“Why Sara decided to leave”
Jorja Fox: …you know, a series of events between the whole miniature killer thing and some other events, she’d had so many recent close calls. Um, the job was just too much for her to, it was too much with her, and I think she knew that if she asked Grissom to go with her, even if he said yes, that would be the end of him, you know “(very emotional)”. Grissom, this, the lab for him is his whole world, it’s every, the place where he’s felt safe, it’s where he’s been for 20 years, it’s his everything. Um, so I think she knew, she never, she never even asked, she would never even ask him to go, I think she… thought it would kill him to go, and it was going to kill her to stay.
Jorja Fox: I thought she had a really dignified goodbye and a really loving goodbye, there was a lot of grace to it, and um, so I was “thrilled” by that, you know. It was, it made me a little uncomfortable in a way, cause you know there were several episodes that became very Sara heavy and I think that all of us on the show, we are an ensemble and we’re really used to sharing, you know you might get one episode and then you were light for a while and then you’re back, so you know I, me, Jorja, as myself I was slightly embarrassed by the whole thing, by the attention, but, um, I was really happy for the character, that, you know, I thought that, um, it was a really kind thing for them to do.
“Happy that Sara wasn’t killed off”
Jorja Fox: I’m really glad that she’s just… somewhere in the ethers right now, you know. I have ideas about where she is, and, um, I’m sure Carol Mendelsohn does too but, that um, she wasn’t, you know, that there’s… that she’s alive and well. I think that there’s, there’s several different options when um, you’re going to give a character a send-off and I think that particularly for the character of Sara, she’d been through “so” much, sort of “heaviness” in her life, and violence and darkness and I, and I kind of always have seen in her someone who has always been able to “surmount” a lot of difficulties, you know, to have sort of a reasonably sane happy life. To me, for her to have been a victim of violence in the end would have been absolutely devastating, and, and horrific to me that she, she, she already did that, she already went through that and survived and came out the other side, so, um, I’m “really” happy that the writers decided not to kill her off.
“Planning her departure”
Jorja Fox: I knew going into season 8 that I was going to do the first seven episodes of season 8, so I, so I absolutely knew that, and um, I think I’d known for about a year or a year and a half that um, that I was thinking about going, you know, sort of just on my own sort of space that um, again I’ve been so lucky, I’ve been eleven and a half years consistently on prime time TV so, um, after eleven and a half years I think I was ready to take a little break, just a little break, and um, a little break from the violence, cause eight beautiful years of violence is a lot, and uh, and a lot of stories that we tell are based on real stories, you know. It’s um, it’s sort of not just pure imagination a lot of the time so it adds sort of a heavier sense to the show.
Jorja Fox: I think the “hardest” part was really feeling like it was “definitely” the longest goodbye of my entire life. I mean, we all knew it, you know, all the actors knew it and the crew knew it and the writers knew it and so there was a good two or three month period where I felt like I was saying goodbye to everybody almost every day and that, and that was heartbreaking, it was really hard, and I almost “wished” during that time that it “had” been a shock to all of us, you know, and that I didn’t know it was happening. It seems, you know, I’ve never been one for long goodbyes anyway, I’m the kind that likes to drop people off at the airport and not go in, and uh, so it was “very emotional” “(laughing)” sort of, uh, way and I think I was really lucky too because a lot of the feelings that “I” was going through were feelings that I, that would work with the storyline and the character, they were feelings that the character was going through. Like it this, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done was to leave the show, and it was a lot harder to leave than stay in many respects, and um, and so, and so luckily for “me” the character was sort of taking, making the same decisions at that time, you know, that I’m sure that the hardest thing she ever did was to leave the Las Vegas crime lab, and leave Greg Sanders and Nick Stokes and Gil Grissom and um, this “family” that she had created, you know, and Warrick Brown - everyone there.
“Writing Sara’s goodbye letter for Naren Shankar”
Jorja Fox: We were having a conversation about this storyline, and um, he asked me if, what, if I were gonna say ‘goodbye’, what would I say, if I were writing a letter, Sara was writing a letter to Grissom, what would it say. And, and, so it was a homework assignment, that he kind of gave me which I didn’t get that often, I went off to hair and makeup, and in hair and makeup I wrote it and then I gave it to him on a scrap piece of paper and um, and then he, and then when I got the script, you know, a few days later, I was completely blown away that it was the letter that I had written. I thought, you know, he’d kind of just look at me and ‘oh, that’s okay, that’s kind of what she would say’ and then he’d, he’d write, “write” something, write something real, so um, yeah, that was a “complete” surprise to me.
“Saying goodbye to the CSI family”
Jorja Fox: In the letter she leaves for Grissom, uh, she says that it’s definitely the closest thing she’s ever had to a home, you know, was, was, those seven years there in that place, those people, and um, those bonds, I mean, you know, for me, and again, that’s where the character and the person are so intertwined in some respects and so you know, I just spent my morning with Marg and Billy, and um, they’re my “family”, you know, I, I feel that… in twelve years if I got a call out of the blue from Paul Guilfoyle, you know, to go to his house, I’d be there probably, you know, as fast as I could. So, and, and I think that there’s no question in my mind that Sara shares those feelings for the people that she worked with there.