CSI: VEGAS Star Paula Newsome Shares What She Loves About the Lab & the Cases That Affected Her

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The CSI crime show has been revived, and this time it’s being headed by Maxine Roby( Paula Newsome.) She even got fan favorites, Gil Grissom (William Peterson) and Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) to return when crimes affected two of their old friends Jim Brass and David Hodges.

Newsome has starred on many crime dramas, including ABC’s Women’s Murder Club, CBS’s NCIS, and Showtime’s Barry, but she experienced many firsts with CSI Vegas.

TV Fanatic chatted with Paula about learning the new technology, building a rapport with her castmates, and how certain cases affected Maxine. We also learned when Maxine’s son will show up.

Paula Newsome Press Photo - CSI: Vegas

Hi, Paula. I absolutely love you in CSI: Vegas. What it has been like to be on this series and how have your previous experiences in other crime dramas helped?

I’m really impressed by the fan base for the show, you know, and in the connection to the show. People like you- this show is so very important to them. This is the first show I’ve been on like that and I’ve been on some amazing shows.

There’s a lot of respect there that I have for those people just shooting the show. I’ve never had to use a single nucleotide, polymorphisms before, nor have I had to say Emporium in the morning.

I’ve gotten to work with people like Jorja Fox, who is a dream. She’s a dream castmate. We have an amazing group of people on this who are dedicated and also extremely talented.

Maxine & Sara - CSI: Vegas

Yes, I was going to ask what it was like working with Jorja Fox, and William Petersen, especially now that you’re the boss of them.

I truly love it. With Bill, we’re both Chicagoans, you know, so there’s kind of Chicago shorthand. Our first episode was named Legacy. That’s what he is. He’s kind of a walking legacy. When I found out I got this, I was stunned and just thinking about being in teams with these people.

I remember when I told my sister that I got this job; she asked if Grissom and Sara were going to be in it. I was so excited I got the job, but all she wanted to see was if Grissom and Sara were in it too.

Lol. They are a dream. Everybody remembers them. I love the rapport of the new team.

It’s really nice being down there with the coroner in the morgue. He’s such an amazing actor, Mel Rodriguez. It’s really amazing. That’s why I enjoy watching him.

Coroner and Max - CSI: Vegas

How have you and the cast developed some of these genuine relationships so quickly?

When you’re doing something like this, working 14 hours a day, you get to know one another and it becomes easy. This is a kind group of actors, very empathetic, very sensitive to one another. That’s how it happens. You’re in the same space, rowing the boat the same way. You connect.

I can believe it. I like it already. I also like the new tech that the lab has and how you guys can solve the cases with the new technology, just with a bit of DNA now. How are you guys are learning some of this new technology?

Doing the science lab and the DNA lab is easy for me because it makes sense. My sister tells me I have one of those brains that thinks in concepts.

New Technology - CSI: Vegas

What is kind of wild is when I get beyond the concept, and when you can bring a burnt Polaroid back to life. Our technical advisor, Daniel Holstein, is like the real-life Grissom. He was in the coroner’s office in the CSI in Las Vegas. That’s how Anthony Zuiker found him.

He has taught us so much, including that most of the time science usually tells us who it’s not then points to exactly who it is.

That is interesting to know.

It is. He also said many times that they would study DNA in the lab's basement for three days. And someone would come in and say, have you eaten yet? He’d realize he hadn’t. They’re definitely a committed group of people.

I can see that. I see in this week’s case that the video game designer getting killed really seemed to affect Max. What is it about that case that resonated so much with her?

Video Game Convention - CSI: Vegas

The woman who was killed was a young woman who was basically at the beginning of her career, and she had just stepped into the beginning of success, right?

Losing her life in the prime of her life, that’s hard. Maxine has traveled really far in her career and it just cuts her quick seeing someone who hasn’t gotten that same opportunity.

It does. I can see that. When are we going to get to learn more about Maxine’s family and her relationships?

That’s going to come up soon in Episode 4. There’s an amazing actor who’s going to be playing my son, Luke Tennie. He’s created a lovely grind and I look forward to people getting to know him.

I can’t wait because we keep seeing pictures of your son when he’s young. We haven’t really learned much about him yet.

Yeah, I think it’s kind of an intentional adjacent ratio. Maxine is one of those women who wants to hold on to them when they’re younger instead of letting them grow up, and that’s hard for him. It’s hard for Maxine to let this young son become a man.

Confronting the Suspect - CSI: Vegas

That is hard for mothers. And tell me what is Maxine’s take about the David Hodges case. Does she want to believe him or is it about proving the truth and restoring faith in her lab?

I’ll tell you this. It’s a tough case. She doesn’t know David. She doesn’t have the same relationship with David Hodges that Sara and Grissom do.

And her lab is one of the most important things to her outside of the family. So, someone that has challenged the reputation and respect of this lab, that’s rough. She’s willing to find out to follow the evidence to find out who did what, and she’s hoping to hack it and clear David.

She reminds me of Grissom in that way and that she wants to follow the evidence.

Yep. It’s hard when something tugs at your heart the other way.

How is it going to affect her now that Nora took the case to Washoe and out of their lab?

Uncovering the Evidence - CSI: Vegas

Nora is not one of her favorite people. There is just no reason to take that case to Washoe. There’s no reason because this is a state-of-the-art lab. There is no reason to take it anywhere but here, but it’s not her case. She gets to do with it as she chooses and lets the chips fall where they may.

Nora isn’t her favorite person because Nora does her job really well. And her job is coming directly at the lab for this reason. She’s not her favorite person because quite, honestly, she could get it done here. She could get the case solved here and there was no reason to take it elsewhere. For that reason, Max isn’t a fan of Nora.

I’m really enjoying it. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about what’s coming up for you?

So many crimes. Our showrunner, Jason Tracey, is a quiet loving man, but the crimes that he thinks up. Whoa. I can’t wait for you guys to see them.

You can watch Paula on CSI: Vegas Season 1 which airs on 10/9c on Wednesdays on CBS.

Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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