CBS THE EARLY SHOW, TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW
September 21, 2006
Julie Chen: Tonight on CSI, Marg Helgenberger and her costars on CSI begin a very special two-part season premiere. The investigators go backstage at the famous Cirque du Soleil after a mysterious death.
(Clip of CSI is shown)
Julie: Marg Helgenberger, good morning.
Marg: Good morning, Julie.
Julie: Tonight’s the night we’ve all been waiting for, the season premiere, a very dark episode for Catherine Willows, your character.
Marg: It ends up turning quite dark. The beginning is very, kind of, colorful and exotic with the, you know, ‘Kau’, which is what you saw a little bit just then, and, but also we solve that crime. It turns out to be just…well, I’m not going to give it away how it ends…
Julie: Right. Don’t give it away!
Marg: But ummm, anyway, Nick Stokes, George Eads and I end up at a bar together, just trying to unwind and kick back after a tough day’s work.
Julie: You know, I want to ask you about that because we showed a clip of you guys dancing, which we have again today…It looks a bit romantic.
Marg: Uhh, well, I’m glad you think so. It actually was just quite platonic. He’s, you know, our relationship on the show is basically I…I feel like I’m his, you know, big sister. But umm, anyway, John Mayer – I hear his music playing – he was guest starring on the episode and he…that was delightful, and ummm anyway, it ends up becoming – I become a victim of a crime myself. I end up becoming roofied and that propels my entire journey for part 2, which will be next week, and uhhh, you know, it allowed my character – it allowed me – to play lots of different emotions and nuances, and it was thoroughly gratifying from an acting point of view.
Julie: For anyone who doesn’t know, roofied is the date rape drug.
Julie: So you are not only trying to solve crimes, but you think you’ve been a victim of a crime, and you suddenly pull this McGyver where you wake up in this hotel room and you get…you make your own rape test kit. Ummm, how…
Marg: Right. I process myself…
Julie: I mean, shooting this scene, it looks pretty intense. But as an actor, probably something you want to sink your teeth into. No?
Marg: Is that the scene from…oh right, yes. You know what, it was uhh…I guess it falls under the category of being somewhat raw, and it felt like I was in my own little noir movie set because it was…
Julie: Which is very popular right now, by the way. The film noir thing…
Marg: It is, it is…a little contemporary now there.
Julie: This is the seventh season for CSI, and I’ve heard you say…
Julie: Well no, because it’s so good. But I’ve heard you say you think this is the best season ever.
Marg: And I still believe that, yes. We are now two months into it and I think on…shooting season uhh…sixth episode. The scripts are fantastic. Everybody’s been really kind of inspired this year. I mean, uhhh, there’s been some talk about the fact that we now have some stiffer competition on another network.
Julie: Yeah, let’s talk about that. They’re putting Grey’s Anatomy opposite you guys.
Marg: They are. Yes.
Julie: How do you feel about that?
Marg: Actually, I think all of us looked at it as a challenge to uhhh…’Hey, let’s see what we can do’ and because we’ve, we’ve been right there at the top of the ratings heap for quite some time and it’s…enjoyed it…
Julie: You guys have owned Thursday night.
Marg: We’ve enjoyed it and we want to continue to enjoy it, and you know what, the two shows are…two completely different shows, and I think there’s enough people to go around for both of them, and… But I think it’s had a very positive effect on us, I guess the creative team.
Julie: Makes you step up your game more. You definitely don’t get complacent after seven seasons when they put this against you guys, which is a good thing in a weird way.
Marg: It was. It was actually a really positive thing so…
Julie: Are we going…
Marg: I’m pleased.
Julie: Are we going to see any romance between you and George Eads because I know you said it was purely platonic, that scene we showed.
Marg: Mmmhmm…I doubt it. I mean, there might be sparks with someone else. I don’t know exactly whom that might be, and it could be somebody that appears out of nowhere in the new few episodes, but umm, you know, I’d look forward to the opportunity because it’s another way to, sort of, show different sides of Catherine.
Julie: Well, that leas me to a true/false quiz we like to play sometimes on The Early Show with our celebrities. True or false? Catherine, your character, and Nick, George Eads’ character, had an intense makeout scene in a carwash that was left on the cutting room floor.
Marg: True. In the pilot episode. Mmmhmm.
Julie: Ho ho ho ho. And finally, true or false, you began your television career as a local traffic reporter in Nebraska.
Julie: You were a weather girl.
Marg: Right on.
Julie: Marg Helgenberger, thanks for playing. We cannot wait to see it tonight.
Marg: Thanks, Julie.