THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, TRANSCRIPT OF MARG’S INTERVIEW
January 13, 2005
David: Our first guest is an Emmy award winning actress starring in a new film titled In Good Company. It opens tomorrow. Here’s the lovely Marg Helgenberger, ladies and gentleman.
David: How are you?
Marg: I’m great. I love being on your show.
David: We love having you here. I wish you could come more often. You just look tremendous, by the way.
Marg: Oh, thank you.
David: Congratulations on winning the big People’s Choice Award.
Marg: And back at ya.
David: Your category was Favorite Female TV Star.
David: That’s tremendous. Because all of the people on the shows and you are selected by the people.
Marg: I was very touched by it. You know, it’s a funny awards show. Well, not funny. Hamish (sp?), the Yiddish term.
David: I’m not familiar with it.
Marg: Friendly, intimate. And I always love…I have a good time there. But the red carpet is always so trippy and they ask you such odd questions.
David: This is where the celebrities come down the red carpet and people interview you before you go into the show.
Marg: That’s right. Yes and they always ask you, of course, who are you wearing and what’s happening on the show. But Sunday night, which was when the show was broadcast, I was asked “And where were you when you heard about Brad and Jen?”
David: And they’re actually asking you that question?
Marg: Everybody was and I just said…I was like, I was talking to this guy here. That is how I found out. It was so unusual.
David: It’s a little silly.
Marg: Yeah. I don’t really…
David: It’s a whole different world. But if you watch the right kind of thing or the wrong kind of thing, that is the world really. Isn’t it? It’s strange.
Marg: Yes, I know.
David: You know what I mean?
Marg: I do know what you mean. Yes.
David: Anyway, Congratulations on the award. I’m glad you had a nice time.
Marg: Congratulations on becoming a father.
David: Oh, thank you very much. What a lot of fun that’s going to be. Do you remember where you were when you heard I had become a father?
Marg: (Bends over laughing)
David: Oh I love it when you do that. (referring to her bending over).
David: Now there are three CSI shows, right?
David: We were having a conversation about this.
Marg: We breed like rabbits over there on CSI.
David: There is your show, the Original CSI.
David: And then there’s the CSI, Is it Miami?
David: And now the CSI: New York.
Marg: That’s right.
David: Your show is still by far and away, head and shoulders, the best of the three.
Marg: Oh, thank you, David. Thank you. We do our best. We try.
David: How are things over there? Everything good now?
Marg: Yeah. We had a little bit of a rocky start, you know. We had a couple of actors fired.
David: Yeah, I remember that. I read that there were guys fired and that they have all been rehired.
Marg: Yes, yes.
David: And they have caught the guy stealing. Is that what it was?
Marg: You should have them on your show and ask them about the experience. No, it was a little rocky but we’re back on track. I’m just hoping that these people from the news division will get their gigs back.
David: Oh my God, is that a terrible thing? Is that a black eye for the CBS eye, the news division? I mean, if you’re in the business, in news, it’s just news. You can’t have a fiction department in the news room. You know?
David: You can’t really just make stuff up.
Marg: No, no.
David: And I heard that the show, was it the show earlier tonight? There was a severed head with baby snakes living in it. Was that tonight?
Marg: Yes. It’s airing. Right exactly.
David: Now what happened there on that one?
Marg: They’re always such strange plots that our writers come up with and they get their ideas. This takes you into the world of narcaridos(sp?) which is music that’s in the Latin culture that explores, I guess, drugs ( Marg starts babbling). I’m babbling aren’t I? I get so nervous when I am on your show.
(Marg bends over laughing)
David: Some nights I’d pay for this seat. (referring again to her bending over). Anyway, let’s go on.
Marg: It’s so funny. I do these shows you know and then we move on to the next on and I sort of have to…I don’t remember.
David: No, I understand what you are saying. Because you probably filmed it weeks and weeks ago.
Marg: Yes, right.
David: Now you and I have something similar in our background. I think we’re both from, I mean, I know I’m from the Midwest, and I think you’re from the Midwest.
Marg: I am. Yes.
David: And we both started in local television. And I started doing, I was a weatherman of sorts and you also did the weather. Is that right?
Marg: I did the weather in rural Nebraska. In the middle of the state.
David: What town?
Marg: Kearney, Nebraska, yes. And I, you know, it wasn’t like I aspired to be a weather girl. I was in college and a guy in my class said, ‘You know , come out we need a weekend weather person.’ And I went out and I did a terrible audition. Terrible. I did not know what I was doing, But I went like that ( Marg winks) you know to the lens and that got me the gig.
David: I understand that.
Marg: I didn’t go like that (Marg bends down)
(Audience applauds and Marg and David Laugh)
David: I thought this was kind of cute. They asked you in those days to change your name from Helgenberger to what was it McCarty?
Marg: McCarty. The only time.
David: Yeah. Tell them why they thought they needed to do this.
Marg: Well, because the anchor team consisted of the news man whose name was Harvey Knocklinger and the sports person was Joyce Eisenminger.. And so it would have been the Knocklinger, Eisenminger, Helgenberger report.
David: That’s tremendous. Now we have a little video tape of you doing the weather. Do you mind? We don’t have to show this.
Marg: Go ahead.
David: Again, you’re just right out of college.
Marg: I’m not even. I’m like nineteen, still in college.
David: Nineteen, that’s great
Marg: Nineteen, yeah.
David: So this is like your first professional television gig.
Marg: Fifteen dollars a broadcast.
David: Let’s take a look
(Clip of Marg doing the weather is shown)
David: That’s great
Marg: It sounds like I inhaled helium.
David: That was tremendous. We haven’t even really talked about In Good Company. You and Dennis Quaid. That’s a nice film. I saw it a couple weeks ago.
Marg: Oh, thank you. Thank you.
David: It must have been nice working with Dennis Quaid.
Marg: It was great. Yes, he‘s a wonderful actor. So generous and supportive. You know the movie sort of…lightly explores themes like corporate merging and downsizing and ageism. And we sort of mirrored what was going on. Well, the making of the film the first three days. I only did seven days on the film. The first three days it was just Dennis and myself. And we were, it was intimate and fun and all that. And then the kids, Scarlett and Topher, who are wonderful in the film, and Zena the other daughter, arrived for this dinner scene and they just… You know how kids are. They take over and blah, blah, blah. Dennis and I just looked at each other and smiled. What are you going to do? You gotta give it up to the kids. And again at the premier, we saw each other. ‘Oh, Congratulations I haven’t seen Topher. Where is he?’ He pointed him out at a table full of twenty somethings. We just looked at each other. Not our demographic. But I think that is why the movie will have a great appeal.
David: That’s the way life is, for heaven’s sake.
Marg: Yes, my son who is fourteen, he went to the premier with us. And he said, ‘Oh mom it will appeal to everybody.’ So I’m hoping it does.
David: I hope so as well. It opens tomorrow. Let’s look at a clip. Do you know what we’re going to see?
Marg: I believe it’s when Topher’s character arrives. He’s playing Dennis’ young boss and we went and invited him home for dinner.
David: Alright. It’s called In Good Company. It opens tomorrow. Let’s take a look.
(In Good Company clip is shown)
David: In Good Company opens tomorrow. Marg, my dear. Always a pleasure.
Marg: Always a pleasure, David. Thank you
David: Congratulations on everything.
*Special thanks to fox1 for transcribing this interview for us.