This Friday on ‘CSI: NY‘ (9/8c, on CBS), a violently bungled burglary leads Mac and his team to cross paths with Roland Carson, a super-slick criminal defense attorney played by guest star Gregory Harrison (‘Trapper John, M.D.’). Just how badly will the legal eagle ruffle Mac’s feathers? Harrison shared a look at the heated head-butting to come.
From everything I have heard, the term “high-priced lawyer” doesn’t begin to do your ‘CSI: NY’ character justice.
Well, to an extent it does. He is a defense attorney who has been so successful that he’s the go-to man, the big-shot lawyer for big-budget criminals. And he’s been successful often enough that the CSI team is not particularly thrilled to help him when he’s been burglarized.
Carson’s the victim of no petty robbery, either.
No, he’s been burglarized in a way that is particularly worrisome to him because he was holding some high-value, black market possessions for the [sordid] kind of people he represents. If the CSI team doesn’t find [what was stolen], he’s very worried about his ability to survive, so he needs them – and yet he’s not particularly forthcoming. There’s only a limited amount of information he can give about what was in the safe, who it belonged to, where it originated from…. Plus, one of his clients – a renowned crook – is killed during this robbery, so there’s a murder investigation going on as well.
What’s the mood like when the CSIs first arrive upon the crime scene? Is there professional tension?
I work primarily with Gary Sinise (Mac), and we have a standoff. Most of our scenes are big standoffs. We each throw blows, and there is no winner. They were fun scenes to play.
Did ‘CSI: NY’ put you in some very nice suits?
Oh yeah. The show is successful enough that they have a nice wardrobe budget. If you’re going to play the most successful lawyer in New York, you gotta be dressed right.
What else have you been up to? Still popping up on ‘One Tree Hill’?
I’m still doing episodes of ‘One Tree Hill,’ yeah, where I play the father of Austin Nichols’ character. And I just finished a play down in La Jolla.
What do you get recognized most for these days?
It’s interesting, because I get recognized by different generations for different reasons. The older generation still recognizes me from ‘Trapper John,’ but anybody under 30 recognizes me from the ‘Au Pair’ [TV-]movies and all the bad guys and “dates from hell” I’ve played in movies that always seem to air on Lifetime. [Laughs]
What other current series would you like to guest-star on?
I love ‘The Good Wife‘ – it’s really nicely done – and I love the ‘CSI‘s…. I also love comedy. In fact, I’m doing a concert tour with Linda Purl, who has been doing guest shots on ‘The Office’ [as Pam's mother], so she has made me want to jump back into a show like that again. I’ve done a lot of comedy pilots over the years, but none have made it onto the air, so I keep getting a taste, but not enough!