LIVE WITH KELLY – TRANSCRIPT OF MARG’S INTERVIEW
January 18, 2012
Kelly: She stars in the popular drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Please welcome back to the show the Emmy award winning actress, Marg Helgenberger!
Marg: What’s all this?
Kelly: Sit. Welcome!
Mario: Wow, you look fantastic in person. I’ve never had the opportunity to meet you.
Marg: Thank you! Thank you.
Kelly: You two have not met before?
Mario: No, no. I haven’t.
Kelly: I feel like you Hollywood people all should know each other. Like you all must go to the same parties and the same Golden Globes and all that.
Marg: It’s fun to bump into people that you admire at various parties.
Marg: But we haven’t had that opportunity.
Mario: We haven’t had that opportunity, I know, in eleven season on the show, I’m really surprised about that. And congratulations! That’s led to the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Kelly: Yay! (Audience applauds)
Mario: Which Marg is going to be receiving …
Marg: Thank you. Thank you.
Mario: on Monday, correct? How excited are you about that?
Marg: I’m pretty excited, yes. I’ve got a lot of relatives…in fact, my mother is here in the audience today. She’s…
Kelly: Where’s your mom? Where is she?
Marg: There she is (Camera pans to Mom).
Mario: Mama Helgenberger.
Kelly: You know what’s so funny? Your mom has clearly — she has been acknowledged before in the past because you gave like the good ‘That’s right, I’m the mother’ wave. (Marg laughs).
Mario: The Miss America wave.
Kelly: Yeah, that was so good.
Mario: Do you know where your star is going to be?
Marg: I do actually. It’s in front of Musso’s…
Mario: Musso and Frank’s.
Marg: Musso and Frank’s restaurant, which is a classic old Hollywood joint, you know…
Kelly: That’s great.
Marg: that’s been there forever, and actually William Petersen…
Marg: who costarred on CSI with me, his star is a like a couple of blocks down, you know what I mean, a couple of squares down.
Kelly: Do you get to choose where the star goes or they decide for you? Or…how does it work?
Marg: I didn’t have a choice in the matter, but I’m quite happy with where it is. I’d much rather have that than be in front of, like, a wig store.
Kelly: Lingerie store… (Laughter)
Marg: (laughs) Some place like that, you know.
Mario: And this is the only major honor you’ve had. You also have a street named after you in your hometown in Nebraska, correct?
Marg: I do!
Kelly: That is so great!
Marg: In North Bend, Nebraska. It’s Helgenberger Avenue and it’s on the street I grew up on.
Kelly: Oh, it’s an avenue!
Marg: It’s an avenue.
Mario: Oooh, it’s a big one!
Kelly: Yeah, it’s not like a dead end!
Mario: Helgenberger Avenue…
Marg: Yeah, in fact, I was just there in August and revisited it. It think it came — the honor — was on…was about five years ago, I think, but anyway, it was fun going back. It’s still there. It hasn’t been lifted.
Kelly: That’s a really big gift. Do you give a speech, you know, when you, with the star or with the street named after you, was there a speech that you give?
Mario: The star I know there is.
Marg: Yes, yes, In fact, I’m still sort of working on it and when I get back to…
Kelly: Do you want to practice? We’ll listen. We will critique.
Mario: Were you a Cornhusker?
Mario: All right!
Marg: Well, I’m still a Cornhusker fan even though they didn’t have a particularly really good season, but I’m a big football fan in general. Go Giants! (Audience cheers)
Kelly: That must be important. You have a new love in your life. There’s somebody new in your life?
Marg: Yes, yes. Alan…
Kelly: And is he a sports fan as well?
Marg: He is. And a big Giants fans because he’s from…born and raised here in New York City. (Picture of Marg and Alan Finkelstein is shown)
Mario: There he is.
Marg: And so, yes, we…we’ve had a lot of fun together the last couple of years. We’ve traveled a lot…
Kelly: Oh, that’s…I didn’t realize you’d been together so long. So you must have…
Marg: Yeah, it has been two years already.
Kelly: So you guys must have spent New Year’s together and the holidays and all that?
Marg: We did spend some of the holidays together. We actually…New Year’s Eve we weren’t together. Not for any, like, bad reasons. We just…anyway, but New Year’s Eve I actually spent it with my 21 year old son and his girlfriend. I know this seems sort of unusual, like why would I tag along with him — they ended up tagging along with me!
Marg: Because I had been invited to Joni Mitchell’s (Joni Mitchell, the legendary folk singer/songwriter)…
Mario: Yeah, sure.
Kelly: Of course.
Marg: She’s a friend — she’s mostly a really good friend of a friend of mine — so she had graciously invited us and I said…The kids were going to be going to some young people’s party and there was texts coming, furiously flying back and forth with them, saying ‘Well, it’s kind of a small party.’ It sounded like they were kind of getting dissed.
Kelly and Mario: Right…
Marg: So I said, you know, ‘I’m sure you can go to Joni’s. It’s probably no big deal’, right?
Mario: (laughs) Joni’s.
Marg: And Sasha, who’s Hughie’s girlfriend, who’s an art student actually at Sarah Lawrence, and like every generation of young women, they kind of all, like, listen to that ‘Blue’ album as well as her other albums.
Kelly: Of course.
Marg: And she said, ‘Oh, I’d love to. I’d love to!’ So they tagged along with me, with Mom, you know, to this party at Joni’s.
Mario: They have a cool Mom.
Kelly: I can’t believe you have a 21 year old son! That like blew the back of my head off.
Mario: Yeah, that was under the radar right there. Exactly.
Marg: Well, we got to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ together around her piano, and it was, like, fantastic, and…
Kelly: Yeah. It’s like a dream.
Marg: We each picked up, like, a drum or maracas or some kind of noise maker because her house is filled with instruments and her artwork. It’s just fantastic being in her house.
Kelly: Had to be surreal.
Mario: Yeah, there’s a party right there.
Marg: There’s so much artistry. It was incredible.
Kelly: We have to take a commercial break and then we’re going to talk about why you’re leaving CSI after 11 years.
Mario: Yes, want to hear that.
Kelly: We’ll be right back.
Mario: She’s teasing me because she thought I used the word ‘journey’ when I was proposing. And I told her that I’m watching ‘The Bachelor’ because it’s ‘negotiation TV’ right now, and I tell her ‘I’m watching ‘The Bachelor’ with you. You watch ‘Game of Thrones’ with me. That’s the deal. But now those thing start subliminally becoming part of your vernacular. Not cool. And that’s ‘share at home’ (audience laughs). Right now we’re going to talk about CSI. Why are you leaving, Marg?
Marg: I know. It’s…
Mario: 11 years!
Marg: 11 1/2 years. I’ve been on the show since the beginning.
Kelly: Such a blessing isn’t it when you get a TV show that’s a hit, and it’s so good and that you enjoy it everyday.
Marg: It’s a privilege, yes. Absolutely, and I wasn’t…I’m not…I finished shooting my last episode on December 7th, and I guess the last two will air tonight and next week, but it wasn’t a decision I made lightly. I mean, it was…and it wasn’t that I was, you know, wanting to get away or bored. I just kind of felt like I needed to make a change since I still have the energy. You know, I’m not getting any younger, but I still have the energy and the enthusiasm and the curiosity to switch it up.
Mario: Did you feel that your character had just pretty much had — they’ve gone every way they could with the character? Was that part of that decision?
Marg: Umm, not necessarily because even though I, my character, had more of a backstory and a personal life than some of the characters, it was still pretty much driven by the process and the procedure and the plot and the science, but no, there was still territories to mine with Catherine, it…
Mario: Leave ’em wanting more.
Kelly: Right…So besides, I mean…
Marg: They’ve left the door open. Excuse me for interrupting.
Kelly: No no, oh no…
Marg: Which always was easier for me to kind of accept the fact…
Mario: Oh cool!
Marg: Okay, at least I know that I’m welcome to come back anytime.
Mario: Good, sure!
Kelly: So, what’s your dream job next? Like what would your dream — if you could hand select a role or something to do, what would it be?
Marg: Well, ideally, right away, I would prefer to do a play. I haven’t done a play in a very long time. I’m not even going to say how long! I don’t eve know how long honestly! But…
Mario: Straight play or musical?
Marg: Probably a straight play, although I’ve done musicals before and, you know, in college. I haven’t done one since then. I’ve actually done benefits in which I’ve been on stage and performed and sang. But, you know, a new play would be ideal. It’s always nice to create a character along with the playwright and all the directors, and the other actors.
Kelly: It would be nice to have you back here in New York!
Marg: Well, yeah! Yeah! (Audience cheers)
Kelly: Back where you belong! That would be nice.
Mario: But meanwhile, of course, you’re still on CSI, and I think we have a clip of you working with Ted Danson, and in this clip, your character is trying to solve a murder of a close friend so let’s check it out.
(Clip from CSI is shown.)
Kelly: That’s hard week after week. All of that dialogue is so hard to memorize.
Kelly: I’m so happy for you and all your success.
Mario: Yes, congratulations.
Kelly: And CSI: Crime Scene Investigation airs tonight at 10PM on CBS, and Marg, congratulations on everything!