April 19 2024

CSI Files

An archive of CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds and crime drama news

'CSI' Celebrates 200 Episodes With Friedkin

By Rachel
April 2, 2009 - 5:51 AM

See Also: 'Mascara' Episode Guide

Acclaimed director William Friedkin ("Cockroaches") returns to direct the milestone 200th episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, "Mascara", which features Lucha Libre wrestling.

Lucha Libre, which means "free wrestling", is a form of professional wrestling with its roots in Mexico. Lucha Libre performers, or luchadores, wear colorful masks. "It's a fascinating underground world," Friedkin told TV Guide. "I'd like to say that very little is known about it, but if you'll go on the Internet you'll see 2.5 million hits or more on various Lucha Libre sites."

"Large parts of it are underground in the Spanish-speaking world, throughout South America and other Latin American countries, and then in Mexico and up here it's sort of underground," the director continued. "But a lot of people are aware of it and it's huge in the Hispanic neighborhoods here in Los Angeles. I went to some of the bouts that are in underground arenas and you'll see whole families there on a Sunday evening. They're not watching television, they're not going out to dinner, they're watching Lucha Libre."

"Mascara" includes more than just masked wrestling. "I was able to mix it in with ... sort of Cuban voodoo," Friedkin explained. "And there's a Cuban video scene that's very authentic. Cuban voodoo and Lucha Libre are kind of the undercurrent of the show. You don't see it every day on television."

Friedkin said working on television is anything but constricting. "CSI is a wonderful working environment," he shared. "First of all, they get 10 days to shoot basically 43 minutes. That's a lot of time. They have 10 days of preparation. They constantly rework the script and they're constantly trying to do something that's as good as it can be. They have a great crew." Friedkin added, "And when I come in, I'm encouraged to make it my own for that period. So I don't pay that much attention to what they've done in the way that they've lit the set or the way that they've mixed the soundtrack. I have a lot of freedom within the confines of what the show is and who's on it."

The director also enjoyed working with the show's stars. "Laurence Fishburne's (Dr Raymond Langston) just a great actor. He's just fantastic," Friedkin explained. He also said it was "really a pleasure" to work with the other actors on the show. "I love working with Marg [Helgenberger (Catherine Willows)] and Paul [Guilfoyle (Jim Brass)] and George [Eads (Nick Stokes)], Eric [Szmanda (Greg Sanders)]," Friedkin said. "Liz Vassey (Wendy Simms) I think is underused on that show. I think she's wonderful. I'll tell you, I've been on feature films where the actors aren't as prepared as they are on that show."

The original interview is from TV Guide. Extra information about Lucha Libre was found at Wikipedia. "Mascara" airs April 2 on CBS.

Discuss this news item at Talk CSI!
XML Add CSI Files RSS feed to your news reader or My Yahoo!
Also a Desperate Housewives fan? Then visit GetDesperate.com!

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

You may have missed