughter)
Marg: See, these are large so these will be easier to get on, just in general. Or these are medium size or whatever.
Ellen: Alright, so how do you get them on quickly like you know what you’re doing?
Marg: It’s pretty… (Marg puts on her gloves)
Ellen: Oh well, that doesn’t look hard.
Marg: But the trick is…I would never wear a pair this size.
Ellen: These are too big?
Marg: These are too big. They have to, kind of, really fit like a glove, as the saying goes.
Ellen: What’s wrong with them being a little bit big? Wait, that’s completely wrong.
Marg: You wouldn’t be able to pick up…
Ellen: I have an extra thing right here. (Ellen is trying to put her gloves on and has an extra finger that she’s waving around). They’re not going anywhere. I don’t have to be in a hurry…they’re dead. Alright, well this is ridiculous.
Marg: It takes practice. I’ve been doing it for four seasons now.
Ellen: Was it hard at first? Did you have this happen to you?
Marg: They’ve torn on me before.
Ellen: Well, it’s a good thing that I…( Ellen still trying to put on her gloves)
Ellen: All right, CSI is on Thursdays at 9:00 on CBS.
*Special thanks to fox1 for transcribing this interview.