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CSI Files

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Real CSIs Lack Resources, Says Petersen

By Michelle
September 13, 2003 - 9:36 PM

"We are better equipped and have more resources at our Santa Clarita studios than 75% of the crime labs in the U.S.," William Petersen (Grissom) lamented in a recent interview about the scientific and performance demands of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Petersen spoke to the Winter/Spring 2003 issue of the French magazine SeriesTV (translation via Elyse's CSI Site). "The public sees this show and turns to the police and wonders why they can't solve the crimes they way it's done on TV...the police don't have the personnel, the equipment or the money that they need," he stated.

Over the course of the series, Petersen laughed, he has learned the proper way to secure a crime scene but hasn't had time to reflect on how the role might have boosted his career. But he has become more aware of the difficulties faced by real crime scene investigators: "The more they do, the more they are expected to be a superhero."

There were times, he confessed, when it became "a bit boring" to perform the same routine investigative tasks. "Think about staring at a PC monitor in the lab week after week, doing the same thing all the time, you get stagnant. You try to do things differently, but it's probably the same for anyone in their line of work. That's what our life is." He said the same applied to the medical jargon the actors are expected to master for the series.

Petersen said that dealing with Grissom's hearing problems was interesting for him to ponder as an actor: "What does a man do when he is so good at his work faced with losing one of his senses? That creates a real conflict for Grissom, he who is closed tight as an oyster. Who does he talk to about this?"

Though he said he was still uncertain whether Grissom would have a romantic interest this season, he spoke enthusistically about the dominatrix Lady Heather. "The public loves female characters like her, as would Grissom," he said.

To read Petersen's opinions on reruns, CSI: Miami, how many additional car accidents would have to be added for a CSI feature film and the equipment problems faced by real investigators, visit Elyse's CSI Site.

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