MARG ON CBS THIS MORNING (TRANSCRIPT)
June 8, 2015
Jeff Glor: It’s returning for its third season, the show based on Stephen King’s 2009 novel tells the story of a town suddenly cut off from the rest of the word by an enormous transparent dome. Under the Dome was last summer’s #1 program with more than 11 million viewers.
Norah O’Donnell: Yes, Emmy award winning actress Marg Helgenberger stars as Christine Price, a therapist sent to help the town of Chester’s Mill deal with the aftermath of the dome.
(Scene from Under the Dome is shown.)
Norah O’Donnell: Mmmmm, Marg Helgenberger joins us at the table. Good morning.
Marg: Good morning.
Norah O’Donnell: So great to have you here.
Marg: Thank you.
Norah O’Donnell: So tell us about your character. How does she relate to the dome?
Marg: Well, that’s a complicated question. Because the series starts – the first two episodes which will air back to back. The premiere is – some of it takes place in alternate reality, which is where I’m introduced. But then the third episode, it becomes – we’re still under the dome. So, how I relate? I mean, I’m there to help everybody out. I’m hoping to make this a collective, or a kinship as my character refers to it, by getting everyone to get along. People need to kind of leave their individuality behind, which doesn’t go over well with everyone in the community.
Charlie Ross: It is said that the executive producer created this character with you in mind.
Marg: Aaahh, yes. I was very flattered. Neal Baer.
Charlie Ross: What was it about you that made him create the character?
Marg: You know, I’ve known Neal Baer for many years, since China Beach days actually. And he’s a lovely guy and very talented man. And you know, I don’t know, he just felt that I had what it took to play this role. And he…and it’s vey complex and it’s a very juicy part and I’m having a ball with it, actually.
Norah O’Donnell: Juicy because you’re channeling Mrs. Robinson a little bit?
Marg: Yeah, at times, I am. Yes.
Norah O’Donnell: Ooohhh, I like that. That’s a good tease.
Jeff Glor: It’s such an interesting show because it did so well. The original Stephen King book was just one book, right? So it was just supposed to be one season, then potentially, but it was extended because it was doing so well. So, you’re entering this 3 seasons in.
Marg: Right. My character does not appear in the book. So, how I figure into the community is – I make sort of a big splash. I come…enter like a mack truck a bit.
Norah O’Donnell: Everybody loves you and knows you from CSI. You know, such a great show. You’re going to return for the season…I know you left over a year ago. But you’re going to return for the big season finale.
Marg: Well, it’s actually series finale.
Norah O’Donnell: Series finale I should say, yes.
Marg: So they’re doing a 2 hour movie and I’m coming back and William Petersen is coming back.
Charile Ross: Wow.
Marg: Yeah. So, Anthony Zuiker who created the show is writing the script. I believe the guy who directed the pilot, Danny Cannon, is going to be directing, as well. And, of course, everyone else who’s still with the show will be back.
Charile Ross: So what can you tell us about it?
Marg: I wish I could tell you something, honestly. But I haven’t heard a peep other than “Oh you’re going to love what you have to do.”
Norah O’Donnell: Was it nice to reunite with everybody?
Marg: Will it be nice? Yeah. We’re going to shoot it — the end of July we’re going to start shooting it. It will be great because that cast was, you know, magic. We really all loved each other and had so much fun on the set. A lot of great memories.
Jeff Glor: You just started taking improv classes.
Marg: (laughs) Oh god…
Jeff Glor: Right? So this was…so this is interesting because you started doing this after CSI, right? But before Under the Dome?
Marg: Right, Yeah. I’ve done — graduated from level 3 actually.
Jeff Glor: Oh, congratulations.
Norah O’Donnell: There’s levels of improv classes?
Jeff Glor: Mrs. Robinson is level 4.
Marg: Level 6. She’s more advanced that level 3.
Jeff Glor: Oh, really.
Marg: No, honestly I did it because I had free time and I have great respect and admiration for comic actors and sketch comedians and so on. It was sort of in my neighborhood, so it made it kind of easy. And it has been a lot of fun. I’m hoping to go back, because now my team has sort of advanced and I have to be grouped up with a whole other team.
Jeff Glor: Every person I’ve talked to that takes them says they have learned so much from those classes both as an actor or just as an every…
Marg: Well yeah, because it’s truly all about the process and getting out of your head. And there’s this phrase called the “yes-anding everything” where somebody says a statement about you like “You’re a jerk”. “Well, that’s because blah, blah” Instead of just saying, I’m not a jerk. So it’s a very kind of positive role that keeps being, you know, pushed forward.
Norah O’Donnell: Well, we’re excited to see Under the Dome, And Marg Helgenberger, thank you so much for being here.
Marg: Thank you for having me.
Norah O’Donnell: Great to have you here. And we should mention you can see the 2 hour season premiere of Under the Dome that’s on Thursday June 25th at 9, 8 Central right here on CBS.