Emily Procter

By Kristine Huntley
Posted at February 22, 2008 - 1:44 PM GMT

Things have never been hotter in Miami for Emily Procter's character Calleigh Duquesne. The blonde CSI has found herself with not one but two suitors, Detective Jake Berkeley (Johnny Whitworth) and fellow CSI Eric Delko (Adam Rodriguez). And Calleigh went through a personal ordeal this season after she faced an attempt on her life and came under fire in the department in "Stand Your Ground". Procter took time out of one of her last days off before going back to work to talk to CSI Files about Calleigh's growth, her romantic prospects and what's ahead!

CSI Files: Did you enjoy your time off from the strike?

Emily Procter: I really did!

CSI Files: What have you been up to during the time off?

Procter: I took a decorating job. I helped a friend of mine design his house.

CSI Files: Is this a possible second career for you?

Procter: Well, it's something that I've been doing a lot. It's kind of a supplementary career!

CSI Files: When do you go back to work on Miami?

Procter: I'm going back to work on Monday! And I think our first show is going to air on the 24th of March.

CSI Files: Have you gotten the first script already? How does it look?

Procter: I got it yesterday! I'm very excited!

CSI Files: Is there anything good coming up for Calleigh in this episode?

Procter: I have to say, this is a good episode for Calleigh. You've got Stetler sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong with Calleigh. And I also especially like it because the gentleman who plays Stetler [David Lee Smith] is from North Carolina and is friends with my cousin, so he and I get into it! [He's great]; he's always like, "People hate me!"

CSI Files: Do you know anything about what's planned for the rest of the season?

Procter: I don't know how much I can say! I do know the love triangle is going to continue. And Elizabeth Berkley (Julia Winston), who I've known for years, is going to come back. And we'll find out, is she bad and [if so], how bad is she?

CSI Files: And what do you think of that love triangle Calleigh has found herself in the middle of, between Eric Delko and Jake Berkeley?

Procter: I think it's great! For me personally it's been thrilling.

CSI Files: Jake is a bit of a bad boy. He broke up with Calleigh years ago, and in "Stand Your Ground" she's concerned about his drinking. What's the appeal for Calleigh?

Procter:I think poor Calleigh has an alcoholic father and might not have the best taste in men. What's fun for me playing Calleigh is having to try to piece together her personality [over the seasons] and watching her grow. It's the choice of wanting someone who is right for her and someone who's part of her past. It's interesting because we've seen it from Calleigh's perspective.

CSI Files: Why do you think we're seeing this from Calleigh's point-of-view?

Procter:Our show is run by a woman (executive producer Ann Donahue) and viewing dating from either the male or female side is different. I think it's also fascinating to watch a career woman struggle with her love life. It's not as though Delko hasn't had his share of problems, too.

CSI Files: Do you think Calleigh has romantic feelings for Delko, or does she just see him as a good friend?

Procter: I think she has to have romantic feelings for him. He has been consistently there for her, always coming in at the 23rd hour to support her. So I think she definitely has romantic feelings for him.

CSI Files: When do you think she figured out she had romantic feelings for Delko, or does she even know yet?

Procter: I don't think she is fully aware yet of her feelings for him.

CSI Files: Which of the two do you think would be the better man for Calleigh?

Procter: I don't know! I don't feel like I know Jake well enough yet. In many ways, I think Jake is a less scary choice for her.

CSI Files: How so?

Procter: I think she's less vulnerable with Jake. Odds are they have less shared experience [than she and Delko] aside from the undercover work. She and Delko have gone through so much together.

CSI Files: Of the two, which one would you prefer she end up with?

Procter: I would never say! Have you seen both of them? In real life, I love it! I get to say to them, "[You get] your paycheck to come flirt with me.

CSI Files: Do you enjoy working with Johnny Whitworth, who plays Jake?

Procter: Johnny Whitworth has such a loving spirit! He called last night to make sure I was watching Rock of Love. He's a very loving, warm person. [Both he and Adam Rodriguez] are very gentle men. I like them both so much.

CSI Files: Is Jake going to be back soon?

Procter: I hope so! For this next episode it's just us and Stetler, but I really miss Johnny.

CSI Files: What's it like playing the romantic angle with Adam after all of these years of working together?

Procter:I feel like Adam and I were, when the show first started, in a lot of scenes together and we developed a friendship. It's an old friendship at this point and we're very comfortable with each other at work. So it was a little weird at first [to play up the romantic chemistry], but I trust him completely!

CSI Files: The episode "Stand Your Ground" really gave you a great storyline for Calleigh.

Procter: I love that episode! It was so much fun.

CSI Files: What was your reaction to getting the script?

Procter: I was so excited! It reminded me of the season before when I got to go underwater. I love action.

CSI Files: Had the writers discussed it with you beforehand? Did you have any idea that was coming up?

Procter: I had no idea. Eva La Rue (Natalia Boa Vista) actually read it before I did. And she called me to say, "It's a great episode!" I asked her about it, and she just said, "You have to read it!" She didn't even say, "It's a great episode for you!" She just told me I had to read it. We actually shot part of it during my birthday, so I was like, "This is such a great week!"

CSI Files: Do you think what Calleigh went through in that episode will affect her in the future?

Procter: I don't see how it couldn't. On our show, things go dormant for six or seven episodes and then suddenly [a plot thread comes up again and] it's like, "Hey, Clavo Cruz is back!" We were all so happy when [Gonzalo Menendez] came back--we love him. We were sorry when he was killed, because we just love him as an actor.

CSI Files: Kind of like Stetler?

Procter: If something happened to Stetler, all of us would be inconsolable!

CSI Files: What do you think Calleigh thinks of Stetler?

Procter: The thing I love about Calleigh is that she is honest. I think she finds him to be a pot-stirrer for no reason. She doesn't care for his bureaucratic personality. [But David Lee Smith] is such a great actor. He really is funny.

CSI Files: Early on in the series' run, Calleigh was something of a protégé of Horatio Caine (David Caruso), but lately she's been striking out on her own a lot. Do you think she still looks to him for guidance?

Procter: Oh, absolutely. What really happened there--and people ask about it a lot--what really happened after those first seasons is that the demands of hour television are very stressful. The producers thought better to come up with idea of how do you get the same amount of filming done in less time. What we started doing was filming simultaneously. And what ended up happening was, because of the way the show was set up, that David and I essentially got split off. A lot of times he'll be filming one episode and I'll be filming another episode. And so that's one of the things I'm [now] very excited about because this is my first episode back after the strike, I'm in scenes with David. I'm in two with David, I'm in one with Rex [Linn, Detective Tripp], I have several with Adam and Jon. So when it starts off at the beginning of the season we're all together, but as [the season goes on] inevitably storylines separate. And a lot of it really has to do with timing. Ours is one of the only television shows where we only work twelve hours a day. We go in at seven and we're out at seven. A lot of shows finish up Friday night at two o'clock in the morning. We don't. Friday night at seven, the week ends. Now and then we'll slide a little bit, but very rarely. I think it's one of the things that makes our show so happy, and successful. And, you know, I have a really fun time working with David. I think we have a really nice chemistry together. I wouldn't be surprised if that was something that showed up again later, but it's about getting the show done. But I am excited because we have a couple of scenes together!

CSI Files: What do you think of the storyline with Horatio's son and his ex-lover?

Procter: I think the guy who plays Horatio's son [Evan Ellingson] is really talented. It's fun to have him on. And I've known Elizabeth for years, so it's an incredible treat for me because I get to hang out with Elizabeth and to catch up on her life again. It's so fun! But it's so hard for me to separate the storyline and the personal interest.

CSI Files: So you can't really hate Horatio's ex because she's played by your friend!

Procter: Yes! And it's really funny when we have scenes where we yell at each other because she's a good foot and a half taller than me!

CSI Files: Do you think Calleigh is frustrated with Ryan Wolfe's (Jonathan Togo) recent bad boy behavior?

Procter: I will let you in on some inside scoop. Jon Togo and I have a deep love affair in real life; he makes me laugh like nobody's business! They have been keeping us separated [on screen] for a while. He's such a cut up! I start laughing and I can't stop. I can usually make it through scenes where I'm yelling at him because it's such an opposite emotion, but in lab scenes there's just lots of laughing.

CSI Files: Ryan was something of Calleigh's protégé when he started; do you think she's frustrated with him now, after his gambling got him fired?

Procter: I think Calleigh's so regimented that she wishes he'd step back into line. She's like an older sister that way!

CSI Files: After a rocky start, Calleigh and Natalia seem to be friends now. Do you enjoy their relationship?

Procter: Eva and I in real life are very good friends. We've taken a couple of trips together. She and I really spend a lot of time together outside of work and enjoy each other a lot. In my mind, I think Calleigh and Natalia Boa Vista are good friends.

CSI Files: It seems like Calleigh is the one who goes down into the morgue to get the scoop from Alexx Woods (Khandi Alexander) a lot. Are those scenes fun to play?

Procter: Well, I have to say Khandi was my first friend on the show. It's one of those things where I have to say I really miss her. Because of the way her role is set up, she doesn't have to be there but a couple of days an episode. She and I just have a lot of things in common!

CSI Files: Do you think Calleigh's father, Duke, will show up again?

Procter: I hope so!

CSI Files: Do you think a lot of who Calleigh is is defined by who her father is?

Procter: I think so. I've had friends who have had alcoholic parents, and it's very defining personality type to live with.

CSI Files: Do the cast and crew hang out outside of work?

Procter: There are a whole bunch of us on Miami that are just rock 'n rollers at heart. We spend a lot of time going to concerts and we spend an enormous amount of time discussing either American Idol or Rock of Love. On Monday, I cannot wait to go in and see everyone in person! I can't wait to go in and be like, "Oh my god! Who's it going to be?" And I can't wait to see my boyfriends!

CSI Files: Are you still in a band?

Procter: I am still in a band! The legacy of the band is really greater than the band itself. It was always meant to be very tongue-in-cheek and it has remained that way.

CSI Files: Since the summer hiatus isn't that far away, do you have any plans for it yet?

Procter: I may work. There's a project that I like that would be a really fun kind of traveling the world show. The minute we stop working I look for something to take on. So we'll see, I may be doing this travel show.

Discuss this interviews at Talk CSI!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Kristine Huntley is a freelance writer and reviewer.