The Celebrity Collector:
CSI: Miami's Emily Procter Loves Going to
and Flea Markets
By Mike McLeod
If you are a fan of TV's top rated show, CSI:
Crime Scene Investigation, then you probably know that its new
spin-off, CSI: Miami, is a top rated show, too. What you may not
know is one of its stars is an avid collector.
Procter, who plays bilingual ballistics expert Calleigh Duquesne on
CSI: Miami, is always on the hunt for an antique or a treasure, and
she loves going to garage sales, flea markets and antiques shops.
Emily is a native of North Carolina and a graduate of East
Carolina University, but not in acting.
"I tried to get in the
theater department, but it was full."
Emily studied journalism
and dance, and after graduation she landed a job as the weather girl
on Greenville's CBS affiliate. Later, she moved to L.A., took acting
lessons, auditioned for two years, and then began landing small
Here's a little quiz. In which of the following did
a. Jerry McGuire
b. Leaving Las Vegas
The West Wing
d. Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!
all of the above. Emily played Debbie in Leaving Las Vegas, she was
the former girlfriend in Jerry McGuire, and Mavis in the Dukes.
Emily was also featured in several other movies, including
Guinevere, Body Parts, The Big Tease, and The Family Plan with
Leslie Nielsen. Her big break came in HBO's Breast Men with David
Schwimmer. Contrary to the title, the movie follows the careers of
two Texas doctors who invented breast implants in the 1960s. Emily's
character receives implants and later wants them
Emily later acted with David Schwimmer again in an
episode of Friends. And you may remember seeing her as a guest star
on Lois and Clark: The Adventures of Superman, Just Shoot Me and
Early Edition. Emily's big TV break came with a recurring role on
The West Wing. She played a tenacious Republican lawyer who was
hired to work in the White House after giving Sam (Rob Lowe) a
verbal thrashing over political ideology.
From The West
Wing, Emily was invited to join David Caruso and the cast on the new
series CSI: Miami, and so far, the ratings have been great-in the
top ten over the summer and often in the number one
Recently, Emily was kind enough to take time out during
her shooting schedule to answer a few questions via e-mail about her
other talent, antiquing and collecting.
You were profiled
recently in a magazine, and in the photo layout, there were some
wonderful shots of your home. (You have excellent taste, I might
add.) The article said you like to visit garage sales, flea markets
and junk stores, and it showed a photo of an armoire that you picked
up for $200. What do you like to collect?
the moment, my area of obsession is animal art. My newest piece of
treasure is a pair of brass candlesticks shaped like cobras. I
believe they were made in the early 1900s. I bought them at a
Salvation Army Thrift Store in North Carolina.
You were born in
Raleigh and attended East Carolina University. When did you begin
collecting and how did you get the bug?
my gosh, did my mom tell you to ask me that? I was trained under the
watchful eye of all the women in my family. Treasure hunting (as we
can call it) is a family tradition.
Do you have a
favorite place to shop or a favorite antique
LA, I go to a lot of estate sales (people in California tend to get
rid of older styles). In North Carolina, I go to the Carolina
Antique Mall-lots of things to see. Also in North Carolina, there
are many great places in Morehead City and Beaufort. I also have
great luck in Memphis. Brimfield is also wonderful.
When it comes to
antiques, what really catches your eye?
love Louis Phillipe French Colonial American. I adore square
furniture. I don't know why, it just appeals to me. At the moment,
I'm also searching for Victorian-shaped cups and saucers, but with
plain bands of color (with gold), such as peach, greens, and
How do the flea
markets and garage sales in North Carolina compare with those in
California where you live now? Are you finding good things in
have found there are good things everywhere, if you just
What are some of the most treasured items you have found at
a flea market, garage sale or antique shop?
My favorite items always
require some sort of bargaining. The candlesticks I mentioned above
I originally saw in an antique store in LA for $1,100. I got them
for $75. I bought a Morris chair for $50, an Empire mirror with
original glass for $45, and a gilded frame for 50 cents. The list
goes on. That's my favorite part-the bargain.
With all the stars
you've met during your acting career thus far, you could have a very
good collection of Hollywood memorabilia and autographs. Have you
collected anything from the stars you've worked with-Tom Cruise, Sam
Neill, David Caruso, Nicolas Cage, Dean Cain, Matt LeBlanc, Courtney
Cox, Jennifer Anniston, or the cast of The West
actually haven't, but now you're making me think I should start,
Have you talked
antiquing or collecting with any other celebrities there in
Hollywood? Care to drop any names?
Just today I had lunch with Paula Marshall and Laura Leighton. I'm
about to begin working on Paula's kitchen and Laura's office. The
two of them have very different styles, so I think it will be a lot
(Paula Marshall has guest
starred on Seinfeld, Just Shoot Me, Spin City and Nash Bridges.
Laura Leighton played Sophie on Beverly Hills 90210.)
You play a
bilingual ballistics expert on CSI: Miami. There are a couple of
hundred antique shops and quite a few flea markets in Miami. Do you
have time to treasure hunt while you are shooting on location
usually working too much to hunt. The last trip I did pick up a
Gucci clutch from a thrift store.
Your home has been
featured on the E! Network's Celebrity Homes. I have read that you
enjoy doing interior design in your own home, and you have also done
interior design for film producer John Bertolli. Tell me about your
design work and if antiques or collectibles play a part in your
love to design for other people because I really get to explore
other styles. I think pieces with history (such as antiques or
collectibles) are essential to every décor, even the most modern. I
love the lineage of design to every décor, and the character of
older pieces add to the home.
Are you a fan of
any of the home design shows?
have to say I love the PBS shows 1900 House and Manor House. Not
only does one get to see the décor of the time, but also how people
lived with it. I am fascinated by vintage and antique kitchen and
From the West Wing
to the very hot CSI: Miami--what's next in your career? You recently
acted in the NBC movie, Submerged, with Sam Neill. Do you have any
new movies coming out that we can watch for?
the moment, I'm trying to option a book to do my own project (that
way I can decorate the set myself J). I have my fingers
Any antiquing or
collecting hints or advice you'd like to give our
Emily: A little research goes a long way!
Knowing about time frames and eras. Knowledge is the best way to get
a good deal when treasure hunting. Oh, and buy what you love, even
if others don't like it. It's your nest, after all.
to tuning in to CSI: Miami on CBS (currently on Monday nights), you
can see more of Emily Procter and read about her on the website http://www.emilyproctor.com/.