Emily Procter was born on October 8th, 1968 in Raleigh, North Carolina, to Bill Procter, a physician, and Barbara Jones, a volunteer worker. Although the two divorced two years after Emily's birth, they were both active in raising their daughter. She learned early on the joy of traveling and thus spent many summers with family in Tennessee where she perfected the art of making sweet tea. Emily graduated from Raleigh’s Ravenscroft School and was then off to East Carolina University where she earned a B.F.A. in journalism and dance. While in college, she landed her first television job as a weekend weather anchor for CBS affiliate WNCT. When she began falling asleep between takes she knew it was time to move on to something that could keep her interest. Consequently, Emily moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Her early work includes small movie roles in Leaving Las Vegas and Jerry Maguire. She also made memorable appearances in the well-known television shows Friends, Lois and Clark, and Just Shoot Me. In the late 1990’s, Emily starred in such movies as HBO’s Breast Men with David Schwimmer and Chris Cooper, Family Plan with Leslie Nielsen, Body Shots with Ron Livingston, Amanda Peet, Jerry O’Connell, and Tara Reid, and Guinevere with Jean Smart and Sarah Polley. The year 2000 marked a turning point in Emily’s career when she was offered a role on the highly acclaimed and award-winning NBC television drama, The West Wing. She played Ainsley Hayes, a feisty Republican lawyer working in the midst of a Democratic administration, who bantered and debated political ideology with Rob Lowe’s character, Sam Seaborn.
In 2002, Emily was offered the starring role of Calleigh Duquesne in CBS's CSI: Miami. (Be careful folks, she carries a gun). The show was well received in its first season and was given the People’s Choice Award for Best New Drama. When not at work, Emily enjoys playing poker with her friends, interior decorating, and participating in events to aid with issues close to her heart. While Hollywood is currently home, Emily still makes her way back to her Southern roots whenever she gets a chance or whenever she gets thirsty for sweet tea.
Her famous quotes:
"It's not a bad idea to be single, so I can concentrate on my job."
"Sometimes I just can't believe what a ditzy person is trapped in this body."
Emily Procter's career is on the rise
The talented, beautiful actress has recently gotten the attention that she deserves after starring in HBO's "Breast Men" along with David Schwimmer and Chris Cooper and then landing her recurring role on NBC's Emmy-winning "The West Wing," as Ainsley Hayes, the Republican lawyer hired to work in the Democratic White House.
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time talking to Miss Procter recently. She is an extremely likeable actress who is up front about her life and career. My interview quit being a work task and became an easy, enjoyable experience. The credit for that belongs totally to her kindness.
Q: How old were you when you first got the acting bug?
A: Well, that's always a hard one because I think a lot of people can get the acting bug when they are a little kid. I want to be a fireman, I want to be a policeman, I want to be a movie star. Realistically I didn't start thinking about it until I was in college.
Q:Is there anything that happened or that you saw that made you want to do it or that made you think you could?
A: I just sort of looked at it and said these people have a really good gig. They get to travel, they have an interesting job and they actually get paid for pretending on a daily basis. To be completely honest with you, I couldn't think of another job that was going to interest me on a day in and day out basis. I went to the head of the theater department at my college when I was a junior and told him I'd like to be an actor. He said he didn't think it would work out for me, that I didn't have what it takes. Of course, that was a great inspiration to go out and do it.
Q:What college was that?
A:East Carolina. I loved that school. If I had never gone there, I probably would have not gone on to be an actor. So I say thank God I didn't study enough in high school to get into the school of my choice.
Q: Have you reached a point in your career where you feel that you are actually succeeding and are on the right path?
A:I think it was this last movie, "Breast Men". It's a very insightful question because this is the first job where I felt like I can stand up in front of a room full of people and say I am an actor.
Q: This job is like a lot of other jobs. You spend your first five years plugging away and learning as much as you can. Jobs that maybe don't fill you creatively but do teach you a lot about what you enjoy, what you may be good at and what you're not good at doing.
A: With this last movie, "Breast Men", it's the first time that I can look back and say you know, I've gotten somewhere and I have a place in my mind that I want to move forward to. I have a toehold. I'm still looking for another toehold and a hand spot but I do feel like at this point I am moving forward.
Q:I wasn't certain if it was something you did in "Jerry Maguire" or if it was in "Breast Men".
A:I think it was definitely "Breast Men". I felt like that a little bit with "Jerry Maguire" and "Leaving Las Vegas".
Q: Can you tell me where in "Leaving Las Vegas"?
A: I'm in the very beginning in the restaurant scene with Nicholas Cage, Stephen Weber, Richard Lewis and a girl named Kim Adams. It's a very short scene.
Q: That's one of my favorite films although I don't watch it that often. It's not the type of movie that you watch and go away smiling and bouncing out the door. Elisabeth Shue was terrific. Nick was too, That performance was quite different from other things I've seen Elisabeth do.
A: Yeah, and incredibly risky. This business does change you to the extent... I mean until I had moved out here and got in this business, I don't think I ever left the house without a pair of panty hose on. I was very conservative and looked at life in terms of things I should and should not do and what was acceptable behavior and what wasn't.
The beauty about acting is it is a journey through life where you can push the envelope. You get to test the boundaries of humanity and maybe play a character that you would have originally said "Oh, gosh, that's not a lifestyle that I find very admirable" and then you get to play that character. You see all different people face all types of choices throughout their life. There's something really rich about being a participant in that, even though it may make you enemies of people that don't know you.
Q: You put on the soul of the character and you become the character.
A: Yeah, and it's lovely. It's so completely rewarding. It's such a different life than I thought I would have. I'm sure for Elisabeth Shue it was interesting and creatively fulfilling to play that type of character.
Q: Billy McNamara said she was a tom-boy. She actually goes with him and some others down to Florida and plays touch and tackle football.
A: I think she's probably a really neat girl.
Q: Do you remember what you were paid for first and how much?
A: Technically, first I was paid to be an extra. My first line was in a TV show called "Great Scott" and I said "A carton of eggs." I think I made whatever SAG scale was at that point. I think it was $550 or $575 a day.
Q: Did you cash the check or put it on the wall?
A: Oh, I cashed it! Listen, I'd been making $45 for eight hours a day. I cashed it! I've cashed them all. But I do have all the stubs. Definitely.
Q: When you get paid for something you did out of your soul it's kind of nice.
A: It's always amazing to me, and disturbing at the same time, that we get paid for things like that, but it's rewarding when you do. It also is a very interesting concept that you get paid to write about being human and I get paid to express being human.
Q: Do you ever get people saying that you're just another dumb blonde?
A: Oh, sure. I used to more than I do now. I think that's one of the greatest assets that you can have in life is for people to think that you could be stupid because they don't expect much of you so everything you do is a surprise. Also, I find that when people don't think you're as smart as the rest of them they tell you all sorts of incriminating things.
Q: Has a critic or anybody written about you yet where they wrote basically the same thing - dumb blonde or they didn't like a performance that you actually liked?
A: No. I don't think I've been at that point where people have written about me, per say. I did have a woman in New York who wrote for a paper, Newsday, who wrote some lovely things about me in "Breast Men" and that was so completely unexpected and nice.
I have had critics write things about projects that I have been involved with that I think were unfounded and not positive. That upset me because they wrote about people who had been in the film. I don't think criticism is necessarily a bad thing. Criticism makes you better at what you do. I don't have a problem if somebody points out something that is well founded. But if somebody points out a flaw that is not relevant to the story it bothers me. "Breast Men" is a very specific movie. You either like the subject matter or not. That's fine and everyone is welcome to critique whether or not they like the subject. But when people pick apart certain things in the movie that are well done because they don't like the subject, that's what I don't like.
Q: "Breast Men" also stars Chris Cooper. I am a big fan of his work.
A: Chris Cooper is one of the most amazing people and actors out there. I cannot say enough nice things about him. He's amazing. He is such a nice person.
Q: Twice in there you're asked to bare your breasts. Those are two different sets of breasts. I'm not going to ask which set was yours, but one of them was obviously different. Was that trick photography or did they have a mold on you at the time?
A: They did a CGI (computer generated image). What they did was take another girl's body and put my head on it. That was interesting.
Q: Do you want to tell which one of those was you? It's not necessary. Maybe you shouldn't answer that.
A: Oh, gosh, what do you think?
Q: I would think it was the second time you bare them.
A: Actually, no. The first one was me. They did make a set of breasts for me that I wore under my clothes after Laura had been augmented, which I kept and do wear. If I'm having a bad hair day or I don't feel like putting on my makeup, I find that some people are very welcoming of you if you are more well-rounded - that's a nice way to put it.
Q: At least now I know they weren't both you.
A: What you think will bother you sometimes is not even remotely what ends up bothering you. Nudity is something that I never thought I'd do. The only reason I have any reservation in talking about this is because of my family.
Q: The scenes were artfully done. There was nothing titillating about it.
A: I personally like what it has to say in the character of Laura. We arrived at a point in the story where someone who doesn't really need this operation was getting it. It's definitely a movie that grows on you, pun intended.
Q: You have a terrific scene where you come back to Schwimmer and you break down on camera and tell him that you want them out. What got you motivated for the crying?
A: That's a scene where I really have to thank Larry O'Neal the Director and John Stockwell the Writer. Between the two of them I felt like my work was already done for me. If you look at it in terms of "this is a woman who's tried her whole life to have a perfect marriage and here she sits alone. She is not married, never had any children, lives in a small apartment and is sick." The tragedy of that is one of regret and spoiled hope. You just feel for that person.
Q: Your breakdown in front of David Schwimmer was very realistic.
A: Thank you! The funny thing is I'm not a big crier when it comes to me and my life. I do think it's almost like the plea of this woman, and I really liked Laura. Sometimes you read a character and see what they're trying to do with their life. What she wanted out of life was very obvious to me. The statement "I just want them out. I just wish I could start over". It's tragic because she can't.
Q: I think it would have done better if it had a different title.
A: They had a different title that I really liked which was "Silicone Wars". I thought it was a great title. "Breast Men" can be a misleading title because one thinks that they're in for a light-hearted comedic movie. Which, I don't think "Breast Men" is. It has elements of comedy which life does, but it also has drama and sadness.
Q: Did you have to read against a lot of actresses for that part or did someone in the production company like your work and specifically want you?
A: I had actually gone in for the role of Ann, which was Chris Cooper's wife. The casting director said I was right for Laura and asked me to come back and read. So I did.
We had quite a battle because HBO understandably wanted someone who had more of a name, more of a public following in that role. I think it was about four or five weeks after I read before I got the offer to do the role. I cannot say enough about the people involved in terms of fighting for the person who they thought was best for the job. Whether I was or I wasn't, I appreciate that they had the character to stand by who they thought was right for the part.
Q: You age quite a bit in "Breast Men". How does it feel to see yourself made up to be older?
A: Not as disturbing as you would think. It's almost comforting because it's like a look into the future. You see it and you can say, "okay, I can live with that." That's not bad. Those are some well-earned lines.
Q: How much time did you spend in makeup for that look?
A: I think I was in makeup about 4 hours. They make latex pieces that adhere to your face. They create small lines with a fine paint brush and it takes a long time. David had to do more than I did. It is a very claustrophobic feeling. He did it very well. I think it would be difficult to sit in a chair that long every day.
Q: In "Jerry Maguire", you made a movement with your hair that made you look uncomfortable. It was very effective. Did the director have you do that or did you do that out of instinct?
A: He's a great director. One of the nice things he did was just set the camera rolling and asked questions. I got into my actor zone where you become unaware of the camera.
I like to watch people who I feel aren't aware of being watched. My favorite actors are that way. To me that is what's interesting about movies or television; being the silent observer of human behavior and traveling that journey with them.
I had been sitting for awhile and I guess I just got comfortable. They always say in acting, and it is true, that you should forget about the words. You should think about the feeling that is behind the words. When you do that, your body will take over.
I will go back and watch things and think "I wish I wouldn't have done that". Your body has a memory of being in certain situations and it starts doing things like looking down or playing with your hair or not being able to meet someone in the eye. A lot of times I'm very happy when that occurs. There are other times where I think "gosh I have really given myself away". Everyone has their little tricks with how they deal in situations when you don't want someone to know you're angry or upset. In acting, sometimes I'm giving myself away a little too much.
Q: How long did that scene take?
A: I think we were in there for about an hour.
Q: How many takes?
A: It was one shot. There were many questions asked and they took pieces of people and pieced them together.
Q: You recently worked with Leslie Nielsen.
A: I did. He's a lot of fun to work with. I got to work with Judge Reinhold in the movie as well plus a guy who people might not know yet, Eddie Bowz, also a very talented actor. The movie is a comedy called "A Family Plan". It has not been released yet. I don't know at what stage those negotiations are, if it will get released or go straight to video. I know it's been released in Europe.
Q: Are you the lead female in it?
A: Yes. Since last year I've been the lead in three movies. Hopefully it will continue. It would be nice if it would. A lot of people have called, just out of the woodwork, who've seen "Breast Men". Most of them do tend to comment about the last scene. I guess because emotionally it is the strongest scene for my character.
Q: It was the strongest scene in the movie. It's sort of like the main accomplishment in his life ruined your life.
A: Thank you. His dream became his nightmare. The hardest thing to do would be to go back and revisit a person from your past and be the bearer of bad news. The director and others commented that I smile a lot in the scene. They thought it unusual and asked why. I said "It's really not unusual if you think about it" because never in a million years would you want to be in that situation having to come to someone with that kind of news. It would be honestly the last thing you would want to say to that person. There would be a million other things that would come before. To try and ease that news I think is what human beings do.
Q: What is "A Family Plan" about.
A: It's about a girl whose uncle has a camp that she has gone to her whole life. She had her first love with a counselor at the camp played by Eddie Bowz. Her fiance, played by Judge Reinhold, is opportunistic and wants to turn the camp into a resort for adults. She goes back to the camp. Leslie Nielsen masterminds a plan to get her back together with her first love and to adopt two of the children that are there without parents.
That's basically what it's about. The antics that go on in a camp, and then of course you have Leslie Nielsen and his wonderful humor, which he is so good at doing. I should say I was bad in that part.
Q: Why do you think you're bad in the movie?
A: I think I didn't really have a handle on it. It was my first film in terms of being the lead. It's like doing an interview. You can say something and when it's on paper it comes across totally different. You can play an intention and when it comes across on film it looks totally different. My character was fighting so hard that I think she comes across a bit harsh. I did not understand that until I did "Breast Men"; how certain things look.
Q: "Breast Men" must have been a good education for you. How about "Prodigal Son"? Was that before or after "Breast Men"?
A: It was after. It's a New York independent film.
Mike Roderick and Tim Wheeler are in it. It's directed by a man named Shannon Goldman who also wrote it. Then the story was developed by a girl named Marissa Bonadetto. Marissa also consulted with Larry O'Neal on "Breast Men". I think she's a real talent.
Q: What is "Prodigal Son" about?
A: It's very harsh.
Q: Are you the lead female in that?
A: I'm the lead female. The movie is set in the future in New York City where certain sections of New York have really gone astray. I emphasize really. It's sort of about the underworld and the paths people take.
Q: Sounds like it would be an interesting film but a hard sell, except for at a film festival.
A: I think a film festival is about the only place it can play. It's very interesting in terms of character.
Q: Like "Leaving Las Vegas". I don't think people who had seen the dailies and seen the final product were really interested in it.
A: Well, I think one goes to the movies for different reasons. Escapism is a large reason why people go and "Leaving Las Vegas" is not normally a place where one would want to escape. It's a different traveling altogether.
Q: Is "Prodigal Son" a happy film or one of these downers where you'll say 10 years from now I wish I hadn't done that?
A: I wonder if I will regret doing it 10 years from now. I don't think that it's a happy film, but not every film needs to be.
Q: I noticed you have been in several TV shows. "Just Shoot Me" "Lois and Clark" and others. Was it hard waiting for better roles?
A: It's a business of "waiting until it's your turn". I think a lot of people forget that and give up before it's their turn. In this business you really think that you should be next long before you are.
Q: How long were you in that waiting cycle before your turn came?
A: I feel like my turn really didn't come until "Breast Men". I had been working, but not on the type of roles I wanted. I wasn't doing the kind of work that I thought was good. Every time I saw myself I thought "oh, my gosh."
Q: From your first paycheck to "Breast Men", how long did it take you to get there?
A: Oh, five years. When you think about it, five years is not a long time, but it feels like forever. Now I look back and I think "well that wasn't so bad." If it never happens again I am lucky I got to have one shot to play a character that I really loved and to work with people who I respect and admire. For me the dream has already come true.
Q: You backed it up with talent. You also tested yourself a little bit with the minor nudity.
A: I'm not an incredibly modest person and nudity does not bother me in theory. I really wanted to do the part. They said there is going to be this one scene and asked how I felt about it. I said "let's discuss it".
Q: Did you ever get cold feet when shooting the nudity?
A: There is a part in the waiting room scene; a line when I say "It is good to see you again". That line was an ad lib, I was stalling. In my head I was thinking "I can't do this. There is no way I can do this." I wanted to yell cut, stop, I'm leaving. It really was a "put your money where your mouth is" type of moment. When that scene was over I was very glad.
Q: How long have you been on your own in Hollywood?
A: Six years.
Q: Does your family offer moral support?
A: I've gotten a lot of support from my entire family. When I told my dad that I wanted to move to Los Angeles to be an actor, he said, "Okay. Great. I'll give you two years. You live wherever you want, study wherever you want and I'll foot the bill. It'll be your graduate school."
That made my career much easier - to not have to worry about having several extra jobs in order to support what I was doing. I had the luxury of studying, absorbing, and it was miraculous. It made such a difference. I tell him that all the time.
Q: If you had been working extra jobs to pay your rent and eat as well as go to school you wouldn't have done what you did in five years. Maybe twelve.
A: It would have taken longer. I've had that kind of support from all my family. Everyone just jumped in and supported me when times were hard. They said "You're good. Keep moving forward, Keep trying. They were very supportive. They still are. They are also are very good about keeping me honest. When I went home at Christmas, "Breast Men" was playing on tv and I said "Let's watch. I wouldn't mind watching it." Dad said "No, we've all seen it. Take out the garbage."
Q: I can't imagine your father being able to watch that with you in the same room
A: It is a fight as an actor because there are roles I would like to do but I get a protective mechanism for my parents.
Q: You'll probably grow out of that. Hopefully they'd trust you enough to listen if you said don't watch that.
A: I think they would. I'm better about it. Heck, I did "Breast Men". When I did "Platypus Man", I was horrified because there was a scene with me where nothing was going on, but I was lying in the bed with a man. I was mortified. I thought "oh, my poor family." I laugh about that now.
Q: You've given me now about an hour and a half, which is probably longer than you thought we were going to do.
A: I'll probably look back on this and think "I remember when I was an actor." I'll probably be a teacher by then. I don't look at that as a bad thing. I would look at that as a completely good thing twenty years from now. To be teaching somewhere. I think it would be great.
Q: Teaching acting or some other subject?
A: Teaching acting would be really fun. You have to have dreams.
Emily Procter likes to be a runner
Actress, CSI Miami, 36, Los Angeles, began running a year ago. I grew up a dancer. I did ballet, but I didn't do anything for years--nothing. Walking to my car was about it. Until my friend forced me--and she literally forced me--to do a race. I was drafted by my friend Riely who has a group called Team Riely. She puts groups of people together to accomplish fitness goals. It's the biggest hodgepodge of people--all different skill levels. She put groups together for the Malibu Triathlon and she wanted some celebrities to get involved. So she called me and said would you please, please do this. And I said, "Riely, this is not for me." And she said "All you have to do is run 4 miles." And I was like "Riely, I can't even run down the street." And she said "Just try it." So I went out and ran a little bit and it was awful. It was the worst thing. But by then she had already signed me up and had to do it. I was stuck.
How has your outlook on running changed?
I gave a keynote speech at a graduation once and said some of greatest things of my life began by me saying this is horrible mistake. And that's how I felt about this race. Now that I did it I'm hooked. Now my average is 7 miles a day, 5 days a week. The triathlon also got me involved in cycling, and now I'm doing triathlons and adventure racing. It's been very thrilling for me. One guy on my team went to Olympic training camp for swimming. He was an incredible swimmer and he just didn't care that he was on a team with people with hardly any experience. He cheered for me like I was the fastest person in the world. It's an amazing feeling when that happens. It's nice to have such little separation and that's what it should be like. Because we're all athletes. We can all do it. Someone once said to me that runners have the feeling that they can accomplish anything and I think that's true. I think part of it comes from the fact that it's such a mental challenge to get your body to keep going. My thought about running was always "Where are these people going? What are they doing? Why are they running?"
I had always wanted to be a runner, but felt incapable of doing it. I feel that it's so important for people to know that it's possible to be active. As we get older we stop playing outside, and that's a shame. I love it. I can't even imagine at this point setting foot in a gym. I love to just run along. I feel like you get such a different view of world when running. You see different things and you see fellow runners. It's just a really nice community. I've really fallen in love with it.
You travel quite a bit for work. How do you juggle running with your schedule?
The show shoots all over. We're primarily in LA but within the LA-area, we travel quite a bit. And then we go back and forth to Miami. It's usually a minimum of a 70-hour week. To have something active to do is really necessary and to have it be as accommodating as running is really wonderful. If I had another hobby, it would get neglected. I like to run outside. It's great because I travel so much with my job and I just pack a pair of running shoes and I'm set to go off and explore. You can cover so much ground. The last time I was in Miami, I ran at night on Collins Blvd., which is a crazy, active part of South Beach. There were parties going on in the street. It was so much fun. It's almost like you're a fly on a wall, just buzzing through. I run whenever I can. If we have a break at work, I'll go running, but hair and makeup hates it when I do that. So I usually run in the morning or at night. Today I have the day off so I'm going to run in the afternoon. I'll probably run long, which I probably shouldn't because I should be resting for a race I have coming up. But when I have a day off I'm like "oooh, I can get a long run in."
Do you get recognized when out running?
I get recognized more at races than if I'm out just running around. I'm tiny and people don't expect that or notice me.
Do you prefer to run solo or with a group?
Since I've learned to run, I feel obligated to teach all my friends to run. I have two friends who I am trying to make runners. Both of them are doing really great. One is a new guy on the show, Jonathan Togo. He plays Ryan Wolfe. I also have my great friend Jack Schroder. He and I are an unlikely duo. He's 65 and we run together a lot. We're going to run together today, and he's going to run the Nike Half-Marathon with me in San Francisco. We met running the Malibu Tri. I sign us up for races and he yells at me. We did a Balance Bar adventure sprint in Austin this year and he said "Are you trying to kill me?"
Why do you like to race?
I feel like there's something about the environment at a race that doesn't exist anywhere else. The feeling and the energy are incredible. And when it is a multiple sport race, it's almost like going to this wonderful buffet. It's like oh, I get to do this, and then I get to do that. The running aspect of that race was fantastic because we were running through woods. It was really beautiful. I feel like the majority of our lives, we're surrounded by work and paper and concrete. And to be able to get out there and have this base human experience of running on a trail in the outdoors is incredible. There's such a mix of athletes--some people are trying really hard to win, and some of us are trying really hard to finish. It's such a feeling of accomplishment. I think that's something very necessary that we need--an accomplishment for yourself. So many of our goals are not as rewarding. If I finish my work on time or I get my taxes done or I do my Christmas shopping, it's like "whew." But to say I'm going to run 3 miles when you don't think you can and you do it--I think it's just such a necessary component of happiness; you are doing something just for you.
Where do you like to run when you're home?
One of my running friends and I go out to the desert, just outside of Palm Springs. We love to go--there are these giant sandhills. It's just so fun to be like I don't know if I can walk that hill, let alone run it. You walk it once and then you're like, well let's just try running it, and then you do it. I like the challenge.
Are you competitive about your running?
I think that I'm competitive with myself. At the Hermosa Triathlon last week, I ran 8:15-minute miles and was just so happy. When I first started running, I complained with every step. Signing up for races was the best thing for me. I really loved that feeling of being part of the race experience. I loved the people that I was with. It showed me this world that I had never experienced and I just wanted to do it again. So I signed up for the adventure race, which included a 9-mile run. It made me keep running after the Malibu Tri, which was tough. I was more interested in the biking and the kayaking. It's funny because what I mostly want to do now is run. I used to think that it was the most horrible, most painful, aggravating activity. And I was frustrated that it was a part of every race that I wanted to do. It took me a few months. And then all of a sudden something just shifted and my body got used to it. And now I just love it. It's interesting because before when I used to look at all the people running and think "Where are they going?" Now I look at all the people out there running and I think I know what that feels like and why they are doing it. I get it.
How did you get involved with the Nike 26.2?
Nike approached me about doing the Nike and Team in Training Half-Marathon. I've had some experience with leukemia and lymphoma and have lost people that I really loved to those cancers. The feeling of race day combined with the feeling of feeding the human spirit, stoking that fire--I just decided that I wanted to be involved with that. I wanted to do the full marathon, but I figured, realistically, with my work schedule, I wouldn't have the amount of time needed to train. So my goal is to do the half this year and the full next year.
When did you start feeling like a real runner?
On Labor Day of this year, my friend and I went out for a run, and I decided to keep going. So she went back to the house to wait for me. It got dark and I kept going. And she drove out to find me. She said "Emily you've been running for sooo long, I had to come and make sure there was nothing wrong." I stopped, and we went back and tracked the mileage. I had gone 10 miles! I hadn't even noticed it. I just felt so incredibly thankful that my body would do that. Especially since a year before, I hated it. I think as you get older, your goals are different and it's really nice to have goals that involve yourself. And when you push yourself, the feeling of pride you have is so wonderful.
How do you reward yourself after a run?
I used to reward myself in the beginning, but not really anymore. The workout is the reward. For me, putting in a long run is a reward for a hard week. I prefer to have running not be an exchange for food. I feel like it's a little more involved in it than that. But I do have a cupcake that's waiting for me after today's run.
What do you think about while running?
At the moment, I love house shopping. When I run through neighborhoods, I think "What would it like to be living there?" Or, "I wonder what they're doing?" Or, "That's a pretty wild color." But a lot of my run is unspinning the day. My job is pretty overwhelming. So I usually start off my run just trying to rehash everything. I think when you're involved in a performance type of job, it's natural to put pressure on yourself and think "Oh, I wish I had done a better job with this, or with that." Running has really helped me in that area. Because it helps me think through things and realize you know what, I did my best. And if I didn't do my best today, I had wanted to and it just didn't happen.
How do you feel if you miss a run?
It depends on how badly I wanted to run. There are days when it's like "Oops, oh, well, I missed it. I could use the break." And then there are days when I really wanted to run and it bums me out if I can't do it.
What has running taught you?
That your body gets used to anything. If your body gets used to 3 miles, then you can do 4. And it's the same with work. You work 12 hours and your body gets used to that and then it can go 14 hours and get used to that. It's such an adaptable machine. I'm always amazed. I think running has made me more amazed with the body and how it's connects to the brain. It's fascinating. And especially when you get out there and see the challenged athletes and you realize it has as much to do with the mental as it does the physical. I also think human beings really love to feel capable. At least I do.
Do you have any running goals?
I have this dream. I want to start my own triathlon. I feel like the world would be a better place if people knew how happy doing these things makes you. Once people discover it, they might want to add something else to their life besides watching TV. Because we all love it when we're little and it's so strange that we stop.
Emily Procter's Favorite Things
Emily Procter, "CSI: Miami" star finds funky old objects, not just crime-scene evidence
How You Know Her: She plays the bilingual ballistics expert Calleigh Duquesne on the CBS hit "CSI: Miami." She formerly starred as Ainsley Hayes, the spunky, outspoken Republican White House legal counsel on NBC's Emmy-winning drama "The West Wing."
Her Decorating Style: Eclectic Colonial.
An avid decorator who loves doing her own (and all her friends) apartment, Procter passes on some decorating tips and shares her home decor secrets.
Favorite Family Heirloom: A large oil portrait of her great- grandmother done in the mid 1800's hung in her den/office. "She was a very elegant woman, they used to call her the Duchess and she used to hunt side saddle. I remember she would carry Palmer violets, just like she holds in the portrait, which was something women in the South would order and carry on fancy occasions."
Disparate Decorating: Procter says to pair the rare with the ordinary. "I hung an 1876 oil painting of a pheasant, probably the most expensive piece of art I own that I found in my grandmother's attic, over my turquoise plastic trash can in the kitchen."
Make Use of Found Objects: Procter loves adding character to a room with funky old items. "I'm always yelling "Stop!" when I'm driving around with friends and picking up old furniture and junk on the side of the road, bringing it home and repainting it." Her collection includes a $20 antique globe (it lights up) from a yard sale and a pair of old suitcases she found by the side of the road, repainted and placed on top of an oak armoire to give her living room more height. She found a 1902 Morris recliner at a Salvation Army and uncovered an antique mercury glass mirror with a dogwood frame in a Raleigh, N.C. thrift store. She loves the $25 old rattan table she discovered in a Salvation Army and made an old piano bench hip by covering the seat with leopard print fabric. She cut an old silver bowl in half to make a pair of wall sconces and hired an electrician to turn her thrift store find, an old bowling trophy, into a unique desk lamp. "You can make almost anything into a lamp."
Bold Strokes: Procter painted her office deep burgundy wine and her hallway in Martha Stewart's Peacock Feather, a bold vibrant blue-green. "Never be afraid to use dark colors. My friends always kid me that my rooms are three inches smaller after I get through painting them."
Fashionable Footing: Even flooring can be unique and practical. She got together with a few girlfriends to purchase several multi-colored abstract cotton rugs by designer Serge Lesage at the Los Angeles Merchandise Mart. "They don't sell them individually there so you have to buy in bulk. Just get a few friends together. But these rugs are so beautiful and you can just throw them in the washer!"
Beauty Rest: She had her enormous California King sleigh bed made out of alder wood ("it's an inexpensive wood but you can stain it to look just like cherry.") by a small made- to-order furniture factory outlet in Hollywood for around $600.
Great Drapes: Can't find the perfect drape for the right (translation: low) price? Procter uses single flat sheets. "Ralph Lauren makes some in unusual shades with really great patterns." She simply opens up the top fold with scissors and slides them on a drapery rod.
Southern Charmer Emily Procter
Actress Emily Procter’s Beverly Hills apartment looks more West Wing than West Coast, thanks in part to her beloved family antiques
Walk into Emily Procter’s apartment and you might think you’ve stumbled into the home of Ainsley Hayes, the conservative White House attorney Procter plays on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning drama The West Wing. The place may be nestled on a sycamore-shaded street in Beverly Hills, but Procter’s antiques-filled abode has the feel of a house in Georgetown. The rooms are full of heirlooms imbued with the history of this North Carolina native’s family. In her kitchen is a collection of Rose Medallion plates (a pattern used by President Grant in the White House) inherited from her grandmother, and a 19th-century portrait of Emily’s genteel great-grandmother dominates the den.
“This is my homage to my Southern roots,” says Procter, sitting on a sofa with her feline friend Kevin Katt. “The most prized possessions in my family’s home are portraits. We have one of an ancestor which was slashed by a Union officer’s sword during the Civil War.”
Procter, 33, grew up in Raleigh, the daughter of a doctor and hospice worker. While studying broadcasting at East Carolina University, she worked briefly as a local weather girl. Soon after, Procter headed to the West Coast. She found some success early on, landing small roles in such films as Leaving Las Vegas, Jerry Maguire, and Body Shots, but she almost gave up acting at one point. “I had just not gotten a part I really wanted,” she says, “and I thought, I can’t do it anymore.”
In fact when Emily got the call last year to read for The West Wing, she was spending much of her time doing volunteer work at the All Saints’ Episcopal Church soup kitchen in Beverly Hills. She also seriously considered becoming a decorator. “I decorate all the time,” she says. “I’m always getting invited to dinner at my friends’ homes so I can give them decorating suggestions.” Procter, who has a flair for combining period pieces with offbeat finds, created a sofa from a vintage metal glider she picked up at a yard sale for $200; she painted it red and piled it with pillows. She also transforms Ralph Lauren sheets into draperies. “At one point I realized my place looked a little not of my time, so I’ve added things to make it funkier,” says Emily who once took two halves of a silver planter, had them wired, and turned them into wall sconces. “Decorating doesn’t have to cost a fortune,” she says.
The actress, true to her heritage, also loves to entertain. Each year Procter hosts a Chinese New Year costume party (for 2001’2 Year of the Snake she put red lanterns and plastic snakes everywhere), and Tuesday nights are reserved for her weekly poker game with a small group of actors, writers, and directors. But what really gratifies her is that since making it as an actress, decorating has remained simply a fun hobby. “I’m constantly driving around with friends,” she says, “spotting old furniture and junk, and yelling, ‘Stop!’
Emily’s Favorite Decorating Tips
1. “Always pick three main colors to make a room look layered. I chose red, green, and yellow for my living room. Then you can add patterned items as long as they include one of those basic colors.”
2. “Dark green plants are an inexpensive way to give a room a rich feel.”
3. “Flat twin sheets make unique drapes that don’t cost much. Open up the top hems and slide the drapery rod through.”
4. “Martha Stewart paints are great and cheap. One of my favorites is Peacock Feather, a deep teal blue I used in my old hallway.”
5. “Don’t be afraid of painting a room a dark color. You can always repaint. My friends joke that my rooms have lost three inches since I moved in.”
Hot and talented Emily Procter
For more than a decade, Emily Procter made her way through the Hollywood trenches with work as an extra and other non-glamorous roles. But why is she famous? She was Ainsley Hayes, a recurring character on The West Wing, and now stars as Calleigh Duquesne on the CBS hit show, CSI: Miami.
Let's be frank, folks. Television ain't what it used to be. These days, you have to take an epic journey through the TV Guide to find something other than reality TV or some boring sitcom. But thanks to research and hours of watching the tube, we manage to zero in on TV's hottest talents. Emily Procter is definitely one of them.
She may have been around since the early '90s, but it's thanks to her recent contributions to The West Wing and CSI: Miami that she has a spot on the proverbial map. We keep tuning in to the successful CSI spin-off every week because of Procter. She's a babe with charm galore, which is amplified by her Southern drawl and feminine grace. If only she could pay more attention to us instead of her huge cat Kevin...
If our word count was limited and we only had one word to describe Emily, we would choose "bubbly." A down-to-earth Southern gal, she's constantly full of energy. A tomboy at heart, she doesn't live for the glitter often associated with Hollywood. Procter's family and friends always come before her career, and some of her free time is spent doing volunteer work.
Still, her acting chops are always put to the test. Years of work as an extra gave her time to observe other actors and allowed her to hone her skills. She was strong enough to go topless in the made-for-TV movie, Breast Men (1997) and really showed what she was made of while using the literary dialogue of The West Wing (it is pretty heavy on the political jargon). Hey, it did get her a lead role on CSI: Miami.
A Southern belle if there ever was one, Emily, in her simplicity and matter-of-fact demeanor, makes us want to take a trip south of the Mason-Dixon Line and see just what they put in their sweet tea over there. A former cheerleader, it's no wonder she turns heads the way she does. But while sexiness is not readily obvious for a woman whose idea of fun is hunting for antiques at flea markets, the fact that she also holds weekly poker nights for her friends makes us think she might be the right woman for us.
Although Emily has yet to star in a blockbuster movie, she admits that she has the kind of resume that would make many Hollywood actresses envious. In show business, it's not necessarily what you've done, but rather how much you've done.
Procter went from regional weekend weather girl to film and TV extra, in order to earn her Screen Actors Guild card. Then, after doing commercials for Pepsi, Budweiser and Maxwell House, she had the opportunity to actually say lines, as she did in the shows Great Scott, Renegade, Friends, and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Becoming more popular in Hollywood, she appeared in Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Jerry Maguire (1996), HBO's Breast Men (1997), Family Plan (1998), Body Shots (1999), and Forever Fabulous (2000). From there, she went on to play Ainsley Hayes on The West Wing, which in turn gave her the clout to snatch a coveted lead role on CBS' CSI: Miami. Let's hope this is only the beginning.
At 5'3", this petite blonde has been the subject of our fantasies for quite a while. She loves eating, especially sweets, but she keeps in shape by exercising all the time. In fact, she's even taken up participating in triathlons. So not only is she a blonde goddess with a voice that can induce thermonuclear meltdowns, she's built to partake in all kinds of nocturnal activities. Always conservative in her tastes -- after all, her home is filled with antiques and heirlooms -- Emily doesn't pretend to be a teenage girl. She dresses her age even though the pants and blouses she selects are always sexy in spirit. But when she wears a gown for an awards show or gala, she generally shows enough skin to tantalize while staying within the boundaries of refinement.
C.S.I. Miami, 2nd Season due in January 2005
January 4th, that is. Now CBS/Paramount has delivered the official info for this 7-DVD set, and we have the details! Led by former homicide detective Horatio Caine (David Caruso), CSI: MIAMI follows a Miami forensics unit as they work crimes amid the steamy, tropical surroundings and cultural crossroads of Miami. Caine leads an elite team that includes Calleigh Duquesne (Emily Procter), a bilingual Southern beauty with a specialty in ballistics; Tim Speedle (Rory Cochrane), a cocky yet disarming investigator who is well-connected on the street; Eric Delko (Adam Rodriguez), an underwater recovery expert who knows all the twists and turns of the Florida waterways; and Alexx Woods (Khandi Alexander), the no-nonsense, know-it-all coroner.
C.S.I.: Miami - The Complete 2nd Season features all 24 episodes from the second year in a 7-disc DVD set that includes special features exclusive to the DVD release. The seven commentaries will be accompanied by four new featurettes, namely 'CSI: Miami - Visually Effective' and 'CSI: Miami - Recalling Season Two,' as well as set tours of the Trace Lab and the A/V Lab. Last time around, Khandi Alexander (Alexx Woods) and Emily Procter (Calleigh Duquesne) hosted tours of the autopsy theater and the gun lab, respectively, while there were three other featurettes included. The CSI: Miami release will be enhanced for 16:9 widescreen televisions, include an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and Dolby Surround for Spanish viewers. In addition, closed captioning is provided for the hearing impaired.
Emily Procter supports the Nike 26.2 Marathon for women
The Nike 26.2 Marathon and Half-Marathon for Women Will Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Participants can train for the marathon through the Society's Team In Training(R), the world's largest sports endurance training program. This race will be an annual event and will be the first marathon in the United States for women runners and walkers of all ages.
Both the marathon and half marathon will start and finish on the Great Highway outside Golden Gate Park and will run through the city of San Francisco ending along Ocean Beach, allowing runners and walkers to enjoy both the city and the coast line during the race. Running legend Joan Benoit Samuelson and CSI Miami actress Emily Procter will serve as ambassadors for the Nike 26.2 Marathon.
"It is great to join Nike in celebrating another first in women's running. Women will love to run together in the beautiful host city of San Francisco," said Benoit Samuelson.
"The Nike 26.2 exemplifies the trend of more and more people participating in marathons for a good cause," said Greg Elfers, Senior Vice President, Campaign Development for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. "For the hundreds of thousands of patients and families battling leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, the fact that women from across the country are coming to San Francisco to help in the battle to cure these cancers sends a clear message of hope."
Emily Procter, CSI actress and sports enthusiast is also looking forward to the race. "I am thrilled that Nike has invited me to be part of this event," said Procter. "It's an honor to join this group of women who share a common purpose and to support an organization, whose work is so close to my heart."
The Nike 26.2 marathon is inspired by the 20th anniversary of Joan Benoit Samuelson's historic win in 1984 in Los Angeles. Joan is currently training for the women's marathon trials on April 3 and hopes to qualify for the summer marathon in Athens.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program is recruiting runners and walkers through its 63 chapters nationwide. To register with Team in Training, log onto http://www.teamintraining.org/nike262 or call 1-800-482.TEAM. Runners and walkers are also invited to register to run the race on their own at http://www.nikemarathon.com.
The Nike 26.2 will be the culmination of a weekend celebration in October. Events and activities are expected to include a race expo at Union Square,
featuring health and fitness features for active women. Guest speakers, as well as fitness classes for strength training, Pilates, natural medicine and meditation will be available for Expo attendees.