Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And Now, a Word from...

Lauren Lee Smith
Actor, CBS' CSI

After the departure late last season of Jorja Fox, CSI’s Las Vegas forensic investigations team was down one member – not to mention one lesbian icon. Enter Lauren Lee Smith, the chameleon-like actress who starting in her teenage years in Canada quickly landed a series of ever-more-impressive roles in such shows as MTV’s 2gether, CBS’ Christy miniseries, and the syndicated sci-fi show Mutant X (opposite my fave, Victor Webster!)

In a few short years, Smith became the girlfriend of a boy band member, a Smoky Mountain schoolteacher, a mutant, a Russian stripper spy (on the Canadian procedural series Intelligence) – and most importantly, a chef named Lara Perkins, the love interest for tennis player Dana Fairbanks on Showtime’s The L Word. Recently, I had the chance to interview Lauren about her new role on CSI, where she debuts as CSI-2 Riley Adams in this season’s second episode, airing Thursday, October 16. And of course, along the way, I couldn’t help but ask her what it had been like to become one our icons on Showtime’s groundbreaking gay show.

Must-Hear TV: Back in 2004, you had already found success in quite a few TV shows and in Canadian independent film. What had interested you in joining The L Word?

Lauren Lee Smith: The L Word had a huge appeal to me at the time, because it was something that hadn’t been done before. It was bringing to mainstream television a TV series based on the lives of lesbians. And I just thought that it was an important project, and I thought that all of the people involved I really admired. We had such an amazing group of directors for every episode, and the producers and writing team and all of the actors. Getting to work with Pam Grier and Jennifer Beals was amazing, and the list just goes on and on.

MHTV: You were very young [23 or 24] when you started on the show. Had you ever done love scenes before? Particularly same-sex scenes?

LLS: That was the first time that I did a same-sex scene, yes. Everyone always says, “Oh, is it nervewracking?” And I have to say, it was much easier. Girls look out for each other.

MHTV: But does it make you self-conscious?

LLS: I don’t really have many hang-ups about that.

MHTV: Your generation has fewer hang-ups about the whole issue of sex in general.

LLS: It’s true, I think. Really, I’ve never been a fan of gratuitous nudity or sex scenes, and I pride myself in never having had to fall into that category. But I do find it somewhat ridiculous when you’re doing a love scene, and it’s very unrealistic. So I have no problems doing love scenes as long as there’s a realistic aspect.

MHTV: Even though you’ve got 30 crew members staring at you.

LLS: You know, you put that out of your brain. You have to, otherwise you become very self-conscious, and it’s not real at that point.

MHTV: Did anybody advise you against playing a lesbian when you went into that show, and have you found that you get stereotyped?

LLS: No one advised me not to take it. Everyone was very supportive about the project when they heard about it. There were certainly several more offers after I did The L Word to play lesbian characters, but I don’t think that was necessarily because of me. I think it was because The L Word opened it up a little bit to have more of these characters. So I found that there were more and more characters coming out who were gay. Which is a great thing, I have to say.

Season 9
Thursday, October 9
9 PM Eastern

1 comment:

  1. I think Victor webster is so hot .
    he has so handsome face and hot body.