Interview: Jonathan Togo


Production on CSI: Miami‘s tenth season ends today, and as of this week there’s still no word on the show’s future at CBS. Preempted most of February, Miami returns with an all-new episode this Sunday titled “Last Straw,” the first of six original episodes set to air before the season concludes in early April. Taking a break from filming the season finale, Ryan Wolfe actor Jonathan Togo talks with CSI Files’ Shane Saunders about his involvement in an upcoming episode, the show’s fate, and how he plans on spending his (rather long) summer hiatus. (Spoilers after the jump!)

Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe (Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS.)

CSI Files: You’re in production on the final episode of the season and there’s still no word if you guys will be back for a Season Eleven. What’s the mood on set been like? How optimistic are you guys feeling about a renewal?

Jonathan Togo: We’re cautiously optimistic. We’re operating as if we’re definitely doing another season. We’re all pretty confident about it. It’s an industry where nothing is promised, telelvision shows come and go. We’ve all done a series that’s been cancelled and shows that have come and gone. We’ve never really considered not being on the air, and it’s been ten years of that. It’s just assumed that there’s more work to do.

We haven’t had a great time slot this year, so we haven’t really been able to show what we’re capable of; we’ve been preempted by an awesome football season.

CSI Files: Are you taking offers for pilot season or are you still contracted with Miami?

Togo: I don’t have a contract for next year. It’s kind of like baseball, we’re all free agents after this year. But I think everyone wants to play for our team. Everyone wants to stay with CSI: Miami. But [in the end] it’s for the network to figure out.

CSI Files: I hear the finale was almost completely re-written because of the fact that the show is in limbo.

Togo: Yeah, I remember hearing that the finale was going to be one thing, and it turned out to be something a lot different. I don’t know that it was re-written because of that reason, because if this is the last episode ever, I don’t think it would be very satisfying to any of the real big fans of the show. I can tell you this: something is wrapped up, but there’s no closure.

CSI Files: If CBS announces that the show will be back for an eleventh and final season, how do you want to see the character wrapped up?

Togo: What are things that Ryan’s never done? I’d like to see him finally get a girlfriend. If the show ever ends, which it will; it’s not like it will never die, I’d like to see everybody go–I always like shows such as The Wire and ER that end satisfactorily. I can see Ryan going off with Delko [Adam Rodriguez] and doing their own thing.

CSI Files: What can you share about the episode you’re working on right now? How is Ryan involved?

Togo: He factors in heavily. The Miami Dade Police Department is pinned against a wall, they’re dealing with what appears to be a disruption within the team. There’s a problem with evidence. Malcom McDowell‘s character, Darren Vogel, returns for the last two episodes. They’re pinned against a wall and they all kind of help each other out and come together. The crime that they’re solving involves not only defending a civilian, but defending each other.

CSI Files: Ryan had a crush on new CSI Samantha Owens (Taylor Cole). Do you foresee a happy ending for the two of them, or do you think his feelings for her have gone away?

Togo: That’s going to be one of the main plot points in the final two episodes. The relationship factors in heavily. The episode is called “Habeas Corpse” and it’s written by two of our head writers, Barry O’Brien and Marc Dube. It’s directed by Sam Hill.

CSI Files: Some seem to think Samantha may have a hidden agenda. Does that pop up in the finale?

Togo: There’s not a hidden agenda as much as there’s a conflict of interest. I don’t know how much you want me to tell you and how much I’m obligated not to say! [Laughs.]

When the last script of the year comes, it’s kind of like the last week of school: you just want to be done with your finals and hang out. So when I opened up the script for this episode I went, “Oh my God! I get to work every day, all day long!” I had a tall order. Then I started, “Why am I complaining when this is an opportunity for people who might want to see something for Ryan?”

CSI Files: Is it somewhat of a cliff-hanger episode, or is there a nice bow on it?

Togo: It’s resolved. Whatever happens, it’s resolved. You’re not going to have to wait over the summer to find out what happens.

CSI Files: Adam Rodriguez stepped behind the camera for the second time this season. What was it like being directed by him again?

Togo: It’s great, it’s amazing when Adam directs. He has a great relationship with the crew, the crew really loves Adam and the cast all loves Adam. He’s been doing it the longest out of all of us, along with Emily [Procter, Calleigh Duquesne] and David [Caruso, Horatio Caine]. From my perspective as an actor, he’s the best director of the year. He’s the easiest director to work with.

Adam has been so busy this year. He’s like my hero, man. He got in ridiculous shape for Magic Mike, he got ripped. And he was shooting the show, and he was writing an episode, and he directed the episode!

CSI Files: Out of this season’s nineteen episodes, which one did you enjoy working on the most?

Togo: The one that stands out to be this year was the tornado episode. “Blown Away” was a complicated shoot and I had a lot of fun working with Omar [Benson Miller, Walter Simmons]. Omar and I are like kindred spirits; we have the same sense of humor, like the same sports, and have a lot of fun on set. We have a natural comedic chemistry.

CSI Files: You’ve been really active on Twitter lately, too. How are you enjoying it? [Laughs.]

Togo: Twitter is my life. [Laughs.] I don’t have anything to say! I am a Twitter follower, but I’m not a big Twitter writer. I save all my funny observations for the crew. My second job at CSI: Miami is to entertain the crew.

CSI Files: How do you plan on spending your hiatus?

Togo: I have no idea. I’m going to SXSW Film Festival to help promote a movie that I did, just a terrific independent film called Somebody Up There Likes Me. It was produced and stars Nick Offerman from Parks and Recreation. Kevin Corrigan is in it and so is Nick’s wife, Megan Mullally. It’s very different from what I do on the show and it’s just great.

Follow Jonathan Togo on Twitter: @JonTogo77

Shane Saunders is a freelance writer and reviewer. His work can be seen on EDGE Network and Twitter: @ShaneSSaunders.

Shane Saunders
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