Interview: Jorja Fox, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation


CSI’s Sara Sidle – aka mega-popular actress Jorja Fox – has been there right from the start. Only in series nine and 10 did she take a bit of a break, but she still guest-starred on the show. Of course, her great storyline has been her complicated romance with the very embodiment of designer stubble, Gil Grissom. Jorja’s still around for series 14, and here she speaks about it!

The Killing Times: How does it feel to reach 300 episodes of CSI?
Jorja Fox: It’s absolutely mind-boggling. It’s absolutely… yeah it’s a really massive number and, you know, they all take eight or nine days and so then you start thinking about this accumulation of time, so how do you do 300 times eight or nine days? The math is crazy. And I have been wandering around, you know, I started this episode yesterday, so on my second day looking for that person because I know there is at least 10 or 12 of them that have actually worked on every single episode of the show. And I haven’t found one yet, but I know they are here and I am thinking they’re probably like in accounting, in wardrobe and, you know, obviously the cast for several reasons or another I don’t think a single cast member has done all 300, but a couple of them have become very close including Eric Szmanda and George Eads. Very, very close.

TKT: Did you have any idea CSI would be this successful when you started 13 years ago?
JF: You know, I have said this before, but when I read the script I was blown away by it. It was so different and I hadn’t seen anything ever like it, you know. Quincy was probably the closest thing that I could compare it to and there was – Quincy had been years before the script came in and kind of different and I became sort of very mesmerised by it. It’s almost like I fell under a trance and I thought a show about death on a Friday night, this is going to be cancelled in six weeks, like, no one is going to watch this. America is not going to watch this show. And boy was I was really, extremely wrong about that and happily so, you know. I am so thrilled that I was wrong about it, but it was an adventure. Even though I thought it was going to be a very short one, it was an adventure that I really was excited to take.

TKT: What legacy has CSI left after 300 episodes?
JF: There is this word called procedural, a procedural show, that I feel like didn’t, it wasn’t really a word when we started. Now Law & Order came before us and they in a lot of respects were kind of doing a procedural show, but I don‟t think the phrase had
been coined until somewhere along the first or second season of CSI and then of course Miami came after that and New York came after that and it‟s a genre that’s thriving to this day. I mean, it’s definitely taken off the very simple idea that people love mysteries and, you know, people since time began have loved mysteries and so in that ay it’s a very, very, very old concept. But one thing that happened that was extraordinary is all this technology and stuff was bumping up against the idea of the show at the same time and so I think we found ourselves at this awesome moment in history where, you know, we could tell these stories and we could do it with all these gadgets and gizmos.

TKT: Why is a case from 14 years ago revisited in the 300th episode, Frame By Frame?
JF: A young girl, very young, disappeared. We have evidence surrounding her murder. Not only are we not able to prosecute a killer but we – her body never turns up and making the stakes higher I think for Catherine and for Sara is that, you know, Marc Vann who plays Ecklie at that time was a villain on the day shift and he kind of comes in and he takes the case away from them. So at a certain point, you know, they have all these strong feelings about what happened and their hands become tied to do anything about it. And there is a line in the script that I think, you know, everybody can really relate to that, you know, the wins in your life often feel very similar, but it’s the tough losses that haunt you. And so that‟s what we are really going to delve into on this episode.

TKT: Are the flashback scenes challenging to shoot?
JF: I think Eric and Marg and I were all a little nervous about this. I haven’t seen Marc Vann yet to talk to him because I think he actually pulled one off the other night, but we are – it’s very, very, very hard I think to make us all look 14 years younger for a
whole myriad of reasons, but it’s certainly going to be fun trying.

TKT: Why should fans tune in to watch the 300th episode?
JF: It’s a great place to go back to and also under the umbrella of justice and truth and really trying to get to the heart of a very sad story is really awesome and compelling I think for us to get to tell.

TKT: How does it feel to have Marg Helgenberger back for the 300th episode?
JF: It just feels like being home to have her here, you know. I didn’t even blink, like, she walked into the makeup trailer this morning and it just felt very, very right and I knew, there was no doubt in my mind that Marg would be coming back when she left, I just knew it. I didn’t know when, I didn’t know how, but I knew that if CSI: Vegas continued that Marg would be back one time or another, so, and here it is. Here is that day and I get to work with her in two scenes this afternoon and so I think we are going to have a ball and a half.

TKT: Do you still enjoy working on CSI 14 seasons in?
JF: Being on a successful show is the coolest thing that could ever happen to a person. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I think I show up because I love being with the people that I get to work with everyday and get to see like where we are going to go together and what we are going to do. And that hasn‟t changed for a minute even though the show has been through so many changes and losses, sometimes, and certainly, you know, big boons, you know, to get new people that are so phenomenal and get to connect with them.

TKT: What would be your fantasy storyline for Sara Sidle?
JF: Well, I will never give up on the musical. I know I have been plugging away trying to convince the producers for 14 years now almost that that we could really pull off an awesome musical so there is that dream, you know, the dreams that never get realised that just kind of you hang onto. I think this story really, is really about love in many ways and how through all this darkness and murk and ugliness that these people face every day at the end of it, you know, what really keeps them going is love in a sense whether it’s love in a friendship, love in a romantic – I think that Sara will always pine for Grissom and I think that there is a fantasy scene there that I would still love to fulfil as we move down the road a little bit. Sara is going to get wildly crazy and single for the next upcoming episodes and it will be partially Lisa Shue and Elisabeth Harnois’s fault.

To read our interview with Ted Danson go here

To read our interview with Elizabeth Shue go here

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Tuesdays, 9pm, Channel 5


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