Through its exploration of anal swabs and poisoned nipples, CSI: Crime Street Investigation the CBS drama that has been described as Quincy meets Seven has quickly become one of this season's biggest hits. A large part of the show's success can be chalked up to its stomach-churning shock value, an element that required its plucky cast including actress Jorja Fox to develop an extra layer of thick skin.
"I get nauseous just thinking about some of the things I've seen on the set," Fox laughingly tells TV Guide Online. "We recently did an episode in the woods where we come across a murder victim covered with bugs real ones. Generally, I'm not very squeamish, but there were thousands of them, including the ones you don't normally see, like maggots. It was intense.
"To be honest," she adds, "in the beginning, I had to ask myself if I could handle working on this show every day because the content is kinda heavy. It gives you a whole new respect for real-life crime lab experts."
Though CSI's graphic tone can be a bit unsettling, it's not nearly as dangerous as Fox's last gig, which ultimately landed her in the hospital. As Gina Toscano, a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the President's daughter on NBC's The West Wing, Fox was run over by a limousine while shooting the season finale.
"We were filming the assassination attempt scene and everyone had to duck and run," recalls Fox. "I was lying on the ground waiting for the director to yell cut, when I felt something heavy on my leg. I turned just as the wheel of the car was rolling over me." As expected, panic ensued and Fox was rushed to the nearest emergency room, where she was immediately recognized for her former role as medical intern Maggie Doyle on ER. "Luckily, I wound up with just a few bruises," she says, "but the whole thing was pretty hilarious."
In addition to starring on CSI, Fox can be seen in the upcoming indie film Momento, in which she appears opposite Carrie-Anne Moss and Guy Pearce. She's also the co-founder of Honeypot Productions, an independent L.A. theater company. Right now, however, she's focusing all her energy on playing CSI forensics expert Sara Sidel. Laughs Fox: "I barely passed 9th grade science, so now it's like, 'Cool, look at me I'm a hotshot scientist.'"