CLOSER WEEKLY MAGAZINE – TRANSCRIPT OF MARG’S INTERVIEW
January 13, 2014
Lucky Lady Marg Helgenberger Embraces fresh starts with an exciting new show and a loving man by her side
By Ilyssa Panitz
The evidence is clear: Marg Helgenberger may have left her hit crime show, CSI, after 12 years, but she’s not going anywhere. In fact, the ever-alluring star is getting a promotion, of sorts. On Jan. 7, Marg debuts in the new CBS action series, Intelligence, playing Lillian Strand, the head of the elite government cyber-security agency. “The buck stops with her,” the 55-year-old explains. “On CSI, I was the no. 2. But when I think about all the authority Lillian has, having that kind of power weighs on me heavily.” It helps that her co-star is Lost hunk Josh Holloway. “He does appeal to the ladies.” laughs Marg. The role is only the latest in a career that began with a turn on soap Ryan’s Hope, progressed to China Beach and accelerated from there. “Ifeel lucky that I have had the opportunity to play bad girls, women in charge and everything in between.” Marg shares. The Emmy-winning actress recently chatted with Closer about the hard lessons she has learned in her stellar career – and her sexy co-stars!
We have to ask: Are your friends jealous you get to work with Josh Holloway every day?
A couple of them were like, “Oh my God!” Or else they said sarcastically, “What a chore!” He is very good-looking, which is always a hugh bonus when you have to go to work!
What is he like to work with?
He could not be cooler! Josh is also such a team player – funny, goofy and just a blast to be around.
Speaking of heartthrobs, you were George Clooney’s main squeeze for a season on ER. Fess up!
I don’t kiss and tell! I enjoyed working with him. He is a big practical joker and he was great with the crew.
Was it a difficult decision for you to leave CSI in early 2012?
It was very painful to say goodbye to the people I had spent so much time with. What was scary, too, was facing the great unknown. But I was ready to try something else.
And now you’re on Intelligence. Why do you think you’ve lasted?
I am not afraid of hard work and have been working since I was a kid. In the entertainment business, there are a lot of 17-hour days, but I have always been a team player.
How well do you handle fame?
I haven’t had to deal with the invasion of privacy some people have. I honestly feel like I’ve been left alone. I am kind of shy, and not really comfortable where there are a lot of celebrities and cameras flashing.
And yet you’ve been in the business for a long time. How has the experience changed you?
You know yourself a lot better. You know what’s important and what is not important. Your relationships get deeper with everyone, and when they aren’t working, you have the strength to cut them off.
What are some of the tough lessons you’ve learned?
When you’re younger, you don’t necessarily know your own value, especially with any intimate relationships. In your 20s, everything is new and exciting, and you’re so busy trying to establish yourself that you don’t always make good decisions.
Maybe a couple of boyfriends!
You filed for divorce from Alan Rosenberg in 2009. Was it hard being single?
Dating in general is difficult! I mean, I could never do the online thing if I was available. Luckily for me, I have been dating the same person for four years now.
Who’s the lucky man?
[Laughs] His name is Alan Finkelstein. He’s in business. We met through a friend. You have to rely on recommendations and hope it works!
Looks like it did!
We don’t live together, which is a good thing. It’s healthy to have your own space. We’re both very independent.
What do you enjoy doing together?
We both love art-he’s an art collector-so we go to a lot of galleries and museums. We also took two courses in mindfulness meditation.
You’re a devoted mom, too.
My son, Hugh, just turned 23, and I love him to pieces. I have seen him grow an enormous amount over the past two to three years because boys take a bit longer to mature!
What’s he like?
He’s such a kind, caring, sensitive person. I feel really touched that I have him as my son and he is such a big part of my life.
Do you stay in touch with Alan?
Yes, we are on good terms.
Tell us a secret about yourself.
I play the guitar. I can play quite a few songs. It’s very therapeutic for me while being fun at the same time. I sing as well!
You’re in fantastic shape. How do you keep looking so great?
I’ve been with the same personal trainer for 20 years. I work out with her about three time a week and we incorporate cardio into our session. On the other days, I do yoga.
Do you feel pressure to stay fit and look a certain way?
I do! It gets harder to maintain things as you get older. But you just need to be accepting and do what you can. Don’t obsess about sagging or wrinkling, it’s just part of life.
Is that advise you would give to your younger self?
Yes, and stay out of the sun. Curtail partying. Go for your dreams. Put your energy behind those things and eliminate the negative.
What’s left on your bucket list?
Writing and producing a film is so appealing to me. My college friend from Northwestern and I are working on a screenplay that takes place in Nebraska, where I’m from. I’d also love to do Broadway! One of these days, I know it will happen.
MARG’S BIG MOMENTS!
TEEN DREAMS, 1975
Before Marg was a Hollywood star, she was a fresh-faced Nebraska teen who wanted to become a nurse.
SOAP STAR, 1982
She got discovered while still in college and earned her first big break playing Siobhan Ryan Novak on the soap opera Ryan’s Hope right after graduation.
BEACH BEAUTY, 1988
The actress grew close to her China Beach co-stars Dana Delany and Brian Wimmer. “We all have a real fondness for each other,” Marg says.
GOLDEN MOMENT, 1990
Marg scored an outstanding supporting actress Emmy for her role as China Beach’s prostitute K.C. Koloski.
CRIME-SCENE QUEEN, 2000
She tells Closer guest-starring on CSI in October after spending 12 years on the show “was like putting on a pair of comfy sweatpants. You are so comfortable!”
PROUD MOM, 2012
Marg took her son, Hugh, as her date when she got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “I’m incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunities I’ve had,” gushed Marg.