Marg Helgenberger Teases "Emotional" Return for her CSI Character Catherine Willows

Marg Helgenberger, who played criminalist Catherine Willows for the first 12 seasons of CSI, is reprising her role on CBS' CSI: Vegas reboot. Read more about her moving return here!

By Charlotte Walsh Sep 29, 2022 4:52 PMTags
Watch: Marg Helgenberger Shares What's Ahead for CSI Character

Catherine Willows is back on the case.

Marg Helgenberger, who played the stoic criminalist for CSI's first 12 seasons between 2000 and 2012, is reprising her role in season two of the show's reboot, CSI: Vegas. But Helgenberger shared exclusively with E! News that she didn't want the character to return for just any old case. 

"I wanted to make sure I was coming back for the right reasons, and the character was going to be going back to the crime lab for all the right reasons," she explained. "It's not about the money. It's something that's just kind of in her blood that she knows how to do."

Helgenberger revealed that she met with executive producer Jason Tracey to discuss her character's arc, and they ultimately came up with an idea that would satisfy both of them, with Catherine returning to investigate some "unsavory" characters around her father's casino, mentoring other female criminalists in the process.

2022 TV Premiere Dates

But the revival wasn't as simple as an open-and-closed investigation. During this season, Helgenberger shared, someone close to Catherine goes missing, and the investigator is the only person who can solve it. 

"There's an episode where it's just one crime, that Anthony Zuiker, who created CSI, wrote for me, and that was one of the hardest episodes I've ever shot in my life," she teased. "It was just very emotional."

Overall, however, Helgenberger said it was easy to slip back into the role of Catherine, because she has so much confidence in her role as a criminalist. 

"She has so much conviction for what she does, and so much passion for what she does," the actress noted. "There isn't time to worry about anything—certainly not to worry about what others think of her."

Sonja Flemming/CBS

Watch Catherine Willows return to the crime lab when CSI: Vegas premieres Sept. 29 on CBS. 

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