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Petersen: You Become More Him Than You

By Rachel
February 8, 2008 - 9:33 AM

A job is a job.

Working on a show like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation for a long time has taken its toll on William Petersen (Gil Grissom). "You play a character and live with him for so many hours a week that you become more him than you," he told TV Times. The CSI star went on to say that he doesn't want to spend every waking moment as the head of the Las Vegas forensic team. "A lot of people like to work all the time, and that's great, but I'm not one of them," he said. "It's just a job to me--like basket-weaving but more popular."

Even though Petersen considers the role "just a job", the actor can still be affected by the dark nature of the show. "When I think about these cases, I'm saddened," he said. "And when I was younger I would bring work home and it would make everything horrible." Now, rather than bring the cases home with him, Petersen follows advice that he received from people in the Violent Crimes Unit in Chicago and the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia while doing research for his role in Manhunter. "They told me they compartmentalise in their minds--they have a job to do and then they drop it," he explained.

Petersen's career has brought him worldwide success. "Coping with fame is to do with maturing and getting older and realising what's important and what isn't," he said. "At the end of the day, everything is a morality tale. It's how you function morally within your world that determines your level of happiness. Right now, this is the happiest I've been."

Check out the latest issue of TV Times for the full interview.

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