Miami Living Magazine

Emily Procter

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Page 60 of 115

ML EXCLUSIVE! I t's about 50 degrees out and the ground is still wet as it's been raining all day in Los Angeles. I am ten minutes ahead of schedule when I pull into the driveway of Emily Procter's Santa Monica home. With the inclement weather and this being my first time in the area I didn't want to be late. The sun has gone down but the front lawn is bathed in warm light shining through from her living room window, where the beautiful décor within is being highlighted. I am greeted by Emily's boyfriend, musician Paul Bryan and their adorable 1-year-old daughter Pippa, who is perched upon his shoulders. The two lead me to the kitchen where Emily is fixing Pippa's dinner. Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Emily's twang is much like her hospitality—very warm and very southern. A journalism major, (along with a degree in dance from East Carolina University) Emily asks me questions about myself while she scrambles eggs and slices up blueberries for Pippa's supper. The kitchen gives off an inviting feel, as do Paul and Emily, who make me feel welcome in their cozy abode. Paul takes my coat and pours me some sparkling water, and we all chat about the books we've recently read. Once Emily plates Pippa's food, she and I retire to her living room –where her charming pink Christmas tree is set up— while Paul sits down in the kitchen to feed their daughter. Fresh off the set of CSI: Miami (on Sundays at 10 pm on CBS), Emily reveals that she's still wearing her tan make-up from this afternoon. In its tenth season, she's unable to tell me what episode is currently airing, when I ask, since she never watches the show. "It's too hard. I watch 'em and I'm just like, 'Ohmygosh,'" she gasps in horror. Citing that when she watches she ends up harping on missed opportunities or things she could've done differently in her scene, so to save her from her overanalyzing, she simply doesn't watch it. make Calleigh "quirky" and "funny" but it just wasn't the right fit for the character. In the end, she jumped on board with the writer's view of Calleigh and accepted her for who she is: "a black and white, crime solving individual on a mission." Though CSI: Miami no longer films in Miami, which Emily credits to budgeting, she often visits good friends in the Magic City – at least every summer. Visits always include a stroll down Lincoln Road and a stay down by the water. "I just love to walk around, and the ocean. I love to drive down to Islamorada and to the places down in the Keys and go to Baileys Coffee and get some coffee —they make the best coffee," she says wistfully. To work on a successful television show for a decade is every FAVORITE TV SHOW "I'm obsessed with Enlightened Laura Dern's show on HBO. I accosted Mike White on the sidewalk the other day. He was walking out of having a nice lunch by himself, and I was like, 'I love it!' He just looked at me and I go, 'I love it!'" she says exaggeratedly. I don't know if he knew what I meant but he tried to get away from me very quickly," she laughs. "And then I thought, God, I hope he doesn't recognize me." actor's dream. Tons of shows don't see past season two or one, for that matter, each year. "I think we'll go a couple more years. We'll probably go 2 or 3 seasons -- that would be my guess." Emily explains to me that her time on the show has been comparable to the feelings experienced with the progression through high school. "It's interesting to think back on all of the evolutions on it. I always say to Jonathan Togo, 'You know, the best years of your life will have been spent with me,'" she giggles. "And he just looks at me in horror, 'cause it's true." None of the show's success has been taken lightly by Emily. She's had her experience with failed shows in the past, and shot 11 pilots before landing the part of Ainsley Hayes on the West Wing. "There's no way of telling what show is going to appeal to people or what people are going to respond to… I said to my agent today, you cannot get me to pick what is going to be a good show." In the beginning, she assumed CSI: Miami would only last four episodes and be done. Lucky for her, CSI: Miami was, and still is being positively received by its devoted fan base. Emily's fans just might be the most loyal fans I have Being Calleigh Duquesne has been a part of Emily's life for ten years, and though she's played her for such an extensive period, Emily still hasn't acclimated to her character's severity. "Calleigh is a terrifying woman," Emily says with a laugh. The rigidity required of the role has probably been a nice outlet for her she admits, since Calleigh is the complete opposite of her. "I'm from North Carolina, so I'm like, 'Oh, do you mind? Would it be ok?" she says in her characteristically polite, soft-spoken voice. "And Calleigh's just like, 'Do it!' she roars in a deeper tone, and laughs. "I think it's sort of shocking sometimes for people who meet me, expecting to meet Calleigh and then it's a totally different person. They don't know how to respond," she says amused. It's shocking to Emily, even today, that she was chosen to play someone like Calleigh. Initially, Emily tried to encountered after interviewing someone for a feature. The moment I posted the picture of us on Twitter, to let readers know to anticipate an article on Emily, the feed went crazy. Now, I see what she was talking about when she told me that she has the nicest fans. "I just can't believe how positive they are and how kind they are to me. I just think, 'Ohmygosh, if you only knew how much it actually meant," she explains with heartfelt emotion. "How I will hear them stand up for me and I'm like, 'Thank you so much!'" You can tell that Emily is genuinely touched by the outpouring of support her fans give her. And it's really refreshing to see how grateful she is about it. While the support is mostly positive, she mentions that there have been times when she's a little taken aback by what people are saying about her when they write her. "Sometimes people will say really unusual things and I'll think to myself, 'Ohmygosh, that's not true.'" I inquire about an MIAMI LIVING 59

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