CSI: Vegas: Jay Lee Previews Chris’s Side Hustle & Praises Legacy Actors

Television

While Jay Lee was promoted to series regular ahead of CSI: Vegas Season 2, Thursday’s episode will be his first centric episode. His character, Chris Park, has a side hustle, which helps the team solve the murder of a social media influencer.

TV Fanatic chatted with Jay about CSI: Vegas Season 2 Episode 10, his views on social media, and the CSI legacy actors.

Check it out below:

Hi Jay. This is the first CSI: Vegas episode that’s centered around Chris. What was that like for you?

Well, it was surreal. When our showrunner Jason Tracey mentioned it to me, I was honored that they wanted to do that. Our writer, Ryan Lee, put this episode together for us. I was nervous because I get the pressure of being there daily, but then I decided not to overthink it.

It ended up being an enjoyable, rewarding experience with our director Allison and our writer Ryan on set, and we had a lot of fun doing it.

Okay, what can you tease about your side hustle and how it relates to Thursday’s case?

As will be revealed in the episode, Chris had a background as a social-media influencer sharing forensics that he finds cool and what life as a CSI is like. Being able to draw on that experience and know-how comes entirely into play in this week’s episode.

Yes, and do you think your side hustle helped the case, or do you think it will hinder the case?

I think the wherewithal of online life and having that online persona helped them. As with any interaction in social media, things get complicated when dealing so publicly with cases that are supposed to be private due to legal reasons.

It’s two forms that are coming head-to-head in with social media and the privacy of working at the CSI.

Absolutely. And are you interested in the world of social media, and what are your opinions of it?

I think the benefit of social media and the strength of social media is seeing people sharing creative projects they’re working on or bringing attention to causes or organizations affiliated with people’s passions. I think it’s an excellent way for people worldwide to connect.

I’ve never been drawn to social media for its own sake, so I think like influencer culture and things like that, that’s just something that I never connected with.

So you’re not like your character?

No. I’m very unlike Chris in that way. I have an Instagram, but I don’t ever post, and I’m not active on it unless I intentionally try to share or shed light on a friend’s project.

And how do you think Chris’s relationships with his co-workers have changed now that you are a series regular?

I don’t think they’ve changed because I’ve become a series regular. Chris is the rascal who gets into trouble and jokes around physical markers, perhaps inappropriately on the job.

I don’t think much has changed in the way of character dynamics, but I will say that for myself, it’s been great to be on set more regularly and to see everybody regularly.

So, can you tease anything else that will be coming up for Chris?

Yes. Well, this isn’t primarily for Chris, but we have a few longer-term plotlines throughout the season, including the silver ink case, that I know many people tuned in and are aware of. That will continue spiraling out throughout the season, and Chris will be there.

Can you give us any hints on when Greg Sanders is coming back?

I probably can’t say, but I will say that when Eric and I first worked together, it felt like a reunion from my past life, knowing that he and Jorja Fox have remained pals and are good friends.

Jorja and I go surfing together, and she speaks so highly of him, so it’s good to meet him in person finally. But aside from that, I probably shouldn’t reveal his return date.

That’s fair. I had to try for all the old-time fans excited that he’s coming back.

He is an absolute gentleman, and he is someone worth being that excited for. I’m so glad we got him, and I feel lucky to work with him.

How many more episodes of CSI: Vegas do we have?

We’re going to have 21 episodes total for the season. So, this Thursday is episode 10. So we’ve got 11 episodes for the rest of this season.

Wow, we still have a lot. That’s exciting. It’s been fun seeing you develop over two years.

Oh, thank you, thank you. I pinch myself now and again because I feel lucky to be on set. It’s a legacy show, and we get to work with many of the original actors, Eric included, and Marg Helgenberger is back this season.

Last season we had Billy and Jorja, and everyone has been so gracious and generous in sharing the tips and tricks they’ve learned doing the show for as many seasons as they have.

Jorja told me that whenever you’re on a case outside, as long as it’s appropriate, ask for established sunglasses because you never know with the Santa Clarita heat in the sunshine.

That is an interesting tip. I would never have thought of that.

Just a little Insider scoop for you. The first time Billy Peterson saw me on my first day, he said, “The great Jay Lee.” He knew who I was the first day, and it was so generous of him. So that became our greeting. He’d say, “the great Jay Lee,” and I’d go, “the greater Billy Peterson.”

He also told me on my first day that these CSI guys do this every day, and they’re nonplussed by the things they see.

Of course, things can become harrowing, and it causes a bit of a fraying of one’s emotional well-being, just from the things we’ve seen, but case-to-case, people are making jokes along the way.

One of our tech advisors told stories about things happening in the morgue while they were doing autopsies involving flailing a person’s finger or something. You learn how to have a good time on the job and to bring levity to an otherwise very gruesome job.

CSI: Vegas airs at 10/9c on Thursdays on CBS. You can watch CSI: Vegas online via TV Fanatic.

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

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