A quick chat with CSI: Miami star Emily Procter

A quick chat with CSI: Miami star Emily Procter

Aug 14, 2009

A quick chat with CSI: Miami star Emily Procter
The CSI: Miami actress talks ballistics, blackjack and being a Hollywood blonde...

Is Calleigh Duquesne a fun character to play?

"I love playing such a wickedly tough woman. She’s so aggressive and so
serious. If I were hanging out with Calleigh, the first thing I’d do is
buy her a beer – she needs to relax."

Do you enjoy doing the action scenes in the show?

"I do, and this year I’m doing a lot more stunt work. I’ve been wanting to jump off a tall building for years."

Your character’s a ballistics expert. Have you had to learn a lot about guns?

"I was very conflicted about playing someone who is so pro-gun. But I
started doing ballistics training once a week, and now I am fascinated
and excited by the gun work. If the show ended tomorrow, I’d still go
and train – it’s like doing a dance with a machine."

How do you stay looking so cool and glamorous in the Miami heat?

"I have a SWAT team of beauty people with aerosols, hairbrushes and lip-liner."

CSI: Miami never takes itself too seriously, does it?

"One of the things I love about the show is that it’s a fantasy and it
has this comic-book undertone. There are a lot of bikinis, guns and
explosions, and we have a ball."

What would you like to do next, career-wise?

"I have hit the magic television button twice with The West Wing and this. I’d like to do it again, but maybe with a comedy."

How big a break was The West Wing for you?

"During my first seven years in Hollywood, I was either asked to play
sleazy or stupid, depending on the type of blonde they wanted. I used
to ring my parents and tell them not to watch anything I’d been in. The
West Wing was the first time I could play smart. I didn’t want to say
goodbye to it, but I couldn’t turn down a job as a scientist."

Did you ever think you weren’t going to make it as an actress?

"I remember standing in LA Airport thinking I’d made the biggest
mistake of my life. But I signed up to an extras agency and, within two
days, I’d made $25. My skin was very thin in the early days and I had
to toughen up a lot. I found it hard to get work because I had an
accent, and I tried very hard to get rid of it."

Finally, we hear you’re a bit of a poker whiz…

"My dad taught me maths by playing cards with me. He thought it would
inspire me to learn if I could win money, and he was right. When I
moved to LA, I played blackjack and poker to supplement my income."

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