Morgan Hoffman: First of all, what’s it been like you two working on set together? Because just listening to you, in the few seconds, you guys seem like you’re best friends.
Paula Newsome: I love her! I love her.
Jorja Fox: I love her!
Newsome: I love her!
Fox: We’re trouble.
Hoffman: How are you guys trouble?
Fox: So. There’s good trouble and bad trouble, right? Most of the time, we’re good trouble.
Newsome: Good trouble.
Fox: Every once in a while we’re bad trouble.
Hoffman: I love that so much.
Newsome: I’m gonna tell you the truth. I am really bad at wearing my mask.
Hoffman: It happens to the best of us.
Newsome: I truly am. I’m the youngest of three girls and I’m a bit of – I don’t like following rules.
Newsome: Yeah, Jorja? Is really good at wearing masks
Fox: Well, yeah, that rule.
Hoffman: What, so she keeps you in line?
Newsome: Yeah she’s really good at that one! She’s always got it on and I’m just walking around with the face shield that’s down, wearing it like a necklace and I see Jorja and I’m like “Damn it!”
Hoffman: She keeps you in line! That’s good.
Newsome: Without even saying a word.
Hoffman: Paula, it’s so exciting having you on this series. Maxine, she’s the boss. What do you love about her?
Newsome: I like Maxine because Maxine is measured. Maxine is fun. Maxine is not to be effed with. She’s not. And Maxine really cares. She really really truly cares.
Hoffman: I love that. Jorja what was like for you coming back to this series? Coming back to this character? Was that always the plan?
Fox: No, not at all no. I think, when Billy and I got on that boat back in 2015, and sailed off in the sunset, I think we really thought that was it that was the end of the book, you know? And I didn’t really think much about it after that. There was a part of me [that] was so glad that Sara ended up safe and happy with the man that she loves.
Newsome: That was nice.
Fox: There was a lot of time– years where that maybe that wasn’t necessarily going to happen. Then Bruckheimer television approached Billy and I about doing a 20th anniversary limited series and that sounded really interesting. I mean, I didn’t really want to take them out of paradise, but if there were people that really were interested in the story, then it was like well of course! That would be amazing.
The 20th anniversary came and went, obviously because COVID, and the story evolved a little bit. I’m glad that it did evolve, because we get Paula Newsome and we get Mandeep Dhillon, Matt Lauria, Mel Rodriguez. It’s a new thing now. It’s a dazzling new place.
Hoffman: That’s so exciting. I was going to say, what brings them back? They seem like they were living the life, you know? They were peaceful and now they’re back in it.
Fox: Sara gets a call from an old friend, that the old friend’s in trouble. She just thinks she’s just gonna roll into Vegas for a couple of days, take care of stuff, and be on her way.
Newsome: I love that long weekend thing. What a long weekend!
Hoffman: Not possible. Obviously you guys have talked about this before, but when you’re on a show and you’re dealing with such dark storylines – you were just talking to Mandeep and she said she likes to break out Beyonce after the scenes wrap just to get her head clear. What do you guys do?
Newsome: What do I do? I – quite honestly I spent a lot of time with my friends. I go up to lake arrowhead with my niece. I make sure my legs, my feet are firmly grounded in the reality that is Paula’s life.
Hoffman: I get that. Jorja, what about you? I mean, you’ve been doing this for so long now.
Fox: Oh, well thanks. You know … it is weirdly haunting, even if the stories aren’t real. For many years they were They were really, literally most of the early stories on the show were pulled out of headlines and stuff. That that gave it like a gravitas that was sometimes really tough to process. Now it’s easier because it is make-believe, but I’m with Mandeep. I think you know, number one I dance you know that always helps. And I’m also with Paula, calling a friend is is always a great thing too. I love romantic comedies and Disney movies. I’ve definitely watched a few of those after a long day of work.
Hoffman: Absolutely, puts you in that feel-good space again. Then you’re like “All right, we can do this again tomorrow.”"
Fox: Yep, petting my dogs.
Hoffman: Jorja, what was it like for you, working with William Peterson again? Did it feel like any time had passed?
Fox: For for a minute I thought it was gonna feel like that. I was like “Wow, it’s been five years…” We’ve stayed in touch but it’s not the same as when you’re working with someone every day, like when you’re on set. We started Zooming, that was the first thing that we did obviously because of COVID, we started having these Zooms. That was really surreal. Probably the most surreal, it still is – kind of Zooming Billy is so weird.
Newsome: It really is.
Fox: It’s like, we never did that before. And then immediately, the first day we worked together, it was incredibly comforting and just this best feeling. I’ve never gotten to reprise a role, I think that’s pretty rare in general, and then to get to do it with a friend that you’ve known for 21 years, to take a journey like that with them is immeasurably special. And fun.
I think we’re kind of annoying sometimes, because we have lots of inside jokes and we’d roll our eyes at the same time. I think other people would be like “Will you guys stop it! You’re like an old weird married couple.”
Hoffman: Paula, were they annoying?
Newsome: Not at all. Quite honestly what I was like was “I want in!” Like what the hell? Bit I could tell that they have just a – I’m going to tell you this. The first day that Billy came on set. You remember, Jorja?
Newsome: Jorja changed. Jorja changed and I was like “No!” I totally would! Because she changed. Because now she’s like connected to him in this really – I can’t even put words on it. They have so much on that’s 20 – how many years like 20 years?
Fox: 21 I think, yeah.
Newsome: That’s longer than some marriages!
Fox: Well, I was going to say that my longest relationship is a make-believe television relationship. But it’s also an honor to get to do that, how cool. I think that that long-term relationships, people who make it work for 20 years, and especially if they actually seem to still really care about each other, yeah that is that’s one of the coolest things in the world to me. So to get to explore that and play that has been really exciting.
Newsome: And watching the shorthand is just – it’s beautiful.
Fox: See? It’s weird, it’s annoying sometimes.
Hoffman: No no, Paula said beautiful not annoying. Well speaking of Sara and Grissom, what can we expect from their relationship? Are we still gonna feel the love?
Fox: I so hope so. I hope the audience enjoys this. The biggest risk, I think, that the show’s taking in some ways is by putting us together. We had this 21 year long sort of on-again off-again relationship/love affair. They were together, they weren’t together, they were married, they were divorced, they were running away from each other. Episode one is going to find them together. It’s really the first time that Billy and I have played that relationship on screen for any length of time. It was an absolute ball for me, I really really enjoyed it. I hope the audience enjoys it too.
Hoffman: That’s so exciting. Paula, obviously there’s such a huge fan base with the original series, what are you excited for them to see with this with CSI: Vegas?
Newsome: I’m excited. I have a lot of respect for this show, the franchise. I’m just excited for people to open their hearts and their minds to seeing more of America. Wednesday nights at 10 a.m – 10 p.m excuse me – because when I see it, I’m in awe and I’m impressed and I’m grateful to be part of this group.
Hoffman: I can only imagine. That’s so cool! I’m so pumped for everyone to see this. Jorja, when you hear the theme song and it’s back, is it like embedded in your head? Because I get excited when I hear that.
Fox: Thank you. I mean The Who, you know, they’re a pretty cool band, a pretty amazing band. To say I’m a fan would be undersaying how much I love them.
Newsome: Did you meet them!? Did you meet them!?
Fox: We did! I have a number of times. One very old CSI fans will remember that Roger Daltrey actually had a guest starring role on an episode of CSI. He was with us for maybe a week – four or five days, it was a sizable role. I did spend time with Roger Daltrey on a set. I’ve seen The Who play numerous times, and they’ve always been really kind to the show and kind to those of us that have gone to see them.
I got a photo actually at Coachella. It was Desert Trips, just a couple of years ago, that we played with a number of bands for three days. It was like Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones. It’s Eric Szmanda and David Berman and I backstage of The Who and a photo with Daltrey again. They’re awesome. There’s also a newer rendition of the song. Joy [Oladokun]– She’s gonna kill me for not being able to pronounce her name correctly. That song, I feel like her covering The Who’s “Who are you?” in many ways – it’s actually the soul of CSI: Vegas picking up where CSI: Crime Scene Investigation left off. This is now. This is the present. This is what’s happening. This is the new.
I really do think the audience is going to fall in love with these characters that Jason Tracy so lovingly created. They are really cool, dynamic, electric people, and you’re going to want to take a journey that you’ve taken, already, with them specifically.
Hoffman: That’s so cool. I just got the wrap, Paula, you know I gotta ask you about being part of Marvel family, Spiderman: No Way Home. I know you can’t say much, but was the experience awesome.
Newsome: I got to tell you, it was freaking amazing! It was friggin amazing because I’m – I’ll just tell you one thing. I needed a stunt double
Hoffman: They got you working?
Newsome: That’s all I’m gonna say. I needed a stunt douple.
Hoffman: That is so cool, guys. Thank you so much.
Fox: Also some wings.
Hoffman: Oh, I am getting all the tea right now. That’s so cool! Thank you. Congratulations.
Newsome: Morgan, it’s been a pleasure.
Fox: Thank you, Morgan!