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BERKSHIRE FINE ARTS: DIALOGUE WITH MARG & CHRISTOPHER INNVAR

As they prepare for opening night of “The Other Place”, which is less than two weeks away, Marg and her director Christoper Innvar took time of their busy schedules to meet with the media. Here’s an excerpt from their dialogue, which has been posted on wwwberkshirefinearts.com, along with many photos.

Marg and play director Christopher Innvar

Marg and play director Christopher Innvar

Christopher Innvar: The play is about loss. It’s a family situation with a very powerful woman who’s great at her job in a world where mostly men are dominant in the profession. She’s at the top of her profession and suffers a loss. It’s about her family relationships and what she’s lost. At the end of the play she’s found. Through her family and revisiting ghosts in her life she’s able to be found and anchored again. There’s a lot of water imagery in the play. Talking with the set designer, Brian Prather, we kept saying untethered and lost at sea. There’s no anchor for her.

She ends up on Cape Cod surrounded by water on three sides. She ends up being found.

I really don’t want to say much more because it would spoil it for you when you come to see the play.

Marg Helgenberger: That was so well said that I don’t know how to follow up on that. The role that I’m playing, Juliana Smithton, could fall under the category of tour de force. When you get the opportunity to play a role as complex as this woman is, as an actor, why not jump at the chance.

I was available. (Her voice rose emphatically implying irony.) I was familiar with the playwright’s writing. I was very interested in his Annapurna. Someone had suggested it to me. After my run on CSI I had wanted to do a play. It was already snatched up by someone who wanted to produce it in Los Angeles. That’s the production which is now in New York.

I never heard of Sharr White before. In fact I did know that The Other Place was on Broadway. I think at the same time when I became familiar with Annapurna. So when the play came to me in February or March I was eager to read it because he’s so talented. When I read it or give it to other people to read, the one word that always comes out of them is Wow. (soft laugh). For so many reasons. She’s such a highly, highly intelligent woman. To a fault. She’s smarter than most. She’s a woman in a man’s profession dominated by men. She has to be stronger and tougher to assert herself. Because of her intelligence she has an impatience with everyone. She has cut herself off a little bit from her emotional side. And because of something that happens but I’m not going to give it away. A family situation that was quite devastating and dramatic to her.

In order to continue with her life she has to bury those feelings very, very deep. That allows for all these different sides of her to come out in odd ways. Unpredictable ways. It’s probably the most challenging role I’ve played. (nervous laugh) It’s interesting to play such a complicated role at my age rather then when you’re younger. You don’t have the energy to bounce back. It’s mid week in the rehearsal process and already I’m like, oh shit, there’s three more days of this.

Question Are you the only actor?

CI: No there’s three other actors (Katya Campbell, woman, Adam Donshik, man, and Brent Langdon, Ian.) I was doing a Sharr White play in Manhattan The Snow Geese. Julie (Ann Boyd artistic director) talked about this slot being open for me to direct a play. We all read the play and thought it was fantastic. We went into casting in New York. Our casting director Pat Mc Corkle said that Marg Helgenberger wants to do theatre. (Incedulously) OMG we thought she would be prefect. (Marg laughs) We all looked at each other, oh my goodness, she would be absolutely perfect. We did a skype session. Then I went to LA and we talked. Yeah, this character who is brilliant, sharp, funny, sexy has all of these strengths. At the top of her profession and we were all just such fans of hers.

MH: Gee Chris. (laughing)

CI: Absolutely. The way we talked about this play made me feel that we could help each other out and make this play come to life. Marg was excited about doing it.

MH: Yeah. Very much so. You sent me an e mail with an interview that Sharr had done about the genesis of this play. His father being a scientist and his brother or brother in law also being a scientist. He just wanted to floor someone who seemed to always have an answer for everything. Somethings are (emphasis) unexplainable. Things of the heart.

CI: What happens to someone who all their lives have all the answers. What happens when they start not having the answers? What does that do to someone? That metaphor of being lost at sea. For the first time not knowing where you are or what direction to go in. That’s a challenge.

MH: Sure is.

Charles Giuliano Doing research for this interview I was astonished by the depth of your resume including film and television. Also I was intrigued that early on you deboned meat in your father’s butchery. That would seem to presage CSI. I am interested in how artists evolve.

MH: Yeah. I did that.

CG: I’m also interested in Chris’s evolution from leading man and actor now to director. So the question is about how you evolve as artists. Why for example are you stepping out of the national spotlight of television and film to come to a small, regional theatre and perform in a play? How are you guys staying alive as artists by doing these kinds of things?

MH: I have been wanting to do a play for a very, very long time. For various reasons it just didn’t quite work out. For CSI I was tied up for twelve years and the hiatus is two months. That doesn’t leave you a whole lot of time to do a play. Also I was raising my son in LA. So I just really didn’t want to be away. But, having said that, since I left the show in December of 2011, I went around and met with producers in New York. Of course Los Angeles too and Chicago. I expressed my interest in it. (Theatre) They were all eager to meet with me. They would say let’s find something, let’s find something. (exasperated gasp and self amusement) A few things came along but nothing I really wanted to do. So, I don’t know, it really kindah has to do with the part. It was one of these roles that I really couldn’t not do. It was so amazing. It is amazing. I felt if not now when? I felt once I’ve done with this I’ll be so proud of myself. (soft laugh of relief then outburst of laughter)

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To read the rest of the dialogue and view more photos, please visit wwwberkshirefinearts.com.

“FROM BONER TO BOSS” – MARG ON ‘THE QUEEN LATIFAH SHOW’ (1/27/2014)

Here are some highlight clips from Marg’s appearance on ‘The Queen Latifah Show’ today. In this entertaining interview, Marg and Queen Latifah discuss football, the strong female roles Marg has played over the years, Helgenberger Avenue, and more. Marg also plays a steamy and very amusing round of “Blankety Blank”.

You can also view the full interview HERE.


Credit: queenlatifah.com

‘THE TALK’ INTERVIEW: MARG TALKS ‘INTELLIGENCE’ & CO-STAR JOSH HOLLOWAY

Here’s the interview clip from Marg’s appearance on CBS’ “The Talk” earlier today. Special thanks to Sharon for putting together the clip for me. Summary: Marg discusses her hit new CBS show “Intelligence” and playing Lillian Strand, the director of the United States Cyber Command. She also reveals co-star Josh Holloway’s on set nickname: “We call him ‘peaches’…I think because he’s from Georgia!”

CBS has also just made the complete episode available as well, so you can watch that at CBS.com.

Marg on The Talk 1 13 14 from AAM Vids on Vimeo.

 

AXN ESPANA SAYS GOODBYE TO CATHERINE WILLOWS

Marg’s final episode of CSI, “Willows in the Wind”, aired on AXN España this week. As part of their farewell to Catherine Willows, the Spanish television website teleprograma.tv posted the following interview with Marg. In some respects, it is similar in content to what we have seen in other ‘farewell’ interviews, but it is still definitely worth a read, especially for her comments regarding her former castmates.

Any errors in translation from Spanish to English are my own.

The Final Case for Willows

After 12 seasons, Marg Helgenberger wants to focus on his family and the theater.
By Juan Silvestre

It was not an easy decision and took months to make, but Marg Helgenberger felt it was time to turn the page, and so, after 11 ½ years, she decided to leave ‘CSI: Las Vegas’. Tonight AXN airs the emotional farewell of criminalist Catherine Willows.

Do you miss her [Catherine]?

Very much. I feel that I was more her than me, that I know her better than I know myself.

Why did you leave?

It was the right time. People all over the world recognize me and I found myself wondering what would become of me when I stopped playing the role of Catherine.

What was the first thing you did after you left [the show]?

I went on a two week holiday to the beach. Then I did many things that I had not been able to do while working on the show — normal, mundane things like cleaning the house, being with my family and friends, and with my pets. And returning to the theater.

Are you still in contact with your former castmates?

With the ones I was closest to. But I’m not dead, you know?

How was working with William Petersen?

Incredible. We have shared many things, both on and off the set. I would love to work with him again.

Is there any project in sight for the two of you?

No, but it would be great to play Catherine and Gil again.

Is there a scene [with Petersen] that you remember most fondly?

The last scene I recorded with him. We had very little dialogue. I had to stop after the line “I knew before you that you were going to follow your path” because I got so emotional.
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VIDEO: MARG VISITS CBS THIS MORNING

Marg joined the “CBS This Morning” co-hosts today to talk about her decision to leave the hit CBS series “CSI.”

If the embed code doesn’t work for some reason, you can view it HERE on the CBS site.

You can also read a transcript of Marg’s interview HERE in our 2012 Press Archive.

 

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Credit: CBS