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CSI Files

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Carmine Giovinazzo

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at March 18, 2008 - 10:20 PM GMT

The 2007-2008 television season has been an exciting one for Carmine Giovinazzo. His CSI: New York character, Danny Messer, found himself in an untenable position when his ten-year-old neighbor, Ruben Sandoval, was shot and killed while in Danny's care. Danny has been grappling with enormous guilt from the incident. Giovinazzo's own life is much more sunny: today sees the release of his band Ceesau's first album, "Era of the Exposed" and the launch of their website, www.ceesau.com, which goes into the band's philosophy behind their music. Giovinazzo discussed Danny's rough year and his own music with CSI Files' Kristine Huntley on the eve of the album's release.

CSI Files: You guys are back at work now. How's it been going?

Carmine Giovinazzo: This is the second week back and it's all good. We're doing two episodes simultaneously, and so far, so good.

CSI Files: Is it confusing to shoot two episodes at once?

Giovinazzo: Yeah, it's a little confusing. You just take another beat, remember [which episode you're working on] figure out what's going on. Overall it's been pretty good.

CSI Files: How do the stories look so far?

Giovinazzo: I think the stories are pretty good. They've followed up with this Second Life storyline [from "Down the Rabbit Hole"] and then I've had some transition already, some crazy scenes with Lindsay and some things happening in that department and then new things happening already as far as other relationships right off the bat. Which is cool right off the bat.

CSI Files: Can you give us a little teaser of what's coming up for Danny?

Giovinazzo: He turns to somebody in a very intimate way to help him to try to deal with what he's dealing with right now with the kid. Something fun and kind of different will happen with that.

CSI Files: Are we possibly looking at a love triangle with Danny, Lindsay (Anna Belknap) and Rikki (Jacqueline Pinol)?

Giovinazzo: I don't know what's going to happen, to tell you the truth! I don't know, but things are happening and people are talking and there are scenes that are exposing some feelings, so that's good.

CSI Files: Are Danny and Lindsay still together?

Giovinazzo: That's what we're wondering, that's what we're trying to see. I don't know at this point.

CSI Files: The romance with Lindsay has taken a back seat to Danny's other major storyline this season. How do you feel about that?

Giovinazzo: I think it's just a matter of them figuring out how to put it in the front seat. When they figured out how to do it, they were going to do it, but it's fine. It's nice to touch upon it and keep it flowing but I guess letting everybody keep it in their imagination. I think that's just about priority and other things they were working on. But it's fine with me. I don't want them to force anything.

CSI Files: Danny has had a huge storyline this season with the death of his neighbor, Ruben, in "Child's Play". When did you first hear about it, and how did you feel about learning about it?

Giovinazzo: I don't think I heard about that until it came up. When I read it, I thought it was fantastic. That episode kind of came out of nowhere and all the sudden I had to be in this intense situation. That was cool. It's great--that is something that is going to stay with me. He feels responsible for this kid's death. That's partially what you'll see in this [upcoming] episode, that's kind of a result of that, and also with Lindsay is a result of that. ["Child's Play"] was a great episode to do. 415 or 416 both touch upon it in different ways. I'm kind of mixed up, I don't know if the Lindsay and I scenes are 15 and the other ones are 16 or if they're [in] the same [episode], so either way there's going to be things that that incident has caused to happen that are happening now in these episodes.

CSI Files: What happens between Danny and Lindsay?

Giovinazzo: She's opening up a little more now. There are just a couple of scenes where she's discussing what she's feeling and then talking about what I've gone through and how that's affected her and how she feels. Anna has this monologue that's going to be really revealing about what she's thinking and what she's feeling. Finally some sort of discussion and things coming out about us and what you might not have had a chance to see.

CSI Files: Do you know what's coming up next for Danny and Lindsay?

Giovinazzo: No idea. They're either going to have a child or just completely end it I think. They're going to get really serious or it's going to be over.

CSI Files: Do you have a preference?

Giovinazzo: No, I don't because I'm really kind of split with it. I don't know how it would go because we really haven't gone there. It really just depends on how they want to do it.

CSI Files: Danny feels he's absolutely to blame for Ruben's death. Flack says he isn't. The fans are split on it. What about you? Do you feel Danny is responsible for Ruben's death?

Giovinazzo: Yeah, definitely. I think whether he is or not technically, any person in that situation would feel responsible and I think he does feel like that was his fault. He's going to feel guilty about that probably forever. That's something he's going to be stuck with, and that's the end of that.

CSI Files: At the end of "All in the Family", Danny seems at a loss for how to stop blaming himself for Ruben's death. How do you think Danny will finally be able to move beyond it?

Giovinazzo: I'm assuming season five, midway to the end, Danny gets checked into an insane asylum or does therapy and has to take a sabbatical. I don't know how much they're going to deal with it or if they're just going to play underneath as its going along. I don't know if there's ever going to be closure on it. But what happened already brings it up and talks about it and gives a little insight to where he is and how he feels about it.

CSI Files: So you see Danny in an insane asylum in season five?

Giovinazzo: It would be kind of wild if he just gets to a point where he is obsessed about it or confused about it and needs to work it out. Obviously not to that extent because he is a cop and there's things they're involved in--certain environments and situations, and he's around cadavers and dead people all the time so there's obvious some kind of mental stability and strength [that he has to have for the job]. I just think it would be interesting to have him work on it or work it out somehow. I don't know how much they would actually want to get into that, maybe [not] the insane asylum but maybe [Danny] losing it a little bit or just trying to work through it in some way. I don't know if that's through another character or some sort of relationship or some sort of situation for him to discuss it and get it out and [stop] feeling guilty and that it was his fault.

CSI Files: We've heard Ruben's mother is coming back in an upcoming episode. What's going on with her and Danny?

Giovinazzo: That's what we're figuring out. That's kind of the surprise in episode 16 that you're all going to have. That's going to introduce her again and the part that she's playing in this situation. I don't want to say exactly what's going to happen there but she is going to come back.

CSI Files: Can you tell us for sure it's not romance, or can you not say?

Giovinazzo: You're not sure what it is, if it is or it isn't. That's kind of what it's about. Is it about him trying to get over Ruben and her get over Ruben or a kind of beginning of who knows what.

CSI Files: In "All in the Family," Flack (Eddie Cahill) was there to back Danny up. And this was the first time we've really seen Flack and Danny at odds. How did you feel about that?

Giovinazzo: Is it the first time? I don't think it was the first time. I think when I was kind of losing it when I shot the cop [in "On the Job"], he was kind of other end of things. He's kind of that opposing voice somewhat even though he's on my team and tries to calm me down. I think that just reflects the characters more than it reflects our relationship. They had him doing the right thing as far as being a detective is concerned and not feeling how I'm feeling which is more emotionally. It made for a good minor conflict.

CSI Files: Did you like playing that?

Giovinazzo: Yeah, fuckin' A! Back in the day, I remember being so excited about that [scene in the] diner where we kind of went off on each other and got a little heated up. Unless they disagree, [scenes like that] aren't going to happen. So somebody's got to disagree with somebody. I was the guy disagreeing with Mac for a long time and then Lindsay and I [were at odds]. So for Flack it's a good way to deal with [Danny] because we are good friends and have this cool relationship. So it's nice to have us disagree on something and find how far you go with that. It's great.

CSI Files: The end of "All in the Family" with Flack telling Danny he has to stop blaming himself and Danny asking, "How? How can I do that?" was so powerful.

Giovinazzo: I think that was a great simple line. How do you get over feeling responsible for someone being hurt? It's not something you can do overnight. So I think [it's a question of] how much they're going to play into that. They do right away, so you're going to get it in these two episode. You're going to see Anna bringing it up in her own way, you're going to see this other character come back in and have a small beat about how I'm dealing with it. So we are doing it actually.

CSI Files: Do you feel like this will be Danny's big arc for the rest of season four?

Giovinazzo: I don't know about that, if they're going to get that deep into it. Right now, they're doing small portions. I don't know if they're going to get into it enough where I can really get into like with the brother storyline [in "Run Silent, Run Deep"] or how they gave an episode to Ruben. I'm not seeing anything to the effect of that depth, a whole episode or even half an episode getting specific with that. They're kind of just poking it in amidst what it is we do every day with the crime and the scene and the issue. So whether they're going to take it to another level next season if it carries on that long [, I don't know]. We're right now finishing up the end of this season, getting at it in this somewhat rushed timeframe. I don't expect it--if they did it, it would be kind of amazing. But it would be kind of amazing.

CSI Files: Speaking of Danny's brother, Louie, has there been any mention of him coming back?

Giovinazzo: No, no mention of Mr. Louie.

CSI Files: Do you ever bring that up with the writers?

Giovinazzo: I haven't in a while. It would be nice, but I don't know if it's been too long now or what or if there's going to be something at some point. I don't see it happening, but you never know.

CSI Files: So you think the writers are kind of past that storyline?

Giovinazzo: I think they'd like to. I just think it's a matter of how they lay out their priorities. I don't think that's a priority in their minds right now, what to do with that story. I could be wrong, but I think it's just not something that [they're looking out now]. That was season two. I think initially they did talk about that, but maybe between season three and then the strike, it's just not something I've heard much about.

CSI Files: Were you happy to be able to draw on Danny's darker, more troubled side with the Ruben storyline?

Giovinazzo: Yeah, when I read that script, I was extremely excited and nervous to get into it. I kind of tend to left field on the show. You're kind of doing the day-to-day and then all of the sudden I have a brother that's near death or I have this kind who I'm responsible for, possibly murdering this new relationship with this girl I never knew on the show. That's the schedule [the writers] are on, they kind of get in [these] things, they'd love to get in more but they get their shots and pop them really hard. And then it's like, how do I hold on to it afterwards because they can't keep making episodes like that. So, yeah, it was just fantastic when I see a script like that. They all follow [Executive Producer] Anthony [Zuiker's] first two episodes ("Tanglewood" and "Run Silent, Run Deep") at least with a certain amount of scenes referring to it and not letting it just be forgotten.

CSI Files: What would you like to see next with Danny?

Giovinazzo: I've seen enough. I don't know specifically. I've been more than lucky with having turns and hills and falls and problems and relationships and disagreements. I don't know. He's always got something going on anyway. Right now it's going to go with how he deals with Ruben and what happens with him and Lindsay and what happens with him and this other girl if that's going to happen. So it's all there. I'd just kind of like to see what they're going to do with that because for me to think of anything else would only be for me to imagine and foresee. I don't really think about it too much. I just wait to see where they're going to go with it.

It's such a piece-by-piece project. You don't have that much time to look ahead. It would be nice to take a beat and look ahead but with this show you have to take it week to week and month to month and handle what it is you need to handle and don't ask questions. And it's fine. I'm very happy with where he's going and where he's gone and where he's came from so fortunately I don't have to think about that. I think it's a lucky thing. I think I got blessed with a really cool character, so I don't have to go, "What's he going to do? Is he going to have something to do? What's he going to become? Who is he?" It's like I think we really established that and they give me the beats you're talking about, what's up with Lindsay, what's up with Rikki, what's up with the kid. I've got my hands full.

CSI Files: Who would you rather see Danny move forward with, Lindsay or Rikki?

Giovinazzo: I don't know. One way, Rikki changes things up and it's a turn, but depending on how far they would go with Lindsay, Lindsay would be a good thing if it would be a part of the show on a weekly sense. It depends on how it was done. I don't really have a particular way I would lean. Whatever the fans want! I think [the writers] have done a nice job of prolonging Danny and Lindsay and torturing the fans, so [they could go with] some sort of change of direction.

CSI Files: Have you enjoyed playing the high drama scenes with Rikki?

Giovinazzo: Yeah, very much. Those scenes are great--they're really challenging. They make you have to perform and make you do something that you have to get to only by focusing to a certain extent if you want to do it to that extent as opposed to a lot of other scenes where you don't have to be in that place. So that's kind of what you want to do. With these shows, I can't play the character like I can in a movie and be that character for fucking three months and lose it, so on these kind of shows when you have scenes really about something important and emotional and you have to crank it out a little, to be upset or to not be upset or to try to not be upset or say things to people that isn't an easy thing to say or communicate, it's great.

CSI Files: The fans have reacted really well to that storyline.

Giovinazzo: That's why they like Danny, because in the beginning he [walked to] the beat of his own drum. I reacted in a way that wasn't just some sort of neutral area. It was either one end or the other or really extreme or emotional. That's why they would like him. You want to watch somebody say, "This is what's going on" and "This is what happened" and "This is what I think" or do you want to see somebody bark it or bite it or cry it. Some people like the crime and the mystery and these visuals and these explosions and these chases and then certain people like two people standing in the hallway getting upset or the young cop defying the older cop or me and Flack disagreeing and saying "No, fuck it, are you out of your mind? No I'm not fucking bringing her to jail. How do you not understand why I'm not going to that?" While at the same time it's a nice situation because it's like, "Look, that's our job. That's what we have to do." So that's fun to watch.

CSI Files: Do you think it was interesting that it was Flack rather than Lindsay who went after Danny in "All in the Family" and really took Danny to task for his actions?

Giovinazzo: I think it was a physical situation, a dangerous situation so I don't know if it would have suited her to be in that situation. I don't know what the reason for that was. I think it makes sense to be Flack because it was emotional yet serious and about this kid that I could have been going after or she could have been going after. He's more of the detective on the street, so [it made sense to] bring him into that arena to deal with it, let alone him being a friend. That's not something Lindsay would find out about as easily if that makes sense.

CSI Files: In "Buzzkill" we once again see Danny trusting the wrong person, a guy claiming to be a victim's boyfriend who turns out not to be. Why do you think Danny has such bad judgment about people?

Giovinazzo: Who else on the show could have that poor judgment? Mac can't have poor judgment. Stella's doing her thing over there. Flack, he's the funny one, but beyond that, he's the guy that's doing his job pretty well, kind of old school and straightforward. So it's like if somebody's got to fuck up, I'm the go-to fuck up. It's the best thing that ever could have happened to me! That's why I think he's that guy, he's the fallible one. He's the one that makes mistakes. Sometimes you think, "How the fuck did he get there? Should he be there/shouldn't he be there?" and then he does things that validate why he's there, but then he does stuff that makes you go, "Well, shit, does he really [deserve] this position?" But I think he always keeps that balance of not going too far either way to not be the individual that he is and at the same time be the cop. He's just always been that guy. I that that was his character description from the beginning. That's why he's that guy. I think that was something I ran with it and playing him a certain way that made him even more apt to be the guy to put in the situation that could be a little sticky.

[In "Buzzkill,"] I don't think he trusts the wrong person. The girl was in the hospital bed--she's dying. There's a suspect on the move that we don't exactly know where [he is]. So the situation of who was responsible was kind of under a certain [bit of time pressure]. Then there's this kid who's claiming to be who is so because of the high [stress] situation, I don't think he was so focused on how would this kid be here. What the [culprits] did was pretty smooth. They were good actors. That shows [how] Danny gets too emotional and gets too into it, so maybe he can [overlook] something like that while at the same time the case at hand was kind of hectic and things were happening. I think it also had to do with a certain kind of writing. They like to payoff [situations] so that's how they're going to set it up. It pays off at the end when I fucking get him. I'm like, "Now we've got you. You pulled it off but now we've got you." There are many different reasons why he ends up trusting the wrong people.

CSI Files: It does make him more interesting than characters who always know what's going on.

Giovinazzo: If I had asked that kid for ID right off the bat or asked him a thousand questions, the episode couldn't have gone on. That set it off into motion. He's the firecracker!

CSI Files: From this point, looking back on all of the episodes, do you have one that stands out as your favorite?

Giovinazzo: I like the first time he showed some emotion, when they found a bunch of people in a diner ("Outside Man"). When he got lost in life and how he felt about it and how people just die and people murder and people are just gone. That was a nice episode. Early on, too--we were all kind of innocent. It was a soft moment with Mac, too, with him coming in and just observing me and letting me be in that place. He was actually okay with me [being] in that kind of place and he kind of got that, that reflection on the real fact of what was going on around us as opposed to being always stoic and always unaffected by it. And obviously in reality this much doesn't really happen in the way it does and they all have their own way of [dealing with it]. I don't know how close real detectives get to [their investigations]. Of course they do, but how they keep it together is something I'll never know. My father tells me things and my sister and brother-in-law. And I don't know how they would actually keep it together seeing all that stuff and being through all that nasty, nasty crap. And I think that's why I like [the end of "Outside Man"]--it's a [revealing] moment. I don't know how often those cats expose themselves and talk about it because that's not what you do because you kind of just have to deal with it. I think that's another thing about Danny--he cries about or he thinks about it or he brings it up where you might not necessarily talk about that stuff.

CSI Files: That is an interesting thing about Danny. He's much more vulnerable than any other character on the show, really. He's much more willing to talk about how he feels.

Giovinazzo: Yeah, yeah. He needs a friend!

CSI Files: Good thing he's got Flack!

Giovinazzo: Right. He's going to soften Flack up a little bit.

CSI Files: Flack always does go out of his way for Danny. Why do you think that is?

Giovinazzo: I think it's what appeals to every single two cops that become partners that actually like each other and get along and I'm sure that there are a lot that don't, but of the ones that do, that becomes their brother in a sense, the person that you know if the shit hits the fan or if you fuck up, you'd better hope that they're going to do the best they can without hurting anybody else or compromising what we're responsible for what we do as cops and be there to help you get down with it. I think any partners that you might talk about, they've been friends for a while. And we're not partners [in the literal sense] but we are partners. The way the show is run, Flack is our partner and he's the guy that deals with all of our shit. We don't have a bunch of detectives coming in, so he's like everyone's partner. That's the way it evolved to be. And I think Lindsay, she doesn't [look out for Danny], because we have that whole other story going on about her and I. And she's also kind of new. And it's not Mac because Mac's the boss and Mac's somebody we have to have a certain dynamic with. So it ends up being [Flack].

CSI Files: So today is the release of your band Ceesau's CD, "Era of the Exposed"!

Giovinazzo: The website, www.ceesau.com is live now, but the album is officially released [today]. The website's very cool and kind of explains a bit of what people have been asking about, what Ceesau is about and where that came from. Like I said, it's something I started over 10, 15 years ago, about racial unity and equality, about a drawing that I had done. My roommate in college, Keith, kind of took part in that. We had made shirts and hats initially and had really wanted to do that, but then it kind of sat on the sidelines for a while. I just kind of always used that title for things that I'd done. I've always been writing music and kind of messing around. I consider myself a real average fucking guitar player. I just write songs and I've played with a bunch of different people over the years. I play with this drummer who's in my band now, Mike Brasic and playing with John [Amedori], who's the lead guitar player. I just want[ed] to put something together more than just acoustic, more than just myself. I've always wanted to bring a couple of people together make something happen.

John is unbelievable on guitars as far as I'm concerned. He's a little busy right now. We did lose it for the whole hiatus last year and just played and played and played and got to a point where I was like, "Let's record." We wrote 10, 12 songs and then were like, "Let's pick three." And then we were going to do six and decided we were getting closer to an album. We decided to just do five. We basically recorded it in a day and a half and it was really kind of raw. Before I knew it, this is what I got. Mike, the drummer, has really been into it and getting everything moving, like the website and the MySpace" and all that. It's something that to me is sometimes overwhelming and too much because it is complicated when you want to do the recording and really get it together and make a finished product--what goes into it when that's not [the only thing] you're doing. If I was just doing music right now, that would be a different story, but to uphold this job and keep that going and keep these guys [in the band] together and everybody happy and excited. It's tough, so this is what we got. It's not bad. People that have listened to it have thought it was alright. I'm just more excited about making something from nothing. That is totally amazing to me to do that.

There's a possible show coming up that would be sent live via the internet. I'd love to tell you more about it, but I don't know right now if it's definitely 100%. It would be a live show and a couple of bands and I think everyone's going to play one song. And [people] can see it live through the web. So that's kind of exciting and right now we're just going to try to have people check the record out and see what happens.

CSI Files: How would you describe your sound?

Giovinazzo: I like Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, The Pixies, Nirvana--I like a lot of [music]. I grew up on rap and so many other different kinds of music. There's so much good music out there. It's really whimsical in a way, especially with the first one. It is what it is because of Mikey playing drums. I feel like most of these songs were passed down in one way, shape or form and what John took on to it, and what we [brought to it]. [The album] has a decent range of styles--some of it's sad, some of it's kind of rocking. It's all kind of about something. It's always interesting writing lyrics. When you're only doing five songs, you kind of get crazy about it, and it's just five songs. I like it to be about anything. This is mostly about universal kind of things and what everybody writes about, looking at the world and how you see it and think you need to do with yourself and as well as what you think might be a better thing for everybody else. It's angry, it's kind of uplifting.

This one song, "Wrote the Longest Word," is about how everything is everything, everybody is everybody, everybody's the same in a sense, in a philosophical, ideological [way]. The sense of if we could all start back from zero and just be like, what makes us segregate and separate and get all screwed up. Just all these little bubbles that we come from and these things we're taught and we think are right, the way people should be or shouldn't be or what we should believe in. That's my voice in that sense and my remedial guitar playing with everyone else's kickass lead guitar and drums. I'm happy about it. Queens of the Stone Age or people like David Bowie or Tom Waits--some people just write music and they're so talented with every aspect of it, like Jimi Hendrix or [Eric] Clapton or Zepplin--they're just so ridiculously on another planet. But for me it's just kind of like certain art. I don't really love abstract art completely, but I don't discount art that's somewhere in between abstract and insane realism. You look at art like that, and it's like, "Well, fuck, I'm not going to pick up a brush again." It's just music that's about the right thing. I'm not doing it to put on black nail polish and dye my hair and become a rock star. I would love to be playing around and, if I could, keep the band together. Right now it's just more like another outlet.

CSI Files: Do any of the five songs have a special significance for you?

Giovinazzo: Yeah, they all do. Like I said, "The Longest Word" is about wishing that things were a little bit better, wishing we could rewind from the chaos and the ultra, ultra technologically modern world that we've become, fast-paced, and we're all running too fast. I'm trying to pull back from being so affected by all of those things. It's something I feel--it's more about how I feel and I see things. Then there's a song about my perspective, me looking through other people's perspectives having gone through something--that's "She Will Get Over This." It's all kind of whimsical in a sense, that song [had] different kind of lyrics when I first wrote it. And then it ended up becoming this little story I wrote about from the point-of-view of somebody losing someone. This [other] one is about insomnia and losing sleep and wanting to be happy and accepting that things are good and not worrying so much. That would be song four ["Tear to Spare"]. So I'd like for people to listen to it, see what they say.

CSI Files: Are you going to play live anywhere?

Giovinazzo: That's just based on how I work out getting the right guys together. John's just kind of really jumping and running as an actor right now and has a lot of shit going on. That's a difficult situation, so I kind have to find somebody who can make me as content as I was with him. How to do it so that Mike would have time to fill his seat and then myself having the strength and energy and the time to make it happen and then to put it together. Those are things that kind of hold the balance of whether we do that or not.

CSI Files: What is the significance of the album's title, "Era of the Exposed"?

Giovinazzo: It kind of means what it says. It's probably been this way for a while, but everything is just being exposed now, whether it's corrupt people or whether it's the media or people's lives or how things work or how things tick, who did this wrong or did that wrong--everything's being unraveled. It's the era of being exposed. It's kind of sickening and also over-do. So that's what that's referencing. It's a little heavy. I'm trying not to be too heavy about [all this]. There's so many things you could say or title a book or say in one line, and you have to kind of come up with five words. That was something that happened and does reflect our time.

CSI Files: Does that have a personal significance since you're now something of a public figure?

Giovinazzo: Yeah, maybe, maybe unconsciously that is. I think that is something that is an odd thing that I've always kind of dealt with and never really let phase me at all. It definitely hasn't done anything to who I am and in a sense, but that in a sense it has to do something to you because if it's happening to you, it's happening to you. It's not something I enjoy too often. The music I almost don't mind because it is a straight personal thing and it is something I created. With the acting sometimes, you get involved in it, people want to know about you, as much as I get it and I think it's cool to a certain extent, but at the same time I kind of despise it. It's like a great episode of Iconoclast, this great show on IFC where they take two fascinating people, whether it be Mikhail Baryshnikov and the woman who revolutionized organic food in San Francisco or Paul Newman and Robert Redford. I think Newman said something interesting like, "What the fuck are these kids doing now? We know if they're having a sip of Jack Daniels. We know what they're wearing to the spa." It's like, what the hell happened? It's the truth. Russell Crowe is one of those guys that's really [against] that. As an actor, you want to play a character and that's how you want people to see you. Johnny Depp keeps it under wraps and so did [Robert] DeNiro back in the day, and Daniel Day-Lewis. You want to keep that, but in this day and age, it's all about publicity and that's who gets the job and those are the people that people want to hire and that's who you're talking about.

So it's a screwed up time in that sense. Nobody's going to get discovered. People walk by the Newmar and casting directors and producers, and they won't even know it's in their face. I could be wrong, but it seems like it's not the time anymore where you can just discover a great artist and a great musician and a great actor or a great anything because it's all just so abundant. But I think we're kind of moving [forward]. Look at right now, we have a black guy and a woman running for president, cool movies are being made like La Vie En Rose, movies about important things. I think we're going through that shift we have to go through, going back towards doing things that are more for everybody and about the right reasons and not about just making money. The people in power have that way of thinking, but they're the ones that are controlling the situation. It's hard to be a bum or an unemployed actor or a low-budget writer getting this stuff out there, because you have to have a movie star in it. Or you need this or that to get it out there. But I think [getting away from that is] the change that's happening.

CSI Files: Is there anything you personally hate being asked or questioned about, that you feel is too personal?

Giovinazzo: I don't think I do that many [interviews], I haven't been bombarded enough to be at that point. Nothing important. I've done a lot of this crap that has to do with being single and I kind of, to be honest, hate that I've done that. I've answered questions, "What's your ideal date?" I never answer them right because I'm nervous and not really wanting to be there and I'll say something really stupid. Things like that you just can't answer in an interview and that I don't think are really important.

This Ceesau thing it's about all that I'm talking about. I would like to make it big enough so that I can do something with it. And it says it on the site and I will do this, certain charities that I've been involved in and have dealt with, I'll use this money if I make any [for them]. I'm doing this completely independently--I don't have a record label, I produced it myself, I put up my money, I put up my time, I designed the shirts, I talked to the people that make the shirts, I've found a place where I'm going to print the shirts. I'm just trying to get it up and running, so any money that I make is going to go to a charity in Staten Island and different things here and there. I don't want to be another actor jumping on the charity fucking bandwagon like everybody's doing, but you know, but it's definitely something I'd like to be able to do and I am doing in my own little way right now so hopefully people can catch on to Ceesau being about an idea that's positive that happens to have an actor underneath it, music underneath it, shirts underneath it.

CSI Files: What charities do you support?

Giovinazzo: There's one that's for abandoned children in Staten Island. I've done things for autism and the Dodgers--they've done some great building of parks and stuff. I have a friend of mine that I met through the Dodgers that I need to be involved in a little deeper. I'm a little handicapped right now because it's just me and I'm just trying to uphold this job right now and do what I'm doing to be involved. I do a lot of stuff for other people, like Gary Sinise (Mac Taylor) raising money to keep his theater company going, just showing up and being a part of it. Just giving money here and there. I'd love to be involved in anything of that nature that could help a kid without a father or without a mother and that kind of situation that these little things make a difference. The one on the website is called the New York Foundling. It has a connection to September 11th.

CSI Files: What would you like to be the future of your music?

Giovinazzo: I don't know. It's hard with CSI: NY to see my future with anything else until it's done. I could see myself playing around and traveling the United States and playing music with the band. I think that's something that could be cool. Sometimes I think I'm not really worthy of doing that because I'm a little hard on myself about my capabilities. It's more of a passion, but I have worked hard at it. I would like to have it out there for a lot of people to hear and to be appreciated and to be heard.

CSI Files: What's your ultimate career goal?

Giovinazzo: As far as this business is, I want to get back to making films. I'm going to try to do that as best I can while I'm doing the show although it's a little complicated because of the time constraint. I'm hoping that's going to start happening again. I've done a little independent or two, but I'm hoping this hiatus, as much as I'd probably like to just put my feet up or play some music, I'm hoping I can find a really cool role to play and do that. I'm really kind of itching to play something different. That's always been my main goal, and hopefully I can do that as I do this show. And hopefully when I'm done with this show, just do that. TV is a tough grind. It would be nice to work on something really intensely and really something full throttle and start it and then end it and then just take a breather and try to do these other things I want to do. [See] if I can coach a baseball team for that matter. Just get a sort of balance in the whole picture.

CSI Files: Do you have a dream role?

Giovinazzo: I'd love to play the character of Johnny Boy from the movie Mean Street! I just think he's fucking classic. I always liked that movie--it's like [Martin] Scorsese's second movie. It's just low budget and DeNiro's just so fucking young and kind of funny and crazy and a cool character.

CSI Files: Is there any actor's career that you most admire or aspire to?

Giovinazzo: I love everything that Viggo Mortensen has done. He's just had a career. Before Lord of the Rings, he had these interesting flicks, and I think he's a musician also. He writes and he's got soul kind of, and he's got this cool artistic world happening around him. And now he's got the Lord of the Rings which is fucking great for him, and he's probably just to the point where he can kick back more, which is just ideal. Though it took him a while to get there and he had to hustle for a long time.

CSI Files: How do you see your future with CSI: NY? Are you in until the end?

Giovinazzo: Right now I'm in it. I'm curious to see how far we'll go. It's such an amazing job to have and I've definitely grown to appreciate that more and more and it's something that has changed my life immensely in many ways. I think I'll go as long as everything is going the way it's been going. It's good people to work with. Unless a tornado came through or I couldn't do it anymore for any reason, I'm going to continue to do it.

Discuss this interviews at Talk CSI!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.

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