It’s been a busy year for CSI: Miami’s Eva La Rue (Natalia Boa Vista). While her character’s presence during season nine has certainly increased, the actress has also been pulling double duty acting as the spokesperson for the Beckstrand Cancer Foundation. Speaking with Shane Saunders for CSI Files, the actress explains why the organization is close to her heart and what it’s been like to reach over 200 episodes of the Miami spinoff.
La Rue: Until Beckstrand I had never heard of a foundation that helps families with everyday finances on the front line. Most foundations focus on treatment and research which are very important but often we forget about the financial struggles when a parent can’t work because they have cancer or perhaps they have to be with a child who has cancer. I had a friend who lost her battle to cancer and I saw first hand how difficult it was for her family to pay the everyday bills. At Beckstrand, we really step up and help as many deserving people as we can. We are very transparent in our accounting and as a public person, I need to align with a company who does great work and can account for the work they are doing!
CSI: Files: As a National Spokesperson for the foundation, what exactly are your duties?
La Rue: My main responsibility is to promote the name and mission of the foundation in the public eye so more people will want to donate money and as a result we are able to help more people. I just finished shooting a big television and print PSA campaign so this will help. I also get the opportunity to volunteer with some of the Beckstrand programs. The work we do is so important and donating time really changes your perspectives on life and makes you so appreciative on how precious your life truly is. My husband and I donated money to create four scholarships and we are so thrilled and honored that our “little part” will help deserving young adults with cancer realize their dream of going to college.
CSI: Files: Do you have input in regards to any of the events the foundation organizes? Is there something you’d like to see the foundation do?
La Rue: This organization is really a well oiled machine. Lil Spitzer, the Executive Director is beyond amazing. Lil and her staff really have a capable grip on everything so they don’t need me getting in their way. They ask me my opinion on certain things and I will make suggestions from time to time. I like to know what is going on and they always make me feel like I can suggest things and have input. As someone in the public eye, I have been doing press interviews for years so they rely on my publicist and myself to make the important decisions regarding press so I guess that is where I have the most input right now.
CSI: Files: Would you like to see a storyline on CSI: Miami that raises more awareness about cancer? Is this something you would like to see the writers attempt?
La Rue: Our show often tackles current events and various issues. We have touched on cancer in the past. Sure, I think it would be great if we did some future shows with cancer awareness themes. Unfortunately cancer is such a huge part of our world so any awareness is only beneficial to everyone and a show like ours is a great vehicle to heighten this awareness.
CSI: Files: At this point in time do you think money being funded for cancer research is getting us closer to a cure, or is there still work to be done?
La Rue: I think any and all research is so important. We have made some great strides in terms of treating various types of cancer with early detection. The success rate of recovery for many people today is better than it was a decade or two ago so we can’t give up. Yes, we would all love a quick “cure all” but that is not reality. Until then, we all are in this together and we have to keep working towards more progress!
CSI: Files: You all on CSI: Miami have reached a tremendous accomplishment by completing nine seasons and over 200 episodes. Where do you see things headed in season ten?
La Rue: It is so exciting being on a show that celebrated its 200 episode. In this last season, we saw more action than in the past and it made everything more fun and fast on set. I got knocked around a lot this year and I had the bruises to show it. It was great! We have such creative writers and producers so I am sure that the next season will not disappoint.
CSI: Files: Finally, I’d like to bring up how one of your breakout roles was on All My Children, and now soaps are slowly fading away. Do you think there’s still investment in these daytime shows, and networks are pulling the plug a bit prematurely?
La Rue: I loved my time on All My Children. That show was a family to me. I am so sad that daytime is slowly fading away. I owe so much to daytime. I learned so much about my craft and I made so many wonderful friends there and I am so sad that it is all going away. I don’t know if it is premature to end the show. I am sure it all comes down to dollars and numbers. I trust that the powers that be are doing what they need to do at this time. I wish everyone over there the best of luck as they move forward. There is a lot of talent over on All My Children. Yes, I am really, really sad!
Shane Saunders is a freelance writer and reviewer.