FOCUS | CSI: VEGAS
When did you first find out that Sara and Grissom were going to pair up? JF: From the opening bell. When I auditioned for the job in early 2000, I knew from the character description that Sara would be the love interest for Gil Grissom. Then the show took o kind of fast in a way none of us were prepared for, so the writers started looking at it like a long game. We didn’t want it to burn out too fast. What are you allowed to say about the new storylines? JF: This is an action-adventure journey, and you’re going to get shot out of a rocket right away. Every week the cases are wild. We’re giving you superheroes that solve difficult puzzles with their minds and hearts and not with weapons. And we’re going to provide justice and truth. Back in 2000, the show provided this scientific foundation where we could prove beyond a shadow of doubt whether something was true. Our main goal was to highlight science. Now we’re going to remind the audience about truth. Truth is real. That’s the existential theme. Science has evolved since even the last episode. What cool new thing have you learned? JF: OK, let’s say you have 10 prints on a piece of tile. You can now separate all 10 of those prints; whereas in 2000 you’d have a bunch of prints that were sort of ruined because they all overlapped. It’s called a 3D comparator. It’s mind-boggling. Could you be a real CSI? JF: I’ve always been interested in science, particularly life sci- ence. So this is for sure my wheelhouse. I still feel like I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer at CSI , even though I do enjoy it. When I look at everything, I don’t understand why crime hasn’t just stopped. It’s really dicult to get away with anything anymore. Maybe that’s the moral of the story. Share some intel about Paula and Mandeep. JF: They’re both very cool. I really admire Mandeep’s adventur- ous spirit. Just to put it in a context, she lives in London and she’s traveled about 6,000 miles to work with people she never met in a place where she doesn’t have many friends in a worldwide pan- demic! She’s also this amazing dancer who can do a phenomenal amount of numbers from Bollywood movies. And Paula is a force of nature and an incredible Broadway vocal talent. I love her spirit, her patience, and her strength. I love that I get to watch Paula and Mandeep in action. They bring an enthusiasm and a joy to the show that is contagious to everyone who gets to be around them. And what’s your secret talent? JF: I’m tone deaf! You know, I think I’m an amazing dancer. I re- ally do. I’ve always thought that about myself, but I’ve never had a chance to prove it. I hope I will sooner rather than later. I can also play guitar and drums.
Confess: What’s your craziest Vegas experience? JF: So I was staying in a big fancy hotel on the strip and got stuck in the elevator between the 60th and 40th floor for an hour! It gave me a lot of anxiety, and not just because I was going to be late for work. Here’s another one: One day we were shooting right next to a drive-up wedding chapel. I sat on a bench and watched every- one come in on these trailer trucks to get married. I saw all kinds of Elvises and learned that the interpretations of Elvis in Vegas are quite broad.
‹ Paula Newsome › Let’s hear about Maxine.
“Now we’re going to remind the audience about truth. Truth is real.
PN: She’s the kind of boss you would want to have because she’s intelligent and funny. You don’t get a lot over [on] her, and you can have a dicult conversa- tion with her. We’re in a new day, thank god, where women are not just the boss or the wife or the girlfriend. Maxine gets to do all of it, which makes her really fun. I’m grateful to be part of her journey.
That’s the existential theme.” —JORJA FOX
Is that why the role appealed to you? PN: Well, my parents wanted to name me Maxine. My father, who died two years ago, bless him, was named Max. The other reason? Come on, it’s CSI for the love of god! The CSI ! It’s epic! Does that mean you watched a lot of the original CSI ? PN: I was a theater actress in New York and didn’t watch a lot of television. Mainly Martha Stewart’s show and that’s it. Any first-day jitters? PN: Before we started shooting, I asked our showrunner [Jason Tracey] if we could do a meet-and-greet. Because of COVID, we had to do it on Zoom. So they sent us all a bottle of wine, and we sat there and did it and it was unreal. I’m telling you, so many times you hear that co-stars are like family, family, family. I don’t know my castmates’ families. But this group of people is kind, in- telligent, and extremely talented. What could be better than that? What have you learned so far about science? PN: That it helps you rule things out. I always thought you see something and you know right away what happened. But that’s not the case. For example, there’s a test that determines a person’s blood type. If the perpetrator is Type O and you get a Type A result, they can be ruled out.
Could you ever be a real CSI? PN: Hell, no. You’re in the basement of a building for days on end.
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