Joining the cast of CSI: New York created some challenges for Sela Ward (Jo Danville), but the actress is happy with her decision.
Once she agreed to join the New York cast in the wake of Melina Kanakaredes’ (Stella Bonasera) departure, Ward and executive producer Pam Veasey tried to flesh out the character of Jo Danville. “I was trying to just do anything to grasp it, trying to develop a character when I really hadn’t read a damn thing,” Ward explained to CTV. “This kind of show, it’s hard to create a real full character because you don’t really get to delve into their personal lives for the most part.” She added, “If you can find a way to create a real well-rounded character that’s rich and interesting to watch, I think that only enhances the show. I’ll let you know when I’ve gotten there.”
When she first got started on the crime drama, Ward felt overwhelmed by the scientific jargon in her dialogue. She was used to family drama roles, and CSI: NY marked a big departure from those characters. “I hadn’t watched enough of these shows before I said yes, because I was just plopped into something that was very different for me. But its fun now,” the actress said. “[It] took me a while.”
Despite any problems she may have encountered in the beginning, Ward is glad she joined the cast of New York. “I can have a balance, and I’m so happy I did it,” she explained. “And it’s so different, you know. It’s such a different role that it’s challenging and sort of shakes everything up for me.”