HELGENBERGER TIRED OF ‘LES EXPERTS’
March 20, 2011
(A big thanks to Nadia Richard for helping me with the translation from French to English.)
by Natalie Chuc
Meeting in Los Angeles for TV Magazine with Marg Helgenberger, alias Catherine Willows
With the silhouette of a teenage girl, size 34 and 5ft 6in, Marg Helgenberger, 52, looks like a fragile little thing. Do not be fooled by appearances! The veteran of CSI – a real redhead! – is a woman who knows how to handle her business. For this interview, she invites us into her huge trailer. Magnets on the fridge hold photos of her son, Hugh, William Petersen, her former sidekick, of her birthday celebrated in the studios, and her beloved dog, who she can’t take on the set, much to her regret.
Marg Helgenberger, 11 years on CSI, it starts to add up!
I mostly see the decade I’ve taken since the first episode and today. (Laughter.)
The 2009 departure of William Petersen, a former leader of the series, did it affect you?
It was hard to see him go even if he remains our executive producer. His tremendous energy is what is most lacking. If we had down moments because of the long hours spent on the set, he perked us back up. He left a great void. I think the writers of the series were lost after his departure, not knowing how to “patch up” stuff.
And then Laurence Fishburne came…
Yes! We won’t complain because the arrival of Laurence was a gift. I admire him a lot, and I’m a big fan. He is very professional. He said he was nervous on arrival – and I’m sure he was! But it has worked out well. Laurence is a team player, and he’s not the type to come on set and say: “I’m doing them a favor by being here. ”
You had threatened to leave the show after season 10 …
Finally, they found a way to keep me by making me film fewer episodes. For now, it suits me, because it allows me to travel: I went to Europe in September, then to St. Barts – your French island! – and I leave for New York this month. However, I feel I must move on. I’m tired of the series! (Laughter.) And, being stuck in the studio ten months a year, it is difficult to squeeze in another role for a film … Anyway, I’d rather be with my family or my friends.
Your fans should prepare themselves for the worst?
We’ll see. If I leave, I would like my character, Catherine, to have a nice journey. Otherwise, it would be unfair to the fans and me. Besides, William Petersen told me during a dinner with his wife, my new boyfriend and I, that Grissom could return if I ever need a helping hand to leave the series in style! Not bad, eh?