THE EARLY SHOW (TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW)
The CBS Early Show
September 22, 2005
Interview by Julie Chen
Julie: The new season of TV’s most watched drama CSI kicks off tonight on CBS. The cracked forensics team tackles three complex murder cases, including one involving a beautiful stripper who turns up dead in a bad part of town. Marg Helgenberger stars as investigator Catherine Willows.
(Clip of CSI shown)
Julie: Marg Helgenberger, good morning
Marg: Good Morning, Julie.
Julie: The sixth season. Can you believe it?
Marg: Shocking. It goes by in the blink of an eye.
Julie: And twenty seven million viewers average per week. The number one show in the country. I mean when you first started this six seasons ago, what did you think?
Marg: Well, you know…when you get the pilot you’re so thrilled to get the job and then to get picked up and then to get the numbers the first week and then they just keep growing. And then it’s just been quite a ride from that point on. Two spin offs later and so many other shows we’ve inspired. It’s hard to believe. We’re like one of the elders now, you know, on television.
Julie: Probably seems like yesterday you were just starting out. What can we expect this season? You play a single mom.
Julie: Any chance of your ex-husband coming back or…
Marg: Well, my ex-husband sadly is dead. But there is a chance of, at least I’m hoping there’s a chance, that my real life husband Alan Rosenberg makes a return. He played a very complex public defender last year, who we sort of had a flirtation with, which turned out kind of bad. But it was an interesting relationship. And I hope that my father played by Scott Wilson returns because he’s a casino mogul. I mean I love all the stuff we shoot in Vegas because it’s just…Catherine, my character Catherine is a Vegas girl. Born and raised, mother was a showgirl. So she’s of that world as unlike all the other team members are from all over the country. It’s just fun shooting it. You get a lot of richness. In fact, this opening episode was shot in an area that was all strip clubs. It alternated between strip clubs and wedding chapels, and one of the marquees that we were shooting in the parking lot near a strip club, I swear to God, this marquee read ‘Home of the five dollar lap dance.’
Julie: Oh my Goodness. Was there a long line outside?
Marg: Not really.
Marg: No, no, there wasn’t.
Julie: There’s a reason it’s five dollars.
Julie: What a cast you have, lead by Billy Peterson, Gary Dourdan , who I didn’t know could sing so well at the Emmys.
Marg: Yes, I knew Gary could. He’s a musician and he did a great job, I thought. He was fantastic.
Julie: And who knew you were the dancer? I mean at the Emmys the other night. It was so great seeing the Black Eyed Peas go out into the crowd. They pulled you out. Now you were…
(Clip of Marg dancing at the Emmy’s shown)
Marg: Yeah, Unexpected.
Julie: You had no idea? I was wondering because you was having such a great time, it looked like you knew.
Marg: I had no idea and I was thrilled to do it though. I mean when he grabbed my hand, I thought ‘Okay, just go for it,’ you know. And it was really fun. Really, Really fun.
Julie: Now you had no idea that you were going to be presenting until two days before and you looked fabulous. How’d you pull it all together?
Marg: Well you hire the pros. I have a stylist Debra and she’s really like the consummate professional. She really pulled it together. It was a Monique Lhuillier dress. And yes, I didn’t have much notice. But it all pulled together. Thank goodness.
Julie: I’m telling you, everyone in my row. You got up there and started dancing, and we all said ‘Look how great Marg looks.’ We all had the collective gasp. I’m surprised you didn’t hear us.
Marg: Thank you.
Julie: Meanwhile, we love seeing you on the big screen as well. How do you juggle the time? Do you have to wait until CSI is done shooting to start doing films?
Marg: Pretty much that’s kind of how it works. It’s…even though they claim to…we will work it out for you. It’s always complicated to free our schedules and I think the other part, the film directors, producers, whatever. They’re the ones that I think are a little bit more intimidated by that ten month schedule of a television show. Because they just don’t want to work around you, unless they really want you badly. Luckily the last movie I did was In Good Company and it was a short…they kind of condensed everything to seven days which was brilliant for all parties concerned. And I salute everybody who made that happen. It was fun. I really had a wonderful time on that.
Julie: Yeah. You were great in it. It was a great movie.
Marg: Thank you.
Julie: Keep on doing what you do on CSI and on the big screen. We’re big fans. Thank you so much for coming by.
Marg: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Julie: Good to see you.
Marg: You too.
Julie: And don’t forget the season premier of CSI airs tonight at 9:00, 8:00 central right here on CBS. Before you go, Is Quentin Tarantino going to make another appearance as director?
Marg: We hope so. I tried to talk him into it the other night. But he’s got something going on, I think with Robert Rodriguez, coming up
Marg: We’ll see.
Julie: Alright, We’ll see
Marg: He’d like to.
Julie: Stay tuned. Thanks, Marg.
*Special thanks to fox1 for transcribing this interview.