There's some crazy stuff going down on the March 13 episode of CSI: Miami, and it all stems from the mind of cast member Adam Rodriguez. The man who plays Detective Eric Delko wrote and directed the episode, his first, titled "Hunting Ground." TV Guide Magazine sat down with Rodriguez between takes to get the scoop on his latest endeavor.
TV Guide Magazine: Which idea came first, you writing or directing an episode?
Rodriguez: They came hand-in-hand. I knew that if I was going to write a story, I wanted to be able to tell that story the whole way through if it was something they were going to allow me to do. Luckily, it worked out that way.
TV Guide Magazine: What is the episode about?
Rodriguez: My story came from a book that I read as a kid, a short story called The Most Dangerous Game, written by Richard Connell. It's about a man who lives on a remote island where ships wreck, and he invites these people into his house. They think they're going to live in the lap of luxury while they're shipwrecked, and it turns out he lets them loose on the island and hunts them down. I always thought that premise was something cool and would make a good idea.
TV Guide Magazine: Who is being hunted on CSI: Miami?
Rodriguez: We made the episode about a [man] who's bringing in people from Cuba and Haiti and he's selling them to a guy who beefs them up with steroids, makes them more dangerous prey, and sets them loose in the Everglades. People will pay him to hunt them. It's totally sick.
TV Guide Magazine: Normally the writers' room is in session while you're shooting. How did it work schedule-wise?
Rodriguez: They were really accommodating. I would work early in the day and then go up to the writers' room. We developed an outline from those sessions and then I had to take the outline and go construct a script.
TV Guide Magazine: What surprised you about directing?
Rodriguez: What's surprising is how much fun it was, and how the hours fly by. Right before we started I thought, "What did I do? I have to be there every hour of every day. I've got to be there early, I have to stay late! Acting is where it's at — you do your thing, you go home!" [But] as soon as you jump in and get started, you're having more fun than you realized, and time ends up flying by because you're busy doing something all day long. I really feel like we have some magic moments in this episode.
TV Guide Magazine: Like what?
Rodriguez: We've got great performances out of everybody involved. I think our cast took things to another level. Everyone was engaged in a different way. It wasn't an outsider coming in to do anything, it was someone you work with all the time, so they came in with a different game face on. And it showed on camera. I'm really excited.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you direct yourself?
Rodriquez: I did! That was probably the biggest disaster of the whole week. It was definitely the most awkward part. There's so much going on. You're worried about setting up the shot, and you want to take care of the actors in the scene and make sure the crew has what they need, and then you've got to learn your lines and actually deliver a performance. Of course my first scene was with two guys who were delivering tremendous performances, and I'm just trying to keep my head above water. But I think we'll be ok. Luckily, I have the power of editing, and I can make myself look as good as possible!
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