TRANSCRIPT OF MARIO LOPEZ’S INTERVIEW WITH MARG HELGENBERGER
Extra at the Grove
Host: Mario Lopez
January 24, 2012
Mario: Well, this CSI star just got her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Please welcome the hottest crime scene investigator on TV, Marg Helgenberger!
Mario: Hi Marg!
Marg: Hi! Twice in a week.
Mario: Twice in a week. I go from never interviewing you before to now we’re old buddies. Twice in a week.
Marg: I know. Great to see you again.
Mario: Great to see you too. You look awesome.
Marg: Thank you.
Mario: So congratulations.
Marg: Thank you.
Mario: Because the last time we spoke on Live with Kelly, where we were having a great time, you were about to get your star on the Walk of Fame and now you did. So how was the experience? Tell me about it.
Marg: It was incredible! I have to say I had, you know, so many family members come in from Nebraska and all over really, and it was a rainy day, but you know what? It was the first day of the Chinese New Year, Year of the Dragon, and the dragon’s supposed to bring good luck, and I also said, you know, the rain was good for the New York Giants on Sunday night, so it’s going to be be good for the rest of us.
(Editing on the clip cuts off Mario’s question but one can assume he was asking about her final episode of CSI based on her response.)
Marg: It was actually a very much quieter episode than the previous one which involved a lot of action and it was the chance where Catherine get to say goodbye to the team, so yeah…
Mario: It was special.
Marg: Yeah, very special.
Mario: Did you audition for this role or was it offered to you?
Marg: It was offered to me actually. So…
Marg: Yeah, so thank you to Jerry Bruckheimer, Les Moonves, and Nina Tassler.
Mario: Yeah! Yes, thank you because of you, we got ourselves the coolest CSI investigator ever. (audience applauds)
Mario: Is it open to you to come back and do cameos and not to completely close the door?
Marg: That’s right. They, well everyday, they tried to convince me to change my mind, of course. But then the producers said “Well, please, you know we’ve left the door wide open. In the future, if we write an episode or two, would you be willing to come back?” and I said “Why not?” You know, come on, it’s the best job I’ve ever had. You know, the best group of people I’ve ever worked with so…
Mario: Well, that’s good to hear.
Mario: Let’s talk about some of those people. Three leading men throughout the series — William Petersen, Laurence Fishburne, and Ted Danson. What do you remember most about each of them?
Marg: Well, I got blessed with three great guys, three great actors and three awesome gentleman. Billy was…Oh My God! We had so much fun, just because, you know, we started off together from ‘the little engine that could’ — that’s what we used to call the show back in the early days. He has just a great sense of humor, sports fanatic… Laurence is just a fantastic actor. I have a lot of memories of, like, sitting between takes in the director’s chair, we shared a lot that I won’t share with everybody because you know it was sort of ou chez (sp?). And Ted, oh my God! Ted is just so delightful. The nicest guy, the funniest guy, the quirkiest guy. Just so much fun.
Mario: That’s awesome!
Mario: Now clearly, your character’s irreplaceable. But are they considering another strong female lead to come in? And have you heard anything as far as who they might be thinking about? Or since your character could potentially come back, maybe conflict there? I’m trying to get the inside scoop on CSI here.
Marg: Well they’ve actually already cast Elisabeth Shue, who’s a wonderful actress. And she has shot some episodes, they of course haven’t aired yet because Catherine still has to, you know, do her thing. And, you know, if I were to come back, I don’t know how that would work out, but I’m sure there wouldn’t be any conflict. I can’t imagine that happening.
Mario: Lets talk about the last episode you shot. It was a two parter, and in the first part, you were shot…
Mario: but survived.
Mario: Thank God.
Marg: Well, I really shouldn’t say that because it’s supposed to be, you know, there’s supposed to be some suspense, you know, but.. (Marg laughs)
Mario: But it’s a two parter. We can’t have you die on the first part.
Marg: Right, yeah.
Mario: So what can you tell us about part two that’s airing tonight?
Marg: What I can tell you is that I do somehow end up in the autopsy room in a body bag on the slab.
Marg: I can tell you that much.
Mario: That’s a lot. That was good.
Mario: What was the first time you got paid for acting, do you remember? And how much?
Marg: (laughing) How much?
Mario: Just thought I’d ask.
Marg: Then you can tell me what your first was.
Mario: I’ll be happy to tell you. I was ten years old.
Mario: Yeah, I was a little kid.
Mario: And I don’t remember how much. I think my dad gave me, like, twenty bucks at the end of the…I don’t remember what the actual check was, but it was a little commercial. A milk commercial.
Mario: Yeah, as in I talked to a neon cow. I said, “Hey mister moo, what do you say?”
Marg: Oh, how sweet.
Mario: That was my first one.
Marg: Wow, a child actor.
Mario: Okay, your turn.
Marg: I wasn’t a child actor. I was a young person. It was the soap opera Ryan’s Hope that is no longer on the air. It was for ABC, and what I got paid? I got paid like the bare minimum. I think it was then, that was a long time ago, was I want to sat $375 an episode.
Mario: Awesome, very cool!
Mario: Who was your first onscreen kiss? Do you remember?
Mario: Oh my gosh! It has been that many?
Marg: Well, it was a long time ago.
Marg: Well, it was an actor by the name of Roscoe Born who was on Ryan’s…
Mario: Roscoe Born!
Marg: Roscoe Born, yes. Who is a great actor. He’s done a lot of different soaps, I think, since then. I sort of lost touch with him.
Mario: Is it true that you were asked to pose for Playboy but turned them down?
Marg: How did you know that? (Marg Laughs)
Mario: Hefner and I are like this (Mario crosses fingers). I said, ‘Hugh, you needed to offer her more.’
Marg: I was, actually, yes. But I, no I…I was flattered.
Mario: That’s a flattering gesture nonetheless, right?
Marg: Yes. Yes it was, I…but I declined.
Mario: Is it true back in the day, when you were a student, you made extra money as a ‘boner’?
(Marg starts laughing)
Mario: By the way, nasty people, I hear you whispering and gasping. That’s a term used fondly for a job as a meat packer, right? A meat packing company or something like that? Or was it…
Marg: That’s the actually, not even…it’s a legitimate term, ‘boner’.
Mario: It’s a legitimate term. Everyone should have a ‘boner’.
(Marg is laughing)
Mario: Fill us in on what exactly is a ‘boner’, for those that don’t know. This is true! Marg is telling the truth.
(Marg is still laughing)
Mario: Marg, what is it? I just want to hear you tell me.
Marg: You really expect me to do this with a straight face?
Mario: Well, you don’t have to keep a straight face.
Marg: A ‘boner’, for those of you who don’t know, (Marg start laughing again)
Marg: Is someone who trims (Marg starts laughing again)…Wait a second here.
Mario: Don’t laugh at me and think of…
Marg: In a meat packing plant.
Marg: I worked in a meat packing plant. I was issued a set of knives, as did everybody who worked with knives, and anybody who, like, trims the fat off of beef to shape it into… in my case, it was tenderloins. Whoo! I got that out!
Mario: And that’s a ‘boner’. See, we all learned something today.
(Mario and audience applaud)
Marg: It’s educational too.
Mario: It is educational! I wasn’t being nasty! Gosh!
Mario: Did you witness real autopsies as research for your role?
Marg: I did, I did. You did your research.
Mario: Well, I didn’t go as far as real autopsies, that’s severe. How did you feel about it when you were first in there and saw it?
Marg: It’s kind of, well kind of, very surreal. It kind of feels like you walked into the ‘chamber of horrors’ honestly.
Unfortunately that is where it clip on Extra’s website ended.