Bob Linden: …author of “When Elephants Weep”, “The Pig Who Sang to the Moon”, and “Dogs Never Lie About Love”. Um, now, uh, oh, I guess we have - is it, Jorja Fox is calling now? Okay, Jorja Fox is on the line, Chris DeRose I hope can hold on a little longer now, but Jorja Fox, I know, is in the midst of shooting right now, “CSI”, and uh, taking a break. Jorja, welcome to Go Vegan With Bob Linden. It’s, ah, great to hear from you.
Jorja Fox: Thank you so much Bob. Hi Chris, how are you doing?
Chris DeRose: Good, how are you doing?
Jorja Fox: Very good, very good. Nice to talk to both you guys.
Bob Linden: Yeah, it’s great to have you both on the line here and, uh, Jorja Fox, ah, people will know from, ah, her work on “CSI”. Since ah, since 2000 she’s had a starring role there and, actually, anybody who’s watched television over the last ten years, um, would know Jorja Fox because she was, ah, on “ER” and “The West Wing” and “Missing Persons”, um, and now “CSI”. So ah, and Jorja you um, I guess often play, um, characters with a kind of a alternative lifestyle and…
Jorja Fox: (laughing) That’s a nice way to put that.
Bob Linden: Yeah, and I think (laughing), and I think uh, people want to know, people in the public are curious, if you yourself are a vegetarian?
Jorja Fox: I am indeed a vegetarian.
Bob Linden: Ah-hah! Okay.
Jorja Fox: And ah, you know what’s interesting is that the character of Sara Sidle on “CSI” is a vegetarian, and also when I was on “ER”, the character I played, Dr. Maggie Doyle, was also a vegetarian. So I’ve been really lucky that way.
Bob Linden: Now, did you, um, influence the writers to make it that way? Or um, ah, was it written that way already. I mean, or, or, was it your influence in, in making the characters vegetarian.
Jorja Fox: Well, you know both stories are kind of similar, and they both involve pigs, oddly enough, and my love for pigs, and uh, back in the day on “ER”, um, the writers had put into the script that my character would practice, you know, doing stitches on a pig’s foot, which is sort of a common practice with doctors in residency. And I called the writer who was, y’know, there at the time, who’s now on “Law & Order”, and um, and I said to him ‘is there like anything else I might practice on’? you know cause I, I just really didn’t want to do the pig’s foot thing, and um, and so then he immediately wrote into the story that my character was a vegetarian and that I was going to be stitching up an eggplant. And then on “CSI” it was a similar thing, we were going to be conducting an experiment on a pig where we’re trying to prove how long somebody had been died by sort of, kind of doing the same experiment on a pig, and I called the writers and I said ‘Can we please not, you know, of course we’re not going to use a real pig for this, are we’ and they said ‘oh, are you a vegetarian?’ and I said ‘yes’ and they wrote it into the story that my character would be a vegetarian.
Bob Linden: Wonderful, yeah-
Jorja Fox: Yeah
Bob Linden: — and didn’t you also influence, like, not using real animals on the show or something to that effect…?
Jorja Fox: Well you know, of course, I, it was more naivety on my part because, you know, they would never use real animals, ah, particularly for any of the dead animals on our show. We’ve had some fantastic animal actors come through “CSI”, but all of them have been alive and well and breathing and (laughs) we even have, we use a lot of bugs on the show, and we have, ah, special humane bugs’ guys that are here to make sure the bugs are taken care of, and that, you know, everybody who arrives on the set leaves the set (laughs) in good shape. So yeah, we do, everybody who’s dead on the show whether it’s animals, or people of course, are either not real or actors portraying people that are dead, so yeah, no animals have ever been harmed in the making of “CSI” thank goodness, I’m proud to say.
Bob Linden: Ah, that’s wonderful, yeah, that’s, that’s terrific. So um, and, and how did you yourself get interested in, in vegetarianism, and, and animal issues?
Jorja Fox: Um, wow. Again, I go, I’ve been doing this kind of stuff for so long, y’know, I say definitely that when I was a teenager, my grandmother, who’s passed away now, she lived a long beautiful life, to 99, uh, I grew up in a very rural town in Florida, and it was obviously very meat and potato oriented and, she, from as long as, y’know I grew up with her in the household, she was always very very concerned with the environment, and very, a huge lover of animals, and, and a believer in compassionate, um, treatment towards animals. And so um, from a really early age I was exposed to that, and I would definitely, I would think that she was the person that was most significant in teaching me about that stuff, and I, and I, realized that I, I kinda, I felt the same way that she did, I had the same beliefs as her about it.
Bob Linden: So, uh, and when did you become vegetarian? Was there a moment…?
Jorja Fox: Ah, I was nineteen years old in New York City, and I was in Brooklyn, and I was eating a meatball hero, and I don’t know what happened, I just looked at the sandwich, and I just, it all just clicked in my head, and that was it, I’ve never eaten meat again.
Bob Linden: Yeah. I was, uh, I was nineteen in New York City and I was looking down at a piece of chicken I just cooked and I said ‘Ah, it’s a body!’
Jorja Fox: No kidding!
Bob Linden: You know, it’s a-
Jorja Fox: Yuck! Something just all of a sudden, you know, there’s just a register there. And you know, I’ve been really blessed, I lived a lot of big cities, you know it is really easy to have a vegetarian lifestyle in Los Angeles, New York, and places like Chicago, and um, I’m really grateful for it, I’m really grateful for the knowledge, y’know?
Bob Linden: Yeah, definitely. Oh we have, in L.A. we have vegan restaurants everywhere now, it seems.
Jorja Fox: Mmm-hmm. Just in the last couple of years-
Bob Linden: Yeah.
Jorja Fox: — like a (???)
Bob Linden: They’re thriving, yeah. I mean, they’re, so that’s, so that’s great. Now, you know, if you, if you look at your acting resume though, I mean, these are amazingly, these are the biggest shows of, of the last few years, and um, how did we get these roles, how uh, how uh does an “ER”, “West Wing” and “CSI” happen? “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is like the biggest show, you know that cause there are so many spin-offs on it, you know, so uh, um, how did it, how did it happen for you?
Jorja Fox: Oh, thank you, thank you. You know, I don’t know, I really just think, y’know, I really just think I’m the luckiest person you know, this, Los Angeles has been really really good to me, everything was kind of just the normal way, like my agent sent me on an audition and I went in, and I had a callback, and then I came back, and I, I feel really really blessed I’m uh, right now I’m in my eleventh consecutive season on primetime television,
Bob Linden: Wow.
Jorja Fox: Yeah, and who knew? I never thought I’d get where I am so I’m, I’m [in] completely uncharted territory. I know, ah, there’s other people that are in the club with me but, other than Noah Wyle I’m not really sure, I don’t know exactly who they are. But uh, yeah, it’s, it’s much huger than my wildest dreams I could’ve ever thought.
Bob Linden: So, so it wasn’t at all the producers in Hollywood were vegan and sympathetic to you necessarily.
Jorja Fox: (laughs) No, I wish, I wish. That’d be pretty fabulous.
Bob Linden: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So anything exciting coming up for “CSI” this year?
Jorja Fox: Oh we’re really excited. We premiere September 21st, Thursday mights, you’ve got a two-parter episode, ah, that we’re going to start the season out with, it’s very very high stakes, very traditional, you see most of our season premieres there’s, you know, Vegas is highlighted beautifully, a lot of night shots, and, and exteriors, and there’s deep deep trouble for Marg Helgenberger’s character Catherine Willows, it’s gonna be quite a thrill ride the first few shows, we’re excited about it.
Bob Linden: Excellent, excellent. Well I’m uh, and, and you’re shooting today, right now? You, you ran off?
Jorja Fox: Yeah, they’ve actually knocked on my trailer door two minutes ago, they want me to go to set and uh, yeah.
Bob Linden: Tell them, tell them you’re on “Go Vegan with Bob Linden”-
Jorja Fox: I know, I’m a (???)
Bob Linden: -and I’m sure they’ll understand.
Jorja Fox: I’m gettin’ to talk to Bob, which is quite an honor and very rare. Yeah, there’s uh, you know there’s somebody dead and I gotta go check on some dead person, find out what happened to them.
Bob Linden: Okay. Well if you ever need, y’know like, uh, a dead vegan who needs to lie there, I’ll be glad to audition.
Jorja Fox: (laughs)
Bob Linden: Although, y’know, wait a second, vegan and dead don’t go together, actually vegan and life go together.
Jorja Fox: Exactly, yeah you’re right.
Bob Linden: So I guess I’m-
Jorja Fox: Tell you what though, I’m going to present that to the producers today.
Bob Linden: What’s that?
Jorja Fox: I said thank you very much so I’m going to present that to the producers today.
Bob Linden: Apparent, yeah, please do that, or, or a live vegan talk show host. Either way, I mean that uh-
Jorja Fox: Okay.
Bob Linden: Glad to read for it.
Jorja Fox: Sounds good.
Bob Linden: Okay then go back to work then, Jorja Fox. Um by the way, uh, what’s the, the spelling of your name is uh, do you need help or uh getting it right or uh-
Jorja Fox: (laughs)
Bob Linden: How do you-
Jorja Fox: (laughing) My mother made that up.
Bob Linden: How do we, how do we have Jorja from J, O, R, J, A? How did, how did, how did you uh get a spelling like that? What’s the derivation?
Jorja Fox: Well, yeah, for better, for worse, my mom made it up, I’m a child of the 70’s, and uh, she was from Montreal, French-Canadian, so my name is actually very common there, Jorja-An, and she just threw in the J’s to uh, mix it up a little bit and confuse me for like the first twelve years of my life.
Bob Linden: (laughs)
Jorja Fox: (chuckles)
Bob Linden: And that made you an actor, so-
Jorja Fox: Oh yeah, yeah. (laughs) My early childhood pain.
Bob Linden: Yes, your early childhood pain. Well thank you, go back to work.
Jorja Fox: Thanks Bob, thanks Chris, have a, have a beautiful day.
Chris DeRose: Thank you, bye-bye Jorja.
Jorja Fox: Thanks a lot.
Bob Linden: Okay, I’ll go directly to Chris now I think then? Yes, okay, because Chris has been patiently waiting and Jorja was just taking a quick break from, uh, shooting right now and Chris DeRose who gosh, has been on this show quite often, so you know that he founded and is the president of Last Chance For Animals and um, gosh, he’s just one of the heroes in the animal rights movement, but you may not know that on his resume too, well-