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Interview: Elisabeth Harnois

Posted by Shane Saunders - 02/04/12 at 12:04 pm


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This season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation saw the addition of Elisabeth Harnois as a full-time cast member after completing a one-episode guest appearance in last season’s “Cello and Goodbye.” As young, knowledgeable, and occasionally flirty CSI Morgan Brody, Harnois’ portrayal of the character has recaptured some of the early CSI magic as a somewhat new member to the CSI field who finds herself fascinated and intrigued by the world of forensic science. With just four episodes remaining in the long-running CBS series’ twelfth season, Harnois chats with Shane Saunders for his final CSI Files interview to discuss character growth, sharing a name on set, and the future of a certain love triangle.

Elisabeth Harnois and Shane Saunders on the set of this week's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Split Decisions."

CSI Files: You’re almost done filming your first full season on CSI. How do you think it went?

Elisabeth Harnois: I think it went pretty damn good.We’ve been doing better in the ratings over the course of the season, but that’s really not what’s most important for the artists; it’s just the experience itself was wonderful. I’ve made some really good friends.

CSI Files: Do you feel like you’re no longer the new kid on the block since Ted Danson (DB Russell) and Elisabeth Shue (Julie Finlay) joined?

Harnois: [Laughs.] I didn’t feel new kid on the block-ish for more than, say, a couple weeks because of how welcoming everyone was. Ted kind of immediately made it easier to be new because of our mutual confusion about things and whether or not we were fitting in right; we kind of shared that bond. Elisabeth didn’t come until much later, so she was a real newbie, but she’s doing a real good job of transitioning, which is good. I feel like I lost my new kid on the block feeling a while ago.

CSI Files: There are two Elisabeth’s now. Is there any confusion on set?

Harnois: Not anymore; at the beginning there was a little bit. Thankfully, Elisabeth Shue goes by “Lisa,” it’s what she prefers. I was absolutely excited to hear that because not only are we Elisabeth’s, but we’re both Elisabeth with an ‘s.’ It’s kind of funny that we both ended up on the same show. We laugh about it and we really get along; I really, really love Elisabeth.

CSI Files: At the beginning of the season there was a setup for a love triangle between Morgan, Nick (George Eads), and Greg (Eric Szmanda). There really hasn’t been anything with that storyline lately, but there seems to be something with Morgan and Hodges (Wallace Langham). Do you know what direction that plot might be going in?

Harnois: I can’t say much about that except we sort of touch on that triangle a little in an episode we’re about to shoot; there will be a little more play with that before the end of the season. I don’t think it will really, really develop until maybe next season. It’s coming soon.

CSI Files: I was all for a Greg and Morgan relationship, but I was really surprised by how well Morgan and Hodges worked. And from what I can tell online, there seems to be a lot of fans in favor of a Morgan and Hodges relationship.

Harnois: It’s funny that you say that, because I’m not sure Morgan feels that way! [Laughs.] A lot of this stuff is stuff I can’t answer right now; I don’t even know the answer to it. It might happen, it might not; I’m not going to say. There’s a really great line that I get to have in this upcoming episode that kind of addresses the many plots that they’ve set me upon romantically this season. You’ll see. [Laughs.]

CSI Files: I’m kind of surprised at how not one single guy in the lab finds you attractive.

Harnois: Ummm… [Laughs.]

CSI Files: That was sarcasm.

Harnois: [Laughs.]

CSI Files: There seems to be some progress between Morgan and her dad, Conrad Ecklie (Marc Vann). What do you think of the tension those two have?

Harnois: I love that storyline; I think that’s one of the more important storylines than a romantic storyline for Morgan. It’s a very unique storyline for them on CSI; they really haven’t explored that type of a relationship on the show and [Executive Producer] Carol Mendelsohn herself told me how excited she was to explore that type of storyline. I think it’s going to be part of the end of the season, and it’s exciting to me and something I can relate to. When we work on the job at CSI, we’re constantly reminded that life is too short and when you get confronted with a relationship from somebody who, in your heart, you really do care about, there’s nothing like blood and guts to reinforce you into addressing those issues. I really think that’s the arc for Morgan and Ecklie. Hopefully, they will get to become closer; that’s what we’ve been arcing towards.

CSI Files: Have you heard if you’ll be back next season?

Harnois: When I got on board with this show, I signed a contract that they committed me for however many more seasons this show does [after the first year]. I signed a very committed contract. [Laughs.] Yes, I am going to be back next season.

CSI Files: What’s Morgan got going on in these final episodes?

Harnois: I’ve heard some rumors about something big happening with her, but I’m not going to say what they are because it is just a rumor; but something that would be very effecting to her. I have also read a few really great scenes that involve her verbally addressing the ambiguity of romantic entanglements that have evolved but not quite happen. There will be a little bit of storyline closure for her, I think, but she’s very much involved in the last cases. It’s business as usual but with some additional surprises and some additional drama, I think.

CSI Files: How about your hiatus plans?

Harnois: I’m going to sleep a lot and I’m going to learn all the different commutes from Venice to Universal City; something that will save me time in the morning to be a better commuter. This season, if there’s been anything that drove me insane, it was trying to figure out how much time I needed to leave and get to work. Everything else about this job is freaking amazing, but that was a part I didn’t love. I’m not going to spend more than a week doing that. [Laughs.] Probably going to spend some time in New York and abroad; we’ve talked about maybe going to Japan. And maybe some work, I may be doing at least one small thing. Oh, and I gotta plan a wedding… I’m engaged, you know. That will maybe be part of my summer.

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  • David cooney

    Elisabeth is so amazing in everything she does. Not only that but she just keeps getting better. Following her career back a decade and she was very good then and every since,she just gets better,more beautiful and the camera shows us her heart and Talent and unparralled beauty.Peace.David Cooney

  • Anonymous

    I am one of those for a Morgan/Hodges relationship. But then, I’d rather watch a detective show than a soap opera, thank you. And I thought that you were leaving.

  • S.B.

    Not a really good interview, sorry. It’s like indicating that just because a woman or female character is beautiful or even single, she needs to be hit on. I’ve been down that road. I just find it creepy that people think a woman needs to be looked at as an object to toy with just because she looks beautiful and most likely is single.

  • Aric

    Enjoyed the Interview. The most surprising was the very last line revealing that Elisabeth has been Single the whole time! I never would have guessed that. Of course now its too late for those who may have wanted to try for her for real. But she seems to like and respect her fans, so… I think she will at least stay connected with everyone.

    The Interviewer asked a bunch of questions I had been wondering! He Rocks too!~

  • David cooney

    What ever Elisabeth does is going to bring good things to the show.I just hope that they do not have her get hurt on the show that might give us less of her air time. I do wish Elisabeth would do more personal Interveiws either with the shows Pr people media or even let a few fans interview her on her life and career.I realize she is a fairly private person but I would like very much to know the woman herself. Interveiwing her would be a dream come true. I say interveiw but really just talking and finding out more about her, I can guess and read a lot about her just by her body language and her kind demeanor.I know she has a beautiful heart and soul.Just an idea. I know all her big fans would like to know her better.Peace.David(Archangel)

  • PANAGIOTIS

    Η ΕΛΙΣΑΒΕΤ ΜΟΙΑΖΕΙ ΠΕΡΙΣΣΟΤΕΡΟ ΜΕ ΑΙΛΟΥΡΟΕΙΔΕΣ ΠΑΡΑ ΜΕ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟ. ΙΣΩΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΤΟ ΩΡΑΙΟΤΕΡΟ ΠΛΑΣΜΑ ΣΕ ΟΛΟ ΤΟ ΣΥΜΠΑΝ ΑΠΟ ΤΗ ΔΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΙΑ ΤΩΝ ΠΑΝΤΩΝ

  • 1517Genevieve

    i love csi and i watched elisabeth harnois in aventures in wonderland as a teenager,i’ve been a csi fan for a long time i think she is sexy,beautiful and pretty as well and i’ll keep watching her on csi and i love it as well, i’ll get pizza,really hot wings,chili cheese fries,matball sandiwc with bacon,
    milk shakes as well and i really like her and i really love csi as well, i’ll also have a big mc,large fries,large dr. pepper from mcdonalds as well,and i’ll have chinese food and mexican food as well, and csi rocks as well and i love watching csi,i’ve watched it since 2000.

  • 1517Genevieve

    wow elisebeth haornois and elisebeth shue are good actresses on CSi two of the most beautiful women in the whole wide and i’ve seen ted danson on cheers and on CSI i’ve got a crush on morgan brody andjulie finlay i’ll get me some pizza,chili dogs,nachos,jalapenos,big gulp and maybe coffee as well, CSI Rocks as well.