TV preview: Harnois discusses family ties in the brand new series of CSI

Elisabeth Harnois.
Elisabeth Harnois.
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Actress Elisabeth Harnois portrays Morgan Brody on hit show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a role she has played since 2011. The 34-year-old talks Brody, blood and father-daughter bonds.

TELL US ABOUT MORGAN...

Morgan’s the daughter of Conrad Ecklie (Marc Vann), the chief of police. He had an estranged relationship with his daughter, so she’s this angry but very driven tomboyish, shoot-from-the-hip girl who plays by her own rules. She’s the whipper-snapper.

IS IT EASY FOR YOU TO RELATE TO HER?

In some ways, yes. She has a very sensitive side despite having a tough exterior, and I can relate to that. She wears her heart on the sleeve and has a lot of empathy with some of the victims, more than the other CSIs. Even though she’s respected and has been doing it for a long time, she allows herself to feel a lot more and isn’t frozen or numb to the pain. I tend to get sensitive about problems that are not even my own. I also relate to the fact she’s a tomboy and can relate to her mouthiness.

WERE YOU A FAN OF THE SHOW BEFORE YOU JOINED? I was a big fan. I watched more in the early seasons and I loved Billy (William) Petersen. I keep wishing that he’s going to come back and do just one episode. Morgan Brody has not had the chance to meet the king of CSI, and he really is. He’s the original lead of a show that broke ground for television. I mean, we’re making history now. We’re starting our 14th season now – it’s amazing! So I would have loved to work with him and I still keep my fingers crossed that it will happen.

YOU JOINED WHEN LAURENCE FISHBURNE WAS HEAD OF CSI AS DR RAYMOND LANGSTON, AND NOW TED DANSON IS THE LEADER AS DB RUSSELL. HOW DO YOU THINK THEY ARE DOING, FOLLOWING IN PETERSEN’S FOOTSTEPS? Grissom will always be the number one guy and he’s part of TV history. But Laurence was his own version of the show.

I respect him so much and he was very welcoming to me when I joined. He brought a certain tone to the show. It’s interesting to see how the tone would shift as the leading man changed.

Ted is an amazing dramatic actor, and he got to show that on Damages. We have a 
very jokey and friendly relationship, but he knows how to turn serious.

It allows us these moments of humour, whereas in past seasons, 
there wasn’t as much. When you’re dealing with subjects of dark matter, you need moments of laughter and levity to balance it all out, otherwise you’re just bummed out the whole time.

* The 13th season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation continues on Tuesday nights on Channel 5

Victoria on ITV.

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