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TV's Hottest Cop

As David Caruso savors the global success of "CSI: Miami," the former star of "NYPD Blue" won't forget the lessons he's learned, or the cigars he loves.
Betsy Model
From the Print Edition:
David Caruso, Jan/Feb 2007

(continued from page 8)

Horatio Caine—typically called "H" on the show—and the rest of "CSI: Miami" were initially introduced to viewers in an episode merged with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," and if the droll one-liners shared between Helgenberger and Caruso had a "been here, done that" familiarity, so much the better. "CSI: Miami" debuted in September 2002 and was immediately successful; in the fall of 2004, the show even did a combined storyline with the newest addition to the CSI franchise, "CSI: New York."

When asked about the early rumblings from the original "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" cast to the press about the potential for "CSI: Miami" diluting their own success, Caruso shrugs off the thought that there might still be concerns or hard feelings. To the contrary, he says, cast members from all three shows have personally coordinated parties and get-togethers. Any success that one series or series cast member sees could only happen based on the support and success of the others, says Caruso.

"You know, if anything, you could say [our success] was cheating in that we had 'CSI' in the title of our new show and they ["CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"] were number one, the number one drama on television. The other cheat is that we have three senior producers, the creators of 'CSI,' as the captains of our departure. So we had some real vision, some real power behind us, [but] it was also our job to distinguish ourselves and to find out what our signature was, because if we didn't do that we would just be in the shadow of the big show, the Las Vegas show. They basically gave birth to us, introduced us on their show. I understand the business element of it," says Caruso, "but they handled us very well and gave us a real opportunity."

To illustrate his feelings on the subject, Caruso tells of being at an industry event in New York with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" stars Helgenberger and William Petersen and feeling the need to address the "push" that the one show had given to the other.

"We—Marg, Billy and I—were at Carnegie Hall together, riding up an elevator, and I just turned to Billy and said, 'Thank you.' And he said, 'For what?' And I said, 'Well, if you weren't so good on this show, I wouldn't have a job right now!'"

If this sounds like a kinder, gentler David Caruso than how the actor was portrayed within the industry 10 years ago, perhaps he has mellowed a bit. For one thing, says Caruso, he's a dad. Again.

"I never thought I'd be a parent again at 50," Caruso laughs, "but it also feels pretty good. I think I have a natural instinct to be a parent, and being a parent makes sense to me."

Still, Caruso admits, it will be a whole different ball game raising Marquez Anthony than it was raising Greta. "You know, boys are vulnerable in a different way. Little girls are developed right away," Caruso says, snapping his fingers, "like that. Boom! They're smart, they're citizens of the world right away. I mean, young ladies are born with credit cards and driver's licenses! They're with it, they know who they are, what they want, they're ready to rock and roll.

"Now, little boys are like 'Uh, what's going on?' and that only continues until they're about 40," Caruso grins. "By 40 you realize you don't know what's going on at all, and by 50 you realize you're totally wrong about everything!

"Females are simply more advanced and have a greater understanding of life right from the get-go. And that's why younger women belong with older men," he says with a laugh. "It takes a long time for young men to start getting what's happening. It takes a long road of repetitive misunderstanding of situations and relationships to really understand what your function is and what's going on. Younger women are too much for men their [own] age.


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