Dissecting The Mind Of William PetersenBy Carolina
February 4, 2005 - 8:23 PM
William Petersen (Gil Grissom) has been vociferous about his views of Hollywood in the past, but the actor has recently found a reason to sit back and relax.
Fans of CSI may have noticed a decrease in screen time for Gil Grissom, most noticeably in the January episode "Snakes", where the character was marginally sidelined. For those who wonder why we are seeing less of the idiosyncratic CSI, William Petersen was characteristically straightforward in his response. Last summer, the 51 year-old actor experienced a series of low risk health problems that prompted him to reduce his workload from 14 to 8-9 hours a day, five days a week. "I was truly every one of those clichés of the workaholic: overworked, bad diet, bad blood pressure, too much stress," Petersen recently told Bill Keveney at USA Today. The news will no doubt sadden fans of Petersen and CSI, but the actor maintains his health is more important. "I'm OK as long as I don't work too much."
A less hectic schedule isn't the only thing Petersen has opted for in order to ensure his health remains prioritized. The actor, who, in the past, has openly criticized CBS and CSI producer Jerry Bruckheimer for their decision to franchise the show, has learned to accept things the way they are. "They do what they do, and that's up to them. I can't fight that anymore. That's not something I'm going to win," says the actor. Petersen has always been outspokenly unhappy with the two CSI spin-offs, CSI: Miami and CSI: New York, and though his resistance to the show's two predecessors has waned, he is still somewhat bitter over the loss of CSI writers, directors and technical advisers to Miami and New York. The actor also feels these shows have robbed some of CSI's uniqueness, but he has come to accept their existence for his own sake. "I stopped fighting for everything. I used to fight for everything."
However, this does not mean we'll get to see a completely different William Petersen from the smart, outspoken man we have always known. The actor is still very vocal about the things he feels passionately about, particularly his co-stars. Just last summer, when the network fired CSI actors Jorja Fox (Sara Sidle) and George Eads (Nick Stokes) over a raise dispute, Petersen sided with his colleagues and stuck by them adamantly. "You want a raise and that's wrong? When did that become wrong in this country? When did you have to get castigated for it?" says Petersen vehemently, and adds that had the issue not been resolved, the network, "would have been looking for me."
But while we may get less of Gil Grissom in upcoming episodes of CSI, fans need not worry about seeing him or Petersen out of the spotlight for good any time soon. The actor may have stopped fighting for everything, but he's not taking things lying down, and he's not pulling out of the race completely. "I'm not going anywhere unless they want me to go."
Be sure to read the full interview, which includes comments from colleague Jorja Fox and Joan of Arcadia's Joe Mantegna, at USA Today.