A quick chat with CSI: Miami’s Emily Procter

Emily Procter will remember the latest series of CSI: Miami for the rest of her life. The 42-year-old actress, who plays the Florida crime lab’s ballistics specialist Calleigh Duquesne, was pregnant while filming the ninth season of the long-running show and gave birth to her first child, Pippa, in January.

The crime drama returns to Channel 5 on Tuesday, July 26 in the midst of the deadly gas attack that left Calleigh and her colleagues fighting for their lives. As Horatio Caine, played by David Caruso, races to their rescue,TV&Satellite Week magazine asked Emily what the rest of the series holds in store...

So, this certainly sounds like a season you’ll never forget... 
“Yes, this is the season in which I gained 60lb and was hardly ever on set. Everybody was so sweet about my pregnancy, and I have to say it was great to take some time off after being on the show eight-and-a-half years.”

How soon did the producers know you were pregnant? 
“I was pregnant when I was filming the opening episode, where Calleigh is unconscious following the gas attack on the lab, but I hadn’t told anybody. The director wanted me to lie on my stomach, but I said it would look better if I was on my back or side. He disagreed, so the stomach it was.”

How did your pregnancy affect Calleigh’s storylines? 
“They reduced her role a lot, and obviously there were no action scenes. I thought they might write the pregnancy into the show, not least because of her romance with Delko, but they never even considered it. Basically, Delko and Calleigh’s relationship takes a season’s break. They spend the whole series just looking at each other, but with no contact.”

How did you hide your bump during filming? 
“They put me behind tall tables until that didn’t work, then they hired a body double who looked really good from behind, and I would sit off to the side and say my lines. It felt very strange.”

What can fans expect this year? 
“The show always has a bit of a comic-book undertone and one thread that runs throughout every series is that we have a set of villains who turn up throughout the run. This time, the villain has a very personal connection with Horatio.”

Are there any guest stars to look out for? 
“At one stage, it looked like Lady Gaga was going to appear, but it didn’t happen. We were also meant to have The Situation from Jersey Shore, but Dancing with the Stars claimed him first. I couldn’t believe TV shows were actually fighting over The Situation.”

Who would be your ideal guest star? 
“Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones watch the show and I would give anything for them to be on. I’ve met them a few times and they once let me run the light board during a song at one of their concerts.”

This series includes the show’s 200th episode. How did the cast celebrate? 
“My dad is a regular on set so he came along and we had a party. It is amazing that the show just keeps going. Eventually it is going to turn into Murder, She Wrote.”

Do you have fun on set? 
“We crack each other up the whole day. I spent the last two years putting these really horrible bumper stickers on the car belonging to Jonathan Togo, who plays Ryan. Things like: ‘I’d give you the bird, but I’m waiting for my nails to dry.’ It took him two years to figure out it was me.”

What’s been the funniest moment during filming? 
“In one scene, we had one poor actor who was covered in fake blood and had to play dead on a linoleum floor. The blood mixture wasn’t quite right, so when we tried to turn him over to process the body he had completely stuck to the floor.”

The show has been commissioned for a 10th season. Are you looking forward to another run? 
“I have been struggling all summer with the prospect of coming back. Part of me wants to stay at home and be a mum, but I think it will be fun for my daughter to come to work with me and be around other people. I will do my best to be good at both things, and see how far I get with that.”

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