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Gary Dourdan: The lighter side of life on CSI

On the CSI set, Gary Dourdan is always playing practical jokes. A self-described "wild nutjob", he recounts tickling an actor who was trying to portray a corpse just at the moment when the cameras zoomed in for a close-up shot.

"I like to ham it up and have a good time," says the star of the Emmy Award-winning CBS series. "We work on a drama that is very serious. A lot of times everbody is going 'Gary, serious! People are dead. Serious.' And I go, 'Well he's dead, laugh about it!'"

Part of the reason is that he knows this is the real attitude of law enforcement officers and forensic scientists.

"After riding along with so many cops as I've done over the years, and working with real CSIs, I've learned they

have a massive, morbid sense of humour, especially the coroners. They are very strange people," Dourdan says.

"When they are working on cases, they laugh about it, because they have to. After working for 15 - 25 years around death, destruction, they have to have a sense of humour" to deal with what they see, he says.

"I really don't think I could do the job for real," he adds.

Kidding around on the set also comes naturally for the Philadelphia-born actor with unforgettable green eyes. It's part of his own real character.

"I need to see people laugh," he says.

While fans of the top-rated show have seen him for the last eight years as a serious, crime-lab officer, his early work as an actor was in comedy. In his first breakthrough, Debbie Allen cast him as Shazza Zulu on The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World (on which he sported dreadlocks, a revolution for television at the time.)

"I am still in that and I will still be in that after CSI," he says of comedy.

He is in fact involved in many more activities outside of CSI.

The 41-year-old father of two pre-adolesents owns a production company, which recently produced a car show for TCL. The multi-talented musician (he plays guitar, piano, flute and bass) also owns a recording studio and has released music under the name Kolade.

In acting projects outside of CSI, he played the lead in the 2007 feature film Black August about the life of George Jackson, Field Marshall General of The Black Panther Party and founder of the notorious Black Guerilla Family. And plans are in the works for him to play Phil Lynott, the Irish version of Jimi Hendrix, who was lead singer and basist of the band Thin Lizzy.

"He was the first Irish rock star. Bono even said he wouldn't have picked up an instrument if it weren't for Phil Lynott," Dourdan says. "That's going to be a really interesting story to tell for Americans."

A Monaco Revue "Up Close And Real Interview"; filmed at the Monte Carlo Television Festival.

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Comments to date: 3. Page 1 of 1.

Calinda,  New South Wales

Posted at 5:22am on Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

He looks like BRAD PITT!!!!

Ariel,  NY, New York

Posted at 3:06pm on Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Love those green eyes!

Jessica,  Canada

Posted at 3:20pm on Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

I absolutely love CSI and Gary Dourdan! I think it's great that he's got such a great sense of humour!


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