Women Of ... Primetime Crime

Women Of ... Primetime Crime — March 08, 2002


Jorja Fox I never knew that I wasn’t equal to everyone else out there.

“Who was your favorite female crime fighter?”

Jorja Fox There were the pioneers out there, you know, like Angie Dickinson […] I grew up on Charlie’s Angels. Those women seemed, they were just incredible. They were so fierce. You know? ‘Cause they were doing karate chops and solving crimes and had the guns and yet they were still young and smart.

“‘Narrator** CSI’s crime scene investigator is Jorja Fox.

Jorja Fox I think we feel like we get to play such smart, kinda cool women.

“What did you want to be when you grew up?”

Jorja Fox I wanted to be an actor or a rock star. A marine biologist or president. […] You know, my specialty, here at CSI … laughter Is right here taps her head I always solve the cases. camera nods Most of the time. Don’t tell any of the other actors that, though, they’d get upset. camera shakes it’s head

“Who were your role models growing up?”

Jorja Fox Reverend Dr. King, John Lennon. Later Oprah Winfrey.

“‘Narrator** The world of crime is dark and disturbing, but the women of Primetime Crime roll with the punches.

Jorja Fox It’s an opportunity in a way to sort of go somewhere … and see a really primal, vital, important part to life, you know? There’s three sides to life: there’s birth, there’s life and there’s death.

“Were you a tomboy or a girly-girl?”

Jorja Fox My mom wanted a little girl so bad and she got a tomboy! laughter And she loves me!

“‘Narrator** The women of Prime Time Crime recreate situations that police officers, detectives, forensic scientists and coroners face every day. For these leading ladies, taking on this challenge is an honor.

Jorja Fox I have so much respect for the people who do this job, you know and admiration. It’s not a job I could do. […] Hi, E! I’m Jorja Fox! I play Sara Sidle on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. I’m a forensic scientist, I’m also a criminalist. This is Ali, my dog, like Muhammad Ali, the boxer. She’s visiting with me here today, she comes with me a lot because I’m here a lot.

Narrator CSI is set in Las Vegas, but the show is actually shot in Santa Clarita, CA.

Jorja Fox This is the set of CSI, these are our offices. I’m going to take you on a little tour. This is one of my favorite microscopes, it’s a comparative microscope. So you can take, lets say, two different bullets, and put one here and one there and got back and forth and see if they look anything alike. You can put almost anything, anything that we might be wanting to compare goes through this microscope and it’s kind of fun.

Jorja Fox If you look over to your right you’ll see sort of a collection of all different sorts of weapons and guns. I’ve always been a pacifist, I mean it in my very heart, I’m a pacifist. But you know, I’ve got to admit that when I shot them a couple times, for different things I’ve done, that part’s kinda fun.

“‘Narrator** The CSI set is a long way from the small town in Florida where Jorja grew up.

Jorja Fox I was really goofy, I was wild. I was very fun most of the time. I had a really great, idyllic, childhood. Like always in water, always swimming. I was pretty fearless.

“‘Narrator** Fearless enough to want to be an actor.

Jorja Fox I always wanted to be an actress. Like always, always, always wanted to be a- I either wanted to be an actress or a rock star. And I couldn’t tell you why! And you think sometimes, you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m living my whole life on a decision that I made when I was five.’

“‘Narrator** Even five year olds can make the right call.

Jorja Fox It’s a great job, because you can be so many different people. I mean yeah, you always want to do the best job you can. I think we all are pretty much … If you’re trying to tell a story that’s close to real life, then you want to pay it as much respect as you can. I’ve never met anybody in this business who’s really not trying to tell a story with soul.

“‘Narrator** Jorja Fox has been a woman of Primetime before, with recurring roles on ER and The West Wing. But it’s CSI that really put her on the map.

Jorja Fox Honestly, what struck me was these six lines of this character description which this person had created. Here’s this person, Sara Sidle, forensic scientist, criminalist, can drink people under the table kinda thing. Very smart, poor people skills, action oriented, adventure oriented. And I was like, ‘Wow, I really have to go explore this!’ Sara in a way, it’s weird, she’s kind of hero of mine. She’s much gutsier than I am. She’s very spontaneous. And she’s a daredevil in that sense. If it’s dark and dangerous, and luminous she’s in it. Much more so than I am. I’m a little bit neurotic.

“‘Narrator** But the actress is also motivated by the gadgets she gets to play with and the mysteries she gets to solve.

Jorja Fox I think that this show’s kind of unique, just by the nature of what it’s about. There’s so much more technology, technologies that are breaking every day. Like we have tools on the show this year that people weren’t using last year. So that’s an edge that’s very exciting. That you’re moving with something that’s breaking through while you’re trying to tell a story. […] This is the Layout Room. Whenever we get a case together and we’ve got a lot of different things from different places we’ll put it all on this table and sit down and we’ll hash it out. Like maybe we’ve got a shoestring from one thing, and we’ve got a hair from something else, and we’ve got a parking ticket from someplace. And in this room we’ll sit down and fight out and really, often, find out exactly what happened […] The story lines are challenging and insane every week and that’s really exciting. Like you never know what’s going to happen next. I certainly think that TV is smarter right now than it’s been in a really long time, and I think that audiences are currently really enjoying it. Like people appreciate it if something’s realistic, I think they appreciate something if it’s truthful. […] This may be my very favorite room. Because … it’s got a couch in it.

“‘Narrator** But Jorja doesn’t get a chance to lounge around very often.

Jorja Fox I love everybody more than I ever thought I could love people that I work with. But I’m never home, so I try to bring home with me. Keep my guitar in my trailer. My dog is my guru. My dog is obviously my best friend, that’s the oldest statement in the world, but everyone knows it’s true.

“Who is the one woman you admire most?”

Jorja Fox Maya Angelo

“‘Narrator** The women of Primetime Crime play it smart. They act fearless with their emotions in check. But just because these leading ladies act tough, doesn’t mean they always are.

Jorja Fox I’m the wimp of the cast. I have the weakest stomach, I gross out the quickest. I don’t want to see it the most. I’m a stickler for safety, I’m always worried about if everything’s safe. I’m the nebbishy one.

“If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?”

Jorja Fox I’d probably be playing a guitar in the background somewhere.

“‘Narrator** Being a woman of Primetime Crime takes dedication and commitment. The hours are long, the locations are sometimes far from home, and personal time can suffer.

Jorja Fox I think it’s hard on television. Everyone says that and it’s a big stereotype, but I think it is. It’s hard to juggle your work, your family, your friends and your self.

“‘Narrator** Crime can be a grind, so each of these actors has found her own recipe for rest and rejuvenation.

Jorja Fox I have a little theater company with some friends. We put plays on. I like to go hiking, I surf a little bit.

“‘Narrator** Success and hard work go together for these women, but sometimes the costs seem outweigh the rewards.

Jorja Fox I don’t think there really is too many sacrifices or challenges. I go at this mostly with a very deep sense of gratitude. Here I am, lucky enough to get to do what I love to do. You can think to yourself ‘Well this is very cool in storytelling.’ It’s one of the oldest forms of communication. If anything, I have just a tiny bit of guilt, that wow, this is what I do for a living.

“‘Narrator** It’s the era of strong women.

Jorja Fox I feel like I’m an empowered woman, and I feel a little naive in that sense, because I feel I’ve always been given the chance to be an empowered woman.


Jorja Fox playing guitar

“‘Narrator** Is that an original [song]?

Jorja Fox Yeah, it’s an original. Just made it up, not quite sure what I’m playing. Jorja plays guitar as we fade to black




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