My dad is not a big fan of Hollywood. And by Hollywood I mean the industry, not the town. He can’t stand all of the overindulged, self-absorbed actors, even though his own daughter is one (minus the overindulged, self-absorbed part, of course). 🙂 He just barely tolerates my stalking and often asks me why I care so much about celebrities. But there is one actor and one show that my dad absolutely loves – and that’s loves with a capital L-O-V-E-S. That show is CSI: Miami and that actor is David Caruso. My dad often walks around the house randomly quoting characters from the show saying “H is on it!”, he nicknamed his Harley Davidson “H”, and he has so many CSI: Miami reruns saved up on TiVo that he often burns through all of the memory causing my mom’s shows not to record. Yes, my dad loves himself some Horatio Caine. When we were in New York this past December, my boyfriend and I just had to snap the above photo of Horatio Street for my dad. 🙂
So when I found out that CSI: Miami would be filming in Pasadena last Wednesday, I just had to drag my dad out to stalk it. Except truth be told, there really wasn’t much dragging involved. My dad, who normally hates stalking with me, was more than a willing participant this time around. He was absolutely floored at the possibility of meeting his TV idol. And so was I. CSI: Miami has always been my favorite CSI and I, too, love me some Horatio Caine. I also love me some Emily Procter. I am absolutely obsessed with her cute little Southern accent – I want one just like it. 🙂 So on Wednesday morning, bright and early, we showed up at the Pasadena location where where they were filming. And I have to say that it was an absolute dream day!
The crew truly could NOT have been nicer to us. When we arrived and told them we were big fans of the show, they welcomed us with open arms and invited us to take a seat to watch the crew setting up the scene. One of the A.D.’s told us that David Caruso would arrive on the set within 45 minutes and that he was very fan friendly and would most likely take a photograph with us. Let me tell you we were floored! And I have to say that watching the crew set up for the scene was almost as exciting as watching the actual filming. It was amazing to compare the real life overcast grey sky that was above our heads with the orange and pink sky that appeared on the filming monitors. It turns out that a special filter is placed on top of the cameras during filming to make the sky look more bright, sunny, and “Miami-like”. It was eerie to see.
Just before actual filming was to begin, a large water truck came by and sprayed water all over the street. I had known from watching a director’s commentary on DVD a while back that streets are often wetted down prior to a film shoot – for some reason, wet streets look better on camera than dry streets – but I had no idea how it was done. So that was very cool to see. If you’ve never noticed this phenomenon before, you will now. 🙂 Start looking at streets in the background of your favorite television shows and movies – nine times out of ten they will be soaking wet. One of the crew members was joking that while you never see it rain on CSI: Miami, miraculously somehow the streets are always wet. LOL
After the street was sprayed, a white van pulled up and out stepped David Caruso. And I just about died. There he was, Horatio Caine, in the flesh, aviator sunglasses and all. He immediately waved to us and said “Hi guys!” while a make-up artist put the finishing touches on his face and hair. Then he called us over and introduced himself. It was unbelievable! Last October, when my dad and I got to watch The Closer be filmed, not one cast member came over to talk to us. So this was quite a surprise! And when my dad handed over his CSI: Miami Season One DVDs to be signed, David seemed genuinely touched and told us how appreciative he was to meet fans of the show. He also gave us little autographed pictures of himself. Then the A.D. called him over to begin filming and David gave both my dad and me a hug! 🙂 A few minutes later while they were setting something up for the shot, David walked over to us once again and asked if we wanted to take a picture with him. He really could not have been sweeter and I can honestly say that out of all the actors I’ve met in my eight years living in L.A., David Caruso was by far the nicest. A crew member told us that on one occasion when they were filming in Long Beach, a large tour bus filled with 75 German tourists pulled up, and got very excited that David Caruso was there. David stopped filming and proceeded to sign autographs and take pictures with each and every person on that bus!!! My dad kept saying “I just knew he’d be nice!” 🙂 I hope that when I become a successful, famous actress that I will be that nice! 🙂
After our pics, we got to watch David film a scene with Elizabeth Berkley (of Saved by the Bell and Showgirls fame), who play’s H’s ex-wife Julia on CSI: Miami. I cannot even tell you how amazing it was to be standing less than five feet away from David Caruso as he filmed a scene. And I just about died when he did his trademark putting-on-sunglasses-and-staring-off-into-the-distance move. It was the coolest thing ever! I was very impressed with how quickly filming moved, too. I’d say David filmed his scene in less than forty minutes, which in Hollywood time is almost unheard of! What I was most impressed with, though, was how happy the cast and crew seemed to be. There was a lot of joking around between takes and A LOT of laughter in the air. Everyone seemed to be really enjoying their jobs and like they were just happy to be there.
When David was wrapped for the day he had a crew member ask for my address as he had some CSI memorabilia in his trailer that he wanted to give us. How nice is that! Then, as we were leaving the set, one of the crew members told us to stop back by later in the afternoon when the rest of the cast would be there filming a different scene. So, of course, a few hours later my dad and I headed back to the set. 🙂 As soon as we arrived, one of the A.D.’s ran over to us and handed me a large envelope from David Caruso. Inside was the memorabilia he had planned to send me, including several photographs autographed to both me and my dad, a Horatio Caine bobble head, and some CSI: Miami postcards and buttons. That was just such a nice thing to do, we couldn’t even believe it!!! My dad was especially excited about the bobble head which is now sitting on his desk. 🙂
As if all that wasn’t enough, a few minutes later the same A.D. walked over with Rex Linn who plays Detective Frank Tripp on the show. Rex introduced himself and, like David, seemed genuinely happy to be speaking with fans of CSI:Miami. Rex signed my dad’s DVD’s, posed for pictures with us, and even let me hold his prop gun. 🙂 Like David, Rex could NOT have been nicer or more outgoingly friendly to us.
While we were speaking with Rex, Eva La Rue came out of the house where they were filming and Rex took us over to meet her! Eva was also completely friendly and super down to earth. And gorgeous in person – much prettier than she even appears on television.
Then the most amazing thing happened. Are you sitting down for this?? Rex asked if we wanted to go inside the house to watch a few scenes be filmed. Did we want to go inside and watch filming with Detective Frank Tripp as our personal tourguide????? Is he crazy? Of course we did! Rex then took us through the backyard of the house where a scene was being filmed, introduced us to virtually every crew member on set, explained what all sorts of equipment was, and what was happening during the filming. Rex is an amazing man and I could not believe he was taking time out of his busy day to give us a tour of the set. I mean stuff like this just doesn’t happen in real life!
Once filming began, Rex led us over to the monitors and pulled out Emily Procter’s directors chair for me to sit in. I was like WHAT? I can’t sit in her chair!!!! LOL
After we watched a bit of the filming that was taking place in the backyard, Rex was called inside to finish up a scene he was filming in the house with Eva La Rue. He told us we could come inside to watch, so we, of course, followed him. That scene was especially exciting for us because we got to watch firsthand as Eva administered one of the flashlight tests that the CSI shows are so famous for. SO COOL! After that scene, Rex was wrapped for the day, but he told us we could go back outside to watch more of the filming in the backyard.
Which we, of course, did. 🙂 And that is when we got to meet both Megalyn Echikunwoke, who plays the new medical examiner on the show and who was very sweet . . .
. . . and my fave, Emily Procter. Emily was a total sweetheart and she really does have Calleigh Duquesne’s cute little Southern accent in real life. I love it! Emily was wrapped for lunch at that time and we ended up walking out of the house behind her. On her way outside she made it a point to stop to thank the L.A. County policemen who were on duty and she gave both of them autographed pictures of herself. I was completely amazed at this. Not just Emily, but the entire cast seemed to be just so appreciative, thankful, and friendly. It was so heartening to see. And it just made me love the show even more than I already did. What a truly amazing group of people!
Sitting back and looking at these pictures of me on the set of my favorite TV show makes me think about how much I love L.A. As much as I say I want to move to New York, it’s days like this one when I realize I am right where I am supposed to be. 🙂 More importantly, though, being on the set was a truly extraordinary experience for my dad. Especially since he just recently got out of the hospital and has been sick on and off for the past few years. I believe having such a memorable encounter with the cast of his favorite television show brought him some much needed healing in a form he never would have found in a hospital or a doctor’s office. 🙂
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: CSI: Miami was filmed at 887 El Campo Drive in Pasadena, right around the corner from the Brothers and Sisters House. Look for the episode to air sometime in March.