TOUTELA-TELE – INTERVIEW WITH MARG
Toutela-Tele posted the interview on their website on May 13, 2011
Is Marg Helgenberger undecided? Last season the actress who plays Catherine Willows expressed her intention to leave CSI. After announcing her intention to leave before the 12th season, the, the actress has gone back on her decision. On her arrival in France, Thursday, May 5, the actress was keen to explain.
Toutela-Tele: For some time they’ve announced your departure on CSI. What’s going on with that?
Marg: I had planned to stop after the 11th season. Several factors made me change my mind, including a conversation with the producers. They tried to find a compromise, like playing in a few episodes, after which there would be an open ending for my character. But we are still in negotiations. In my heart, I did not really want to say goodbye to my character and my colleagues. I’ll film fewer episodes. I shot 19 of 22 episodes for the season currently airing in the US. It allowed me to travel and to rest.
Toutela-Tele: Do you know the number of episodes in which you will play for the next season of CSI?
Marg: It’s about 9, or maybe 10, episodes and then I’ll possibly return later in the season. When I was filming full-time, it was difficult to expand my experiences. With only two months free to devote myself to other projects, the desire to work was not always present. Today, I’d love to act in a play. I’m also meeting producers very soon about this.
Toutela-Tele: It appears that you’ll follow the footsteps of William Petersen (Gil Grissom). Has his career inspired you?
Marg: It is not inspiration but admiration. I have a deep respect for his decision and what he could do. He was able to realize his desires to do theater. We both love being on stage. I must say, this is a very different experience. Although I do have a desire to do movies, I’d really like to be on stage on Broadway or in London.
Toutela-Tele: After all these years, are you proud of a particular scene that you filmed on CSI?
Marg: It isn’t necessarily the scenes, but more of an ensemble. I enjoyed some episodes more than others, generally those where the dramatic side is accentuated. I think, in particular, of the one that started from one of my proposed ideas to the producers. Catherine Willows is a woman who has her feet on the ground, and I wanted to see it destabilized in an environment that is not hers. So I thought of a story where she was drugged in a bar by a man who puts GHB, the date rape drug as it is called, in her glass. She wakes the next day in a shabby motel and tries to remember the course of her evening. This kind of tragedy occurs frequently in the United States, and unfortunately in most cases, victims are raped. But this is not the case with Catherine though. Following the release of the episode, my 19 year old niece called. She said that now she knew how to react if the same thing were to happen to her. Other young women also spoke to me. This episode has had an impact on the public.
Toutela-Tele: Do you have the same feeling of accomplishment once we arrive at the end of a season now?
Marg: I still feel proud. Recently, we celebrated our 250th episode. I still remember the feeling of having read the script with this figure big and bold on the sheet. I knew they were approaching this stage, but reading it was amazing. It stimulates. The reaction of audiences around the world is also an important factor. When I’m in Europe, particularly in Paris, it is impressive to note the number of people who stop me. They shout “Catherine! Catherine! CSI! “(in French). It’s very nice.
Toutela-Tele: Nevertheless, does a routine settle in after 11 years as the same character?
Marg: It’s a legitimate question, and frankly, sometimes I feel it. The last thing I want to do is not be inspired, just make an appearance and follow directions. This is the case of some players who are simply waiting for their wages. It is not like me. I think it’s important to keep that passion.
Toutela-Tele: If you only stay for half the season, what will happen to your character’s functions?
Marg: We’re thinking about all this. There are a thousand ways to make it go away, thanks to the casino that she has inherited from her father. Besides, I always loved the episodes that explore the cultural specificity of Las Vegas and the underside of gambling. Many people go to this town for that. I would like for Catherine to remain a CSI, but perhaps more at the federal level.
Toutela-Tele: Who would make a good successor to her position?
Marg: To replace me, I would choose Nick Stokes. He’s been there from the beginning, and I like his relationship with Catherine. She’s like his big sister, and she can always count on him.
Toutela-Tele: After the departures of Gary Dourdan and William Petersen, and with Jorja Fox barely present in seasons 8 and 9, do not you fear that only being present for half the season might harm CSI?
Marg: That’s why Carol Mendelsohn, our executive producer, was adamant that I stay. I think they’re afraid that the series will lose its essence with the gradual disappearance of the original actors. The season when Gary left, we also lost three characters. And this resulted in a significant decline in our ratings. It was a setback. But after eleven years, the fact that we remain in the top 10 most watched programs in the United States is quite remarkable. In all humility, I think CSI still has potential with or without my presence in the credits.
Thank you to NadiaRichard for translating this for us.