Fandom: CSI RPS
Summary: "TV Guide gets CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's Greg Sanders to give up the gossip… on work, music and, surprisingly, love." For cinderlily.
… on work, music and, surprisingly, love.
TV Guide: You've been playing (former lab rat now CSI) Greg Sanders for twelve seasons now, haven't you?
Eric Szmanda: Seems like forever, doesn't it? Yeah, what started out as a one episode gig in the first episode became another few episodes, which turned into a recurring guest star role, then recurring became regular in Season 3 and here we are twelve seasons in.
TVG: Greg's gone through quite the journey through the years. He started as a DNA technician and then decided to make the jump to a CSI in Season 4.
ES: He did, and I feel like I grew a lot with him as well. I mean, I wasn't much when I started on CSI and I gained the confidence to do more, ask for some fun story lines over the years and we're here now with just me and George (Eads, who plays Nick Stokes) left of the original cast. Jorja (Fox, who plays Sara Sidle) finally came back to us, but she had a break in the middle there.
TVG: How does that feel, to have gone the long yards?
ES: It feels sad that all my friends are gone! (laughs) No, honestly, it feels good that George and Jorja and I are trusted with the show, to help keep it going forward. On the other hand, it's all up to us! If it all goes downhill, you know who to blame. We've got such an incredible supporting cast and new faces who are bringing a new and fantastic dynamic to the show. Plus, I got to work with Morpheus.
TVG: Are you worried that George will be the next to go, or that Greg will want to leave the nest?
ES: George will never leave me! Neither of us has any plans to move on, so I think we're in for the long haul. And Jorja has time to make up for.
TVG: Outside of CSI, you've always been very involved with music. You worked for BMG for a few years and have been a music consultant on a few films, including “Life As A House”.
ES: Yeah, I love music, and I think that it's where I would have spent my career if I hadn't gotten into acting. I've also been working on an internet radio station called erockstar.com and that's been a lot of fun.
TVG: You're also involved with the US Campaign for Burma and have visited Burmese refugees in Thailand.
ES: Yeah, that was something that really struck home with me. I think one of the best things we can do if we achieve any small measure of fame it to try to help others with it, and I can only hope that I helped draw any amount of attention to an issue some people might not have heard of.
TVG: And on the home front, is there anyone special in your life right now?
ES: Actually, there is... Man, I'm going to get in so much trouble for this... (grins)
ES: Yeah. We're both private people, we try our best to keep our lives out of the spotlight and it's worked out really well so far. But, I'm honestly so crazy about him that it's starting to feel ridiculous not to let everyone know how he makes me feel.
TVG: Him? Have we hit important announcement time?
ES: Yes, him. And, I don't think it's about making an announcement, really. Who I'm in love with doesn't matter as much to me as how he makes me feel. I'm the luckiest person in the world and I really hope he remembers that when he reads this. (laughs)
TVG: Are you going to tell us who the lucky guy is?
ES: Because I'm not in enough trouble already? No, it's not my place to tell, but I'm confident that he's up for whatever's coming next.
TVG: Why now? Any specific reason for coming out now?
ES: Yes and no. Can I blame Anderson Cooper? Because he's such a classy guy who never kept his life a secret, but felt his sexuality had nothing to do with the job he performed. I agree with him totally, and I think I'm also at a place in my life where it can't hurt me. When you're new in Hollywood you don't want to be too different, don't want to rock the boat too much in case someone won't hire you. Now, I've got a job I love and that loves me and I've got a relationship that means more to me than a pay-cheque. My life is complete and there's no point in hiding any of it anymore.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation airs Thursdays at 9pm on CBS
A week after this interview and the day before we went to print, photos of Eric and fellow cast member George Eads surfaced of them holding hands in LA. TV Guide wants to wish them the best for the future and are glad to see that Eric isn't in trouble. -Ed.