CSI: VEGAS: Paula Newsome Previews Showcasing Max's Vulnerability, Plus an 'Ease' with Marg Helgenberger's Catherine - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CSI: VEGAS: Paula Newsome Previews Showcasing Max’s Vulnerability, Plus an ‘Ease’ with Marg Helgenberger’s Catherine

September 29, 2022 by  

CSI: VEGAS season 2 Paula Newsome interview

“The Painted Man” — Coverage of the CBS series CSI: VEGAS, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

There are changes afoot when CSI: VEGAS returns for its sophomore season on Thursday, September 29.

Gone are longtime CSI fixtures Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox), as well as newbie Hugo Ramirez (Mel Rodriguez). But joining in season 2 is Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), who seeks out Las Vegas Crime Lab boss Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome) for help…and a spot on her team.

With Max as the steady constant, Newsome spoke with Give Me My Remote about the procedural’s second year, from the changes to the format, collaborating with showrunner Jason Tracey, and more…

Season 1 was short and largely filmed before the show even premiered. As you started season 2, what were your hopes for what you’d be able to do in a longer batch of episodes?
I was looking forward to doing television normally. [Laughs.] That first season, we were so much in a bubble, you know what I mean? People couldn’t come to set, and just now it’s [starting where they can] come to set more. Just getting to be more like humans around other humans.

I’m looking forward to the new stuff for Max; it’s just amazing, when you have such a collaborative showrunner like Jason Tracey. He’s just talented and amazing, with that corral of writers that we have. So I just look forward to the exciting stuff we have for Max. And then more science.

In our last year, we had that serialized, one big story. This year, we have different stories, but there is this amazing, exciting thing that happened. I can’t say any more than that. But it’s really worth a watch.

It was mentioned during the TCA panel there would be mini-arcs this season. Are we going to be seeing separate—confined—arcs, or will any of them be overlapping?
It’s very interesting. It’s hard to say, because it’s mini-arcs, but it’s not. They’re self-contained stories each week, and they’re mini-arcs, but they’re not. I just don’t want to give it away, because it’s really fabulous, the idea. And seeing it for the first time—and even hearing about it for the first time—I was like…get out of town!

“She’s Gone” Catherine Willows persuades Maxine Roby to let her rejoin the CSI team in Las Vegas, on the season two premiere of “CSI: Vegas,” Thursday, Sept. 29. Marg Helgenberger reprises her emmy-nominated role, Catherine Willows, from the global hit series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”Coverage of the CBS series CSI: VEGAS, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Pictured (L-R): Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows, Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby and Lex Medlin as Beau. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

One of the big changes this season is the addition of Catherine. How does she shake up the team dynamic?
It was such an easy fit. Marg is an amazing actress; she’s very human as an actress. She’s got blood. So, just as another actress, I love being with that. She moves in her body in a way that’s very free.

And in a story of Max and Catherine, they get along; they merge. I remember a long time ago, when I was doing a play, the director said to me, “Paula, you get strength for free. A lot of people get humor for free, some people get anger for free.” He said, “You get strength for free. And you just walk on and that’s what you get. “And that’s what my experience is with Catherine, and Marg walking on [set]. I don’t have to feel myself pulling back on the rein; I could just be who Max is. And she gets met toe-to-toe with another amazing scientist and other amazing actor.

And the two have a history…
They know each other. It’s a very small community. And when you get to the point where Catherine and Max are, the level that they are, they know one another. There’s this line in the upcoming episode that talks about how Max wanted to finger print Catherine to come to a party or something like that. [Laughs.] There’s a familiarity, there’s a humor, there’s an ease. And Max was recommended to her current job by Catherine.

CSI: VEGAS season 2 Paula Newsome interview

“The Painted Man” As Halloween descends on Sin City, the CSIs investigate when a creepy mannequin prop inside a popular haunted house turns out to be a real dead body. Also, Catherine enlists the help of Folsom to search for her friend who disappeared on the CBS Original series CSI: VEGAS, Thursday, Oct. 6 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Coverage of the CBS Original Series CSI: VEGAS, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Lex Medlin as Beau and Paula Newsome as Maxine Roby. Photo: Erik Voake/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Outside of Catherine, the team has changed. How has Max’s leadership style evolved as she’s dealing with different personalities?
You know, the best thing about it is that Max gets to hire people that she feels confident in. That she enjoys being with. This group of actors, as well as this group of criminalists, are very good at what they do. So in a way, it’s easier. We have more scientists, and more people to be competent [to get the job done].

There’s a role played by Lex Medlin, a new actor that’s coming along. And [his character, Beau] worked in a Dow lab; he was a scientist in that way. And the character of Penny, who is played by Sarah Gilman, and bringing them along, it’s just so exciting. Because watching how they learn and watching their little idiosyncrasies as well as Jay Lee, who plays Chris Park. It’s really fun. It fleshes out the lab, fleshes out the personalities. Mystery and hilarity ensue.

You mentioned getting to collaborate with Jason—looking to what’s ahead, is there something in particular you were most excited to work together on?
I love the collaboration with Jason and the writers about Max’s vulnerability, and how that impacts the lab and her family. It’s really beautiful. It’s not often that you’re able to flesh out a fully grounded person. So many stories involve, particularly when you’re the head of something, one or two characteristics of that person. But Jason was really excited to flesh out more of Max’s vulnerability, and see what that looks like. And that’s really excited and how that affects the family and the work family.

How might that be playing out?
As every woman, I imagine, with a family and a job, we get pulled between both. And watching Max, who is used to being such a badass, getting pulled between both, while having this vulnerability, I think is something that people identify with.

CSI: VEGAS, Season Premiere, Thursday, September 29, 10/9c, CBS


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