ARTIST ON DEMAND: I’m Danni and I’ll be your host today. We have another very exciting show this afternoon. We’ll be talking to Jorja Fox who plays Sara Sidle on CSI. If you don’t know what CSI is, you must have been living under a rock. So. While we are waiting for her to call in, we’ll take a music break. So enjoy it. This is going to be Kimberly Cole, “Arrow through my Heart”. (music plays). [‘¦] I’m very excited! We do actually have Jorja, so I’m going to go ahead and bring her on. Hi, Jorja, how are you?
JORJA FOX: Hey, Danni. How’s it going? I’m good.
ARTIST ON DEMAND: I’m great. We’re very excited! We don’t have a whole lot of time so I want to jump right into it. Because obviously CSI is premiering Season 12 starts. What can we expect? What are some of the biggest changes we’re going to see this year?
JORJA FOX: Well, we’re counting down, you know we’re always hopeful about a new season. It’s one of the best times of the year actually, is to get to work and not be on the air because you can just kind of go away and concentrate on your stuff and not worry too much about, you know, the ratings and all the other stuff that comes with premieres.
But obviously we have a new, two new actors that have joined us this year, the first one being Ted Danson, who I swear I’ve seen feathers coming out of the back of his jacket. I think he’s an angel. I will confirm that later in the year. He’s just the warmest, coolest cat and so funny. So you know, that’s on. CSI might just be a bit funnier this year. We’ve done some dark humor stuff. We love to put comedy in the show where we can. There’s just something about having Danson with us that I’ve got bets that we might be a funnier show this year. He’s going to join the cast tonight.
Another surprise is we have Elizabeth who plays Morgan, who kind of guest starred on the show near the end of last season. She was a lab tech when some of the cast when to Los Angeles when we were chasing this horrible serial killer. She was in the lab and she’s going to join us this season. She’s Marc- Ecklie’s daughter, who is often the evil villain top of the police chain, that gives a lot of the characters a hard time. So she’ll be with us. I think she’s, I can’t remember if she’s in this episode tonight, I think she joins us next week. She’s fantastic and edgy and young. So we’re looking to have a really good year. We’re really optimistic and hope the fans stick with us.
ARTIST ON DEMAND: Well, I am very excited. I’m sure fans are too. Obviously, you have to be a fan favorite. Was it a shock for you when you left in 2007 and you saw all the fans campaigning to get you back? What was that like?
JORJA FOX: Uh. It was probably the nicest thing that’s ever happened to me. And uh, really overwhelming and a surprise. You know I kind of left because I was exhausted. And I think somewhere along the way because I’d had some skirmishes in the past with the show, I think some of the fans thought I was being sort of angled off the show. And I just needed to lie down for a while and take a break. And so it was, it was really, you know, to this day it still kind of still surprises me when I think about it. I got some rest and then I came back. And then Billy got tired and so he left. And we’re hearing murmurs that Marg is tired. The year will ‘¦ You know, CSI — I think we do some of our best work when we have unexpected changes.
They’re always devastating. Nobody knew that Lawrence wasn’t going to be coming back. And that was heartbreaking for me. He’s a great guy and I really loved working with him and then sort of in the middle of the summer, we got this email during the middle of the night that perhaps he wouldn’t be joining us. You know, I guess in some ways it’s a good thing when there are changes to a show that’s been on for 12 years. In other ways, it’s really sad and hard to adjust to. And even though we’re not necessarily what people would think of as a character-driven show, you know, the fans get attached to characters and we certainly, tended to fall in love with each other.
That’s one thing that CSI has been really good at is they’ve always seemed to bring people into the cast that really get along and have a lot of chemistry. So it is hard to say goodbye when people want to, but I understand because I was the first one that got tired and needed to lie down. I understand other characters do to.
ARTIST ON DEMAND: Well you did come back so obviously you love playing Sara. What is one of your favorite things about being on the show and playing her?
JORJA FOX: I think one of my favorite things, and this is probably weird considering it is CSI, but, I got to do this sort of long, slow kind of mysterious love story in the midst of the show with William Petersen. You know, it was sort of over five or six seasons. I was always struck by through all the darkness and all the heaviness and all the despair, that somewhere in there could be this idea of love and intimacy and sort of a stability.
And so it’s also been one of the hardest to play now that he’s gone. You know, I think that Sara’s kind of, she’s lonely’¦and I think she’s getting slightly more frigid by the episode since he’s not around. (laugh). It’s hard to have a long-distance love affair. I think we’ve all had at least one in our lives. So I miss him but playing that love story and the fact that they’re still married and that they’re still in love is kind of one of the most fun things for me to do.
ARTIST ON DEMAND: Now obviously aside from that, that’s got to be an emotional you know, having that long distance relationship, but Sara’s gone through some really emotional storylines, being kidnapped, everything like that [Jorja says Ugh!]. Any particular episode that sticks out as being particularly nerve-racking for you to shoot?
JORJA FOX: One of the hardest, most recent episodes is actually this episode we did about hoarders and which George Eads and Eric Szmanda had a real big storyline in. It had been George’s dream, he’d started watching some of the documentary shows that are on about hoarding and became quite obsessive compulsion about that in his own way and had made some suggestions to the writers that we need to do one of these’¦we should tell this story, this would be great. And so about a year and a half coming, and when the episode came out, we were thrilled for George and I was thrilled that I got to be a part of it, but you know, even though we built a set that was actually a hoarder’s house, it was incredibly claustrophobic.
Even though all the garbage was set garbage, so it wasn’t real garbage, by the time we got out of there, we spent about four days on that set, and something inevitably did start to smell quite bad. It took three days to figure out I think it was a bag of frozen noodles that was supposed to in the fridge that somebody forgot to unpack. It ended up like under eight feet of sheets, and televisions and video tapes, and so even by day three there was a smell on stage that nobody could quite put their finger on and we were worried that it was like a mouse or something that had met with a horrible demise.
When we got off that stage when we were done, I didn’t realize, I knew I was a little claustrophobic and I know that I’m not a stuff person, I’m more a minimalist person, and it confirmed everything that I thought about myself when we were finally done. It was hard to shoot but we were really happy with the outcome.
ARTIST ON DEMAND: I can’t even imagine.
JORJA FOX: Yeah, it was intense, and put a whole camera crew in there, you know, it was just like little, we called them goat trails, these tiny little pathways throughout the set, where everybody would try and hang lights and stuff.
ARTIST ON DEMAND: It has to be amazing to be a part of something like this. In early 2011, CSI was the most watched show in the entire world. So what is it like knowing you’re a part of such a phenomenon?
JORJA FOX: That, first of all, is an amazing compliment. And it’s kind of a serial, because the ratings have slipped a bit in the States, but we still have our game on, you know we’re still hoping that this year we’re going to surprise everybody one more time. First of all, it’s such an honor to be the number one show once, even just one week, forget a couple weeks in a row, and here worldwide. I got to travel to Europe this summer, which I hadn’t done in a few years. And that was an amazing experience. It doesn’t really hit home, sometimes, until you go out into the world and you start talking to people and meeting people.
I was in some pretty remote places, the southern tip of Europe, but everybody’s got a satellite dish! I kind of thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to have a kind of low key vacation! It’ll be quiet and I won’t think about CSI for a few weeks.‘ and I was very pleased to find out everybody was watching the show, and knew who I was. It’s amazing, and it is, like, to have — We’ve been very lucky to have a pretty diverse crowd that’s followed the show. Not only is it age-wise and ethnicity and different regions of America, like wether it’s city people or country people, but to think about that it goes out beyond the States is a really, really, really amazing feeling.
ARTIST ON DEMAND: Very awesome. Now, aside from CSI, anything you’re working on right now?
JORJA FOX: Oh gosh, I’m always shuttling around my little projects that I love. I have a feature documentary that we’ve just finished. That’s really the story of 14-year old girl that goes to Thailand to learn about elephants. The movie’s called “How I Became An Elephant.‘ We have a website, it’s http://howibecameanelephant.com, and we’ve submitted to festivals. It’s a really exciting documentary. There are some hard things to watch, obviously. Elephants sometimes get a raw deal in our post-modern world, where space is at a premium. It’s a beautiful story. We’re hoping — We’re going to do the festivals for a few months. We’re talking to distributors.
I would love to tell you more about that in a few months.
ARTIST ON DEMAND: Very awesome. Those are pretty much all the questions that I have for you, because this is such a short time. But if you wouldn’t mind, we like to get a tag from all of our guests. So if you would just say ‘This is Jorja Fox. You’re listening to Artists on Demand.‘
JORJA FOX: Okay great! And I’m sorry, I would have been listening to your station this morning, but I was scared to hear my voice in stereo while we spoke! [everyone laughs] Hey! This is Jorja Fox, and you’re listening to Artists on Demand Radio!
ARTIST ON DEMAND: Awesome. Well thank you so much for coming on and talking to us. Definitely we’d love to have you back again. In the meantime-
JORJA FOX: Thank you! I love you guys, you guys do great stuff!
ARTIST ON DEMAND: Oh, thank you! Well it was such a pleasure and have a great day!
JORJA FOX: Alright! You too, thanks.