RACHEL RAY – TRANSCRIPT OF MARG’S INTERVIEW
January 25, 2012
Rachel: From Super Bowl worthy food to someone who is almost like a super hero.
For eleven and a half years and 263 episodes, our first guest has starred in one of TV’s hottest shows. In fact, it is the most watched television show on the planet earth and who knows about the other planets out there? They could be watching too. Now, very sadly, she is hanging up her badge. Take a look at her in action.
(clip of CSI is shown.)
Rachael: Please welcome back to our show from CSI, Marg Helgenberger!
Rachael: Hi gorgeous. Nice to see you.
Marg: You too.
Rachael: Now, when I was a little kid, I didn’t like watching cartoons. I liked watching crime dramas. I’ve been addicted to them ever since, and I’ve am one of your hugest fans because I am one of those geeky people that can watch the twelve hour-like run.
Rachael: Yeah, the marathons they put on.
Marg: Oh God! Thank you, and thank you for that great introduction.
Rachael: Thank you for coming back. We love visiting with you.
Marg:: You’re welcome.
Rachael: I think it must be almost surreal for you to walk away from the show after so long and so much great work.
Marg: Yes. As great as the show has been and the character has been and the cast — everything about it — it is an excellent question to be asked. But I…I’m not getting any younger and I sort of, make my watch quiet up here (Marg adjusts her watch.)
Rachael: You look the same to us.
Marg: Thank you. But I — there’s other things that I want to do in my career as well as in my life. And a television series is a — an episodic television series — is quite time consuming. Besides the fact that it’s a ten and a half month season, those days are not nine to five. It’s usually a twelve hour minimum day sometimes…
Rachael: Much longer.
Marg: Into the middle of the night and crazy locations and so on. Yeah.
Rachael: I think that’s, I mean, that’s a really brave choice and I think, you know, a lot of us — you get to oh ‘banner’ birthdays or something happens in our family life — it’s that time when you look back and you’re like “Wow, if I want to do something else, now’s my time.”
Marg: Yeah, that’s exactly kind of what happened. Somewhere like I’m, I don’t even mind saying my age, I’m fifty-three, so I…
Rachel: You look so great. (Rachel and audience applaud) Yeah, you’re like ‘I’ve gotta take a little me time here and try something different and be adventurous.’
Marg: Yes, yes. And my son is twenty-one, Hughie, and he’s actually — he’s my lifeline to the show. He’s a production assistant on CSI right now so I’m always picking his brain.
Rachael: Oh, that’s great.
Marg: Yeah, it’s comforting actually.
Rachael: Because you can hear it.
Marg: Yes, who’s directing. What’s this episode about?
Rachael: You can hear the gossip as if you’re still there. That’s great.
Marg: Yes. Yeah.
Rachael: What’s the fan reaction? I mean, tonight is, of course, the final episode. So what’s the fan reaction in the build-up so far?
Marg: I don’t really know. I mean, I’m sure there will be some fans that will be upset, but I’m hoping that doesn’t mean they’re going to stop watching the show. They’ve already… the actress Elisabeth Shue, has been hired to, kind of like, replace me.
Rachael: To be like a female lead.
Marg: Yes, not play Catherine Willows, of course, but… And she’s a wonderful actress and she’s walking onto an incredible, you know…
Rachael: Have you talked to her? Have you given her any advice?
Marg: I haven’t, but I probably will bump into her at some point because I promised everyone I’d come back and visit and I will because I’m still, you know, very, very close with everyone.
Rachael: You’ll be homesick. They’re like your second family.
Marg: I’ll be homesick! I’ll be ‘jonesing’ for a little CSI love. Anyway, what I would say to her — and I do hope I bump into her — I would say she’s walking into obviously a well oiled machine, but also just an incredible group of people that are so welcoming. Like no one would ever like feel any sort of you know standoffish towards her because she’s coming into kind of take over the reins and she’s pretty…
Rachael: Stepping into your high heels.
Marg: She’s fortunate, as I was, for eleven and a half years.
Rachel: As you will continue to be in other endeavors.
Rachael: December what? December 7th was your last..
Marg: December 7th was my last shooting day, yeah. Very emotional day. It was…
Rachael: A lot of hugging, crying.
Marg: Yeah, all of that. The last scene I had was Catherine saying goodbye to the team and I had — because I had been given a job opportunity. I had asked the director to be shot last and they accommodated me. And so I had this scene in which I looked everybody in the eye, and it was like one of those ‘no acting required’ kind of scenes.
Rachael: Brilliant though to put it last. Smart.
Marg: Yes. And then, as soon as I wrapped, the director had a hammer and nail, and he pounded a permanent mark into stage 24 at Universal Studios.
Rachael: Oh Wow!
Marg: So, it will be there forever and they’re going to fashion some kind of a thing there, I guess, so they say.
Rachael: It gave me the chills. That’s cool.
Marg: Oh, I know. I know.
Rachael: And the cake. I saw the cake. It was amazing. It had crime scene tape around it.
Marg: Yeah. Yes. Oh, and they also gave me — it was like a huge kind of shadow box, I guess. I don’t know how to describe it, but a collage of… All I really wanted to take home with me as a prop was my vest, so that was inside this thing along with my gun and my ID, and of course, they had like other stuff like swabs and bullets. It was great.
Rachael: That’s so cool. But I wish they had kept the gun outside of the box so you could still play with it.
(Marg and Rachael laugh.)
Rachael: What are you going to miss? I mean, you know, the character must be like a family member to you now, you know. You know her so well. What are you going to miss about playing her, miss about the way you developed that character?
Marg: Well, it’s interesting, I’ve had to — since I’ve been in New York — yesterday I had to loop actually my last episode, and when I finished, I actually cried on the looping stage. I couldn’t believe it. But I’ll miss so much about the character. I loved her sass, her confidence, and her way of dealing with people, and her intelligence. I hope I have some of that intelligence.
Rachael: I think that stuck. Don’t worry about that. You don’t have to give that back.
Rachael: So are you going to take a break?
Marg: Well, actually we’re sort of considering going to Buenos Aires in March.
Rachael: So sexy. You will love it. Really romantic city.
Marg: Yes. We have a friend who’s going to be performing down there. So we’re hoping we can.
Rachael: Perfect excuse.
Marg: Yes, I know.
Rachael: I suck at Tang,o and I still had a great time. Great time.
Rachael: Would you ever return, do you think, to CSI? Do you think, other than to visit your friends and your son?
Marg: Right, I know.
Rachael: Would you do one of those things where, you know, she has to come back to town?
Marg: The producers practically on a daily basis, other than saying “What can we do to change your mind?” they would say to me “Please, the door’s wide open. If we were to write a special episode or two, would you be willing to return?” and I said, “Absolutely.” Which made it easier for me to sort of let go after all this time.
Rachael: Yeah, because you still keep that that link there.
Marg: Yes, exactly.
Rachael: Okay, so when you come back from Buenos Aires, you’ll come, you’ll bring pictures, we’ll chat. I’ll cook for you again.
Marg: Nice! Love it.
Rachael: And I have to say thanks for bringing your mom. Your mom’s sitting in the upper deck.
Marg: There she is.
Rachael: Hi Mom!
(Rachael waves to Marg’s mom and Marg’s mom waves back)
Rachael: What’s Mom’s first name?
Rachael: Kay, I see where she gets her beautiful, beautiful, beautiful good looks. Ain’t she cute as a bug sitting up there?
Rachael: I hate that expression though. Bugs aren’t that cute to me, I don’t know.
Marg: Ladybugs are.
Rachael: Ladybugs are cute, they are.
Marg: They’re adorable.
Rachael: Marg’s a giver. She brought a DVD set of the 11th season complete for everybody.
Rachael: We have a couple extra copies if you’re watching at home, we’re going to give them away on our website. But for everybody in-studio, we have two tickets for all of you guys to visit the CSI Experience in Times Square. If you go there, you get to analyze forensic evidence, hopefully not from real crime scenes though. You can experience your own CSI. You can become your own character or play your favorite from the cast of characters of CSI. It’s open in Times Square until March 4th. So you guys even have plans after the show today. Marg’s big final episode of course airs tonight at 10PM on CBS. Grab a snack, we’ll be right back. This is Marg Helgenberger!