Adam Rodriguez

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at December 19, 2005 - 10:11 PM GMT

Not even half over, season four has already been a rollercoaster ride for Adam Rodriguez's CSI: Miami character, Eric Delko, who has fallen under departmental suspicion of drug use and is grappling with helping a seriously ill family member. Rodriguez is enjoying the chance to show a greater depth to his character, and he took the time to talk with CSI Files about his reaction to Delko's new storyline and what he thinks is coming up for his character.

CSI Files: Delko has been through a lot this season: first he got busted for buying pot and then it was revealed that his sister Marisol is sick with cancer and he was buying it for her. How do you feel about the recent developments for Eric?

Adam Rodriguez: I remember first hearing about the story with the marijuana and I didn't know how it was all going to be resolved, so I had my concerns about why they were taking me down that road, but I'm loving every minute of it. It's great to finally get things for my character to do that are outside of the lab and deal on a more personal basis with who the character is. Dealing with the everyday, more normal human issues, things people have to deal with: family, problems at work and responsibility to your family and to yourself. Sometimes choosing that causes problems in other areas of your life. So it's definitely nice to have a chance to do some of that stuff.

CSI Files: Will there be more repercussions for Eric down the road on these issues?

Rodriguez: I think not so much in dealing with the marijuana problem. I think what Eric is really going to have to deal with down the line is dealing with the death of his sister. I think that's going to become more important to the storyline than the screw-ups that were happening.

CSI Files: So Marisol is dying?

Rodriguez: Yes, she's very sick. I think there's an episode coming up where I have a conversation with someone and I'm letting them know that she's actually a lot sicker than she looks, more sick than she knows. I've been in contact with her doctors, and because of all of the time I spend taking care of her, I have a better idea of what's going on with her than anybody else.

CSI Files: We've heard rumors that Horatio (David Caruso) and Marisol are going to become romantically involved. How is Delko going to react to that?

Rodriguez: You know, it's funny, because I'm an older brother myself, and there's certainly an instinct to be protective, but I think in the case of something like this, she's not in good health, and if she's got an opportunity to experience romance and really enjoy whatever time she has left on Earth, I would never get in the way of that. I'm more than happy if that's the direction that they decide to go in with each other. I fully support it as long as they both understand what the end result of the relationship may end up being as far as her not living through it. I'm all for it.

CSI Files: It sounds like things are going to get very dramatic!

Rodriguez: It's going to get heavy. I'm really looking forward what the rest of the season has to throw at us. I think it's going to be really, really interesting. And as far as Horatio and I--I couldn't ask for more of a gentleman to take out my sister.

CSI Files:: Delko recently lost his best friend, Tim Speedle (Rory Cochrane), and now he's facing the loss of his sister. Do you predict he'll have an extreme reaction?

Rodriguez: I think he'll definitely internalize it. I think that's the nature of the character. After [she dies], I'm hoping that the writers will decide to show [him] dealing with it, to show how difficult that is. It's never easy, and it's funny how the pain can manifest itself in different ways.

CSI Files: Initially, we didn't see much of Eric's reaction to Speedle's death, and when we did, we saw him acting out by engaging in sex with strangers ("Killer Date"). Were you happy with the way that reaction was handled?

Rodriguez:No, I was actually very disappointed with the way that that was handled. I think part of my disappointment was why they went and addressed it afterwards--that was the time I went to go see a psychiatrist about it. They sort of touched upon that in an episode or two--that I was seeking psychiatric help. Initially I was very disappointed with [Delko's reaction], because really my character and [Rory's] character did have a strong relationship on the show, and we're good friends off the show as well. It was difficult to lose him on a lot of levels and just the fact that it wasn't dealt with and it was sort of swept under the rug [was disappointing]. I felt like they addressed other characters' issues with it before they did mine and it just seemed false to me because on camera we were the ones that were always joking with each other and worked a lot of cases together, so I was happy when they finally came around and addressed it. I didn't think the toothing was necessarily something I could relate to, so that was a little difficult, but they got past it, and then they dealt with the psychiatric help, so that was sort of gave me closure, the fact that they made that part of the story.

CSI Files: Were you surprised by Rory's decision to leave the show?

Rodriguez: Somewhat. It was something he'd been talking about for a while, that he just wasn't happy doing television. Rory had done primarily movies in his career so the pace that television works at, all of the things that go along with doing a television show, just wasn't something that he was really interested in doing. I knew that he wasn't happy doing all of that stuff, but I was surprised that the decision was made when it was made. I was disappointed as well.

CSI Files: Do you keep in touch with Rory?

Rodriguez: Yeah, we'll hook up at least twice a month, go have dinner and hang out.

CSI Files: That's really cool, because I know the onscreen friendship between Delko and Speed was something the fans really liked.

Rodriguez: I miss it, I really do. I miss having that on the show--us going back and forth was a lot of fun. We always had a good time, and I still miss his presence at work.

CSI Files: There's a very different relationship between Delko and Ryan Wolfe (Jonathan Togo). Did you enjoy playing that conflict?

Rodriguez: Yeah that was fun for a while. I'm actually glad that we've mended things now because I thought it was starting to run its course. In the episode where he gets the nail in his eye ("Nailed"), once that's over we make up. I was happy that day finally came, but to play the anger and the back and forth, it definitely was fun. It's always good to have some other beats going on. Anything that has something to it besides work, the science of it all, definitely makes it fun to do. He's a good guy and off camera he's a good guy. I like him a lot--he's got a great sense of humor.

CSI Files: Is the tension definitely done there? Ryan did rat Delko out in "Shattered".

Rodriguez: I'm sure somewhere down the line if we do get into a tiff about something, if there's some sort of beef between us that it will come out. That's usually how it happens with people, they'll remember something you did a long time ago and throw it in your face. So I'm sure that somewhere down the line if he and I cross paths in the wrong way that'll get thrown back out and it may become something else all over again. Either that or [the writers] will take it and write a scene with him explaining what happened so that he's not always the bad guy. But for now they're okay.

CSI Files: Eric and Calleigh (Emily Procter) have a great dynamic, and a lot of fans see a romantic element to it. How do you feel about that?

Rodriguez: I feel great about it. It's something that's been underlying for a long time, and I've often been asked about it, and I've sort of been waiting to see if anything is ever going to come of it. I don't know that it is--I don't know that the writers of the show are ever going to go there. Not any time soon, maybe in another season or two they might think about going in that direction. I don't know why it's been avoided. Maybe because it may not be maintained for a long time and then there's no way to end it on a nice note, I guess, so maybe that's why they've shied away from going there. But for a long time I've known people have been waiting to see that and we try to add a little bit of that to our scenes, sort of bring that to it and we'll see what happens. I don't know. The hard part is that you're really at the mercy of the writers and whatever they decide to do. They really decide. If they want to go in a direction, they'll make it all about that.

CSI Files: Have they ever made any mention of heading in a romantic direction with Eric and Calleigh?

Rodriguez: A while back I remember there being some talk of it, but it never became anything. This was a long time ago, probably early season two. And then nothing ever became of it. I think they might have moved past it.

CSI Files: Speaking of romance, we've heard rumors that Eric and Natalia Boa Vista ( Eva LaRue) might be having a fling.

Rodriguez: Yeah, there's something brewing there. We're going to see how far they take that. I don't really know. It was sort of a sudden thing to me; oftentimes you don't really get forewarned about what's going to happen. Basically you're reading the script and all of the sudden, "Oh, I guess I'm sleeping with Boa Vista now!" And a lot of those things, it takes a while for them to get explored because the focus of the show is on the science, so everything else takes a little longer to unfold because you don't have an hour to really delve into what's going on in these people's lives. So we'll see--I don't know exactly what direction they're going to take it in. We are definitely having a little fling happening, but what's becoming of it? I'm not really sure.

CSI Files: Obviously your character is having a great season dramatically, but is there anything you'd like to see explored about him?

Rodriguez: Yeah, I definitely have some ideas. It's a good question; I always feel like whatever I say may end up coming true so I'd better make it good. I love the direction that it's going in right now. I love that my character has this issue with his sister going on and then on top of that his boss is possibly going to have a romance with her. It all adds levels that I actually get to play around with at work, so that part of it I love. And then I think the audience appreciates it, too. After four years of doing the show, the science is still fascinating but you want a little more from these characters--you want to know more about their lives, you want to know more about who they are and the people that are in their lives.

For me, what I'd like to see further on down the line is more of what's going with my sister. I really hope they go deeper into that storyline, what dealing with that is like for Eric and possibly Horatio. I think that will be really interesting for the viewers. And then the after-effects of that--she is going to die and having dealt with Speedle's death and now his sister, how that ends up affecting the character. Will he totally apply himself to work and become like Horatio Caine and make work completely his life, or do he go in the other direction and dig a hole for himself that he needs to be helped out of? Either one of those things would be something cool to play with.

CSI Files: Have the writers given you any hints as to which direction it's headed in?

Rodriguez:No, I don't think that they've decided--I don't even think they know right now.

CSI Files: Do they know which episode Marisol is going to die in?

Rodriguez: I don't think they have that all really boarded out yet. They work under a crunch, and I don't know how far ahead they have it planned, though they have a pretty good idea about what they want to have accomplished by the time the season is over, so I would imagine that's on the list of what they want to have touched on or at least delved into. I'm sure they have the issues and the storylines for the characters that they want to get heavy into, and I'm hoping that's one of them.

And I think they will [explore it]. I think the fact that they included Horatio in the storyline and have this love thing going on with him and her, that sort of adds weight to the relationship that I have with my sister that I think there's no way that they can not get into that.

CSI Files: Do you foresee it possibly bringing Horatio and Delko closer?

Rodriguez: Yeah, I definitely do! I think that situations like that cause people to bond, to be there for each other, so I definitely see that happening, definitely see that as something that brings those two characters closer together.

I'll tell you what would be interesting, even if he was to take it harder than I would. If for once [there was] somebody to be there to console Horatio, as opposed to him always being the shoulder for everyone to cry on, or for him to always be the knight in shining armor. It would be interesting to see him take it harder than my character and have that become the thing that bonds us, for me to really be the shoulder for him to lean on even though I'm going through it at the same time. It just came to me now, but I'd love to see that. It wouldn't be what people would expect.

CSI Files: How does the cast get along when the cameras aren't rolling?

Rodriguez: We all get along really well. For sure I was the closest with Rory and definitely spent the most time hanging out with him outside of work, but everybody gets along really well. I always enjoy hanging out with David. Especially when we're down in Miami, we all really have a chance to hang out. We're down there together, away from LA and the everyday, we get more of a chance to spend time together. So we'll go out to dinner a few times a week when we're down in Miami--David, myself, Rex [Linn], who plays Tripp on the show. Like I said, Togo's great, I love hanging out with him at work. Everybody's really cool. We all get along well.

CSI Files: We heard you were just cast in a movie, Cecily Gabrell's A Happy Death (story)? How did that come about?

Rodriguez: I read the script and that's a friend of mine's wife. Yeah, I don't know what stage the film is at, but if they do make the film then yeah, I would be doing it.

CSI Files: Do you have any other roles lined up?

Rodriguez: I did a movie this past summer called Cielito lindo down in Mexico and that's in post-production right now, and I did another film about a year and a half ago called Thanks to Gravity--we shot that down in Florida as well. And that also is still in post-production and tied up. I don't know what's going on--I thought it would be out and available by now, but soon I'm sure.

CSI Files: Is there anything you'd like to pursue the next time hiatus comes around?

Rodriguez: Nothing that I can think of off the top of my head other than doing some film, a good movie would be great. Something that I'm excited about, a script that I might get and read and love and get a chance to work on over the summer would be great. Other than that, probably travel, spend some time home in New York.

CSI Files: You traveled last summer on a press tour for CSI: Miami. What was that like?

Rodriguez: I went with Carmine Giovinazzo (Danny Messer, CSI:NY). We had a ball, a great time. It was like going to summer camp. We had a bunch of laughs, hung out on the beach, did press and interviews in a few different cities--Mexico City and Carracas, Venuzela. I also went to Australia and did more stuff for the show. It was a great summer.

CSI Files: Do you enjoy promoting the show? Is it required?

Rodriguez: No, they offer it to you and then if you're interested in traveling, you can take advantage of it. If not, you're not obligated to do it, but I love to travel so I chose to do it for that reason and it turned out to be a great time on top of it all.

CSI Files: Is it mainly press, or do you meet fans as well?

Rodriguez: Both. It's mainly press but you do get to meet a lot of fans as well.

CSI Files: Have you had good experiences meeting fans?

Rodriguez: Nothing crazy. I love when people are excited and they love the show, and it's been happening more and more, especially in places out of the county. The show is huge internationally, so those times are fun. It was funny, there was a guy that I met in Australia who was there with his family--with his wife and his two daughters. It was funny--everyone was teasing him, they were really big fans of the show and they were going crazy, but the father was more excited than anyone else! He started hugging me and thanking me for the show and all this other stuff. That was kind of funny, but I think you had to be there--I don't know how that will translate into print.

CSI Files: You were a regular on the show Roswell. How did that compare to being a regular on Miami?

Rodriguez: Roswell was a great experience. I had a lot of fun doing that show. It was totally different--the cast on that show was a lot younger than most of the cast on this show, the subject matter was different. With Roswell you dealt with more personal drama than you do on CSI just because the show wasn't about the science, so I had a lot of fun doing that. The other thing was that it was science fiction as opposed to science so we could totally break the rules and do crazy things and have episodes where people could appear and disappear and use alien powers, all this stuff that made it a lot of fun. A large part of my role on the show was playing somebody's husband, a lawyer, and that was pretty cool.

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Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer