Kelly Ripa: Wait, there’s a body farm?
Ryan Seacrest: Yes, the kids love it, Kelly. Ehe saved lives in ER worked as a special agent on The West Wing, and now she returns to the scene of the crime on _CSI: Body Farm. Please welcome Jorja Fox everybody!
Jorja Fox: I am so – it’s an honor to be here. I’ve never met either of you.
Kelly: Well it is our honor and I feel like you are the person that knows everything. Like, you know about crime scenes, you know about politics. You must be the most, like sort of at least on-set educated actor out there.
Jorja: I’m so sorry to disappoint you. All these characters – I’ve been so fortunate I played these really smart – every character I’ve played on tv has carried a gun has had these great degrees. They’re so much smarter than me. Like I’m just like, well I don’t know how I pull it off! I’m just like someone’s gonna figure it out soon.
Ryan: So you grew up here and you come back for the first time?
Jorja: I grew up in New York City. Yes. It’s been two years obviously since I’ve been here. I’ve been in LA – living in exile in LA for many years but I’m usually here at least twice a year.
Kelly: Living in exile.
Ryan: In the hills of Hollywood.
Jorja: Most of my family is here and it was literally almost two years to the day that I was here.
Ryan: Was it emotional coming back?
Jorja: So when the plane landed, I knew – I mean I was so excited. I was beyond excited. There was really bad weather earlier this week, I was like I’m not going to make it. But I did, yeah I landed in Newark and about three minutes later lightning struck the baggage carousel and the whole thing was like I just made it yep, but I was really surprised at how emotional I was when the plane was landing. When I saw the city for the first time, it just hit me. And I was that weird person flying alone who was crying, but that’s okay. It was worth it.
Kelly: I think people are used to it.
Kelly: Everybody’s crying on all the planes.
Jorja: Just getting their masks wet.
Kelly: It’s not even unusual.
Ryan: All right, let’s get to the body farm. So. CSI: Vegas. Tell us – Kelly look at her look face.
Kelly: I did not realize there was a body farm.
Jorja: Oh, yes.
Kelly: I’ve been taking my kids to the pumpkin patch, like an idiot!
Jorja: They’re usually on university campuses. But, it’s a real thing, you know. These experiments are important, right? To find out what happens to bodies.
Ryan: The Vegas version. What’s happening in CSI?
Jorja: Well, you know, first of all it’s really – I’m still sort of in shock that we’re back. I think we thought we finished in 2015.
Ryan: Right, right.
Jorja: Network shows rarely get endings of any kind, and we got a series finale. Then on top of we got a happy ending, which almost never happens. The characters of Grissom and Sara literally sailed off into the sunset. I thought “okay, that’s done” and I was totally surprised I got a call in 2019. We were going to do a limited 20th anniversary special that obviously also didn’t happen. We should have shot it last year. But then it had time to sort of evolve. Basically Sara and Grissom come back they think – Sara thinks she’s going to be there for a few days, she’s helping out a friend. Of course all heck breaks loose and they end up for an extended stay. What’s rare for the show in the past is we have a case that we’re going to follow for the 10 episodes. You’re not going to – you’re going to get one riddle solved every week which, I think, is really good for some people. One case will be solved and then the other case, it’s not going to be till episode 10 where we reach, hopefully, a very exciting conclusion for everyone.
Ryan: So you’re satisfied but not fully satisfied so you can keep ’em hooked.
Jorja: Yeah it’s a weird, half satisfied. Yeah.
Kelly: I think that’ll work. I like being half satisfied.
Ryan: So your castmates, when they show up, because they see the morgue sets and the body parts…
Jorja: You know, there’s been this interesting perspective. I was there for 15 years, which is hard to believe, and we’ve got this amazing, electric, exciting new cast. Awesome. And it’s been fun watching them get to go through, like navigate this world.
Kelly: To see it all for the first time?
Jorja: It’s kind of a dark world.
Jorja: For instance, you [Ryan] mentioned the body parts. The first morgue scene that we did was episode one, and I had the honor of doing Paula Newsome and Mandeep Dhillon’s first morgue scene ever. It was the three of us was and Mandeep is young, she’s really cool, and she’s from London – nothing really scares her. She got into the morgue, she was really sort of unhinged
Kelly: It was realistic!
Jorja: Yeah! It was very realistic, and we’ve got it all set up, we’ve got like feet hanging out and stuff like that. The idea is that it’s a busy morgue so there’s a lot of bodies waiting.
Kelly: It is a busy morgue!
Jorja: It is! It actually really is a busy morgue. It was really funny to watch the transformation. So the first hour, the color left her face a little bit. And then we bring in the actual autopsy, the body that we’re working on, and it’s all right there [in front of you]. And an hour later, she was having a piece of candy while we were shooting. Like “I got this.” I still eat light when we do those autopsies. They still affect me.