Emily Procter

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at October 18, 2005 - 4:02 PM GMT

Emily Procter is deep into her fourth year of playing sweet but tough as nails ballistics expert Calleigh Duquesne on CSI: Miami. At the end of the third season, Calleigh quit ballistics after the suicide of her ex-boyfriend, John Hagen, and began fourth season in the trace lab. Procter took some time out of working on her brand new house to talk to CSI Files about Miami's fourth season and how Calleigh fits into the team.

CSI Files: How's the new season going so far?

Emily Procter: This season has been my favorite! We--the crew, the writers, the actors--all know each other so well. We're far more in synch than we were in the early seasons. There's lots of good old-fashioned teasing, not just [among] the actors but the crew as well. It really is fun, and we worked really hard to get [this camaraderie].

CSI Files: Miami got a gorgeous new set this year--do you like it?

Procter: I love it! It's my favorite thing about this season and it's such a nice environment to work in.

CSI Files: With Delko (Adam Rodriguez) and Ryan (Jonathan Togo) frequently at each other's throats, it seems like this season is bringing in more dramatic tension. What's your take on it?

Procter: It's really nice to have some drama. The conflict is so opposite of our relationships [behind the scenes.] Because we're angry so much on screen, we spend even more time joking and fooling around [off camera]. It's hilarious how quickly we can go from laughing to fighting! It's the best job in the world.

CSI Files: A lot What about sexual tension between Delko and Calleigh? Do you think it's there?

Procter: I think it exists. Adam and I went through training together; he was my first friend [on the show]. I think that genuine like we have for each other shows up on screen. I don't know if the writers will ever do anything with it. It's a little strange to kiss someone you've worked with for years. I was watching Friends and thinking, "How did Courtney Cox and Matthew Perry do it?"

CSI Files: Calliegh seems more serious this year than she has in previous years. Is there a reason for the change?

Procter: I really think it's that opposition--because this year I'm laughing so much at work and I've been letting my hair down personally, I flip the switch to Calleigh and she's tough.

CSI Files: How do you think Hagen's suicide in the ballistics lab affected her?

Procter: She's been pretty icy about it. I think she's dealing it the best way she can. Calleigh is a tough broad; I would not want to cross her! It's a nice thing to play, and very empowering.

CSI Files: Were you surprised when Rory Cochrane (Tim Speedle) decided to leave the show?

Procter: I was and I wasn't. Doing one hour television [means] very long hours and you never really leave it. I think it can be very overwhelming and it's very easy for it to not be your thing. That first year was hard on everybody--the cast, the crew, the writers, the caterers--it was really challenging for everyone. I'm very sad not to have Rory around, but it can be very overwhelming. I'm moving right now, and I got four days off this week. I haven't had four days in a row off in four years! I think one hour television beats you into a very different mold as to how you live your life. It's an interesting way to live.

CSI Files: You had a recurring role on The West Wing as Ainsley Hayes. Did that prepare you at all for a series regular role on CSI: Miami?

Procter: Not really because there was always an end mark. It was nice because it was so leisurely; my life didn't change that much. I loved [that role]!

CSI Files: Do you have a favorite role outside of Calleigh?

Procter: Ainsley or the role of Laura in Breast Men. She was great. I also did the Dukes of Hazzard reunion movie, and that was really fun.

CSI Files: Jon Togo told us you have an 80s cover band! How did that come about?

Procter: From me just never being satisfied. I have to play somebody so serious all the time, so I wanted to do something jokey! I'm going to get Jon Togo to play the sax with us; he used to be in a band that's now very successful, The Bravery. We play at Largo, but I have to wait for a [free] Saturday!

CSI Files: What did you do over the summer?

Procter: I filmed a movie, Big Momma's House 2, which comes out in January or February. It was great to do a little comedy.

CSI Files: There's a lot of drama coming up on Miami with Ryan getting a nail in his eye and Eric doing pot. What about Calleigh--is there any turmoil in the works for her?

Procter: I hope not! What I like about Calleigh is that she's just so solid and very consistent. I don't want her to do anything unsavory.

CSI Files: What do you think of Delko's marijuana use?

Procter: I think it's an interesting story line and I think it will be great for him to play. The resolution will be interesting.

CSI Files: Are there any changes in store for Calleigh at all?

Procter: I got new shoes! I haven't had new shoes since season one. I had two pairs of boots and two pairs of heels. I'm very happy to have new shoes.

CSI Files: What do you think of the revelation that Horatio has a deep, dark secret from his past? How will Calleigh factor in to that?

Procter: I love it! I think it's something [David Caruso] does very well, and that it will be interesting. I'm not sure how Calleigh will be involved with that.

CSI Files: How is Calleigh getting along with new lab teammate Natalia Boa Vista (Eva LaRue?

Procter: I like Eva a lot. She's moving, too, so we personally have a lot to talk about it. I haven't had time to watch the show this season so I have no idea how it comes across [on screen], but for me I really like Eva and hope they'll be friends. But who knows what the writers will do.

CSI Files: Is there any development you'd like to see for Calleigh in the future?

Procter: I never answer that question anymore because the last time I did, I said I wanted Calleigh to have a boyfriend and then she got one and he killed himself! So I don't answer that one anymore!

Discuss this interviews at Talk CSI!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviwer.