Vanessa Ferlito: It Was My Decision To Leave 'NY'

By Carolina
October 7, 2005 - 2:35 PM

Vanessa Ferlito this week finally announced it was her decision to leave CSI: New York.

In an interview with TV Guide, the actress shut down any possible rumors about her being fired. "Oh, no! I was the one who wanted to leave," she said. "I had no intention of doing an hour TV show. I had just wrapped the movie Man of the House with Tommy Lee Jones, so it's not like I had nothing going on."

Though she was never keen on the idea of doing television, the actress still said yes to the NY producers when they asked her to be on the show because she thought it would be a great opportunity. "It was CSI: NY! You don't say no to that. I have no regrets. It was a great experience and everybody was very good to me, but — and I know it sounds crazy — I really wanted to be home in New York. I wanted to still do movies and theater. That's why I got into this business in the first place."

Still, Ferlito was adamant about breaking the news to NY showrunner Anthony Zuiker. "I had my manager and agent break the [news]. I really love and admire Anthony. I don't want to say it went over so smoothly, but after they told him, I called him personally. I'm not good with drama, but he handled it so well. Anthony was always very good to me, and in return, I gave him my all. So when I told him how I really felt — that I wanted to be back in New York, that I didn't want to be away from my family and my friends — he got it."

Ferlito was written out in the episode "Grand Murder at Central Station." Her character Aiden Burn tampered with evidence, prompting Mac Taylor to fire her. The actress said that even though they hadn't revealed to her how she would leave, she knew Aiden wouldn't die. "I had no idea what was coming. I knew that they couldn't shoot me or kill me, because when Rory [Cochrane] left CSI: Miami, they shot him. It was sort of ironic in a way because they "fire me" after I resign. Are they trying to tell me something?"

This is the second time Ferlito has left a popular television series to do movies. She shot 12 episodes of 24 and even though the producers wanted her to stay she left to shoot the flick Man of the House. She said leaving New York will hopefully enable her to do theatre and movies. "It's a good thing. But it's sad if you watch the show, I guess," she said. "You have to be happy. To stay in it for any other reason than that is denying yourself and your life, and I don't want to do that. I could die tomorrow!"

Given the chance to return to CSI: New York, however, if only for an episode, the actress said, "I feel they kept it kind of open, because I'm not dead. I have such a great relationship still with CBS and with Anthony that if he ever asked me to come back while I was in the middle of doing something else, then [I would]."

Head over to TV Guide's The Insider to read the rest of the interview, in which Ferlito talks about her future projects.

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