Disclaimer: Jorja Fox’s is not a typical success story. The CSI: Crime Scene Investigation staple is in her 19th consecutive prime-time television season, a rarity in Hollywood. But acting almost wasn’t in the cards for Fox, who originally wanted to be a marine biologist or oceanographer. That passion led to her development of Seafox Productions, which has three wildlife documentaries under its belt. Today, Fox is diving back into a 15th season on CSI as forensic scientist Sara Sidle, and sharing with us her favorite L.A. spots. Listen in.
You’ve been playing the role of Sara on CSI for 14 years. Do you ever think about the show coming to an end?
Every year we think about it a little bit. Most shows are picked up one season at a time, so there’s always a moment where you think, ‘This could be it.’ And if it is, then wow, what an amazing ride we’ve had. CSI grounds me, and I’m so grateful for the work that Sara gets to do. Maybe if we went on for another 14 years I might get tired, but so far, so good! [Laughs] I’ll be there.
You’ve starred on three of the most popular dramas in the history of TV—ER, The West Wing and CSI. Who’s your favorite leading man from each show?
Uh-oh! [Laughs] I’ve been fortunate to work with so many amazing leading men. First is Noah Wyle from ER. He’s amazingly charming, shy and an incredibly intelligent guy. On The West Wing, I’m going with Dulé Hill. He’d break into dance at any given time during filming. I really enjoyed that, and him! For CSI, I’ll say Eric Szmanda, who plays Sanders. Eric was barely legal when he first started on the show.
You also appeared on the historic coming-out episode of Ellen. Did you realize the importance of that moment at the time?
[Back then,] it was a really big deal, and it was a really, really big deal for Ellen [DeGeneres]. I think I was asked to do it because my character on ER was a lesbian. It was a moment in my life that I was really proud to be a part of, and it has been so great to see Ellen be even more huge now.
In honor of our arts and culture issue, what are your favorite places to see live music?
I love the Greek Theatre. It’s open, it’s intimate, and the sound is really good. I love the Disney Concert Hall. The sound is legendary. For smaller venues, I love the Hotel Cafe and Satellite. [They book] bands that are just sort of entering the scene.
And I hear you’re quite the budding musician!
But I have no natural talent! I’ve played guitar on and off since I was 14, and I took up the drums five years ago, but I’m terrible!
I’ll practice, but I honestly thought I was tone-deaf for a long time. I’m not, I’m just really bad. But I love it, and I’ll [play] with friends every once in a while on a Friday night. Thank goodness I’m not trying to actually make a living at it.
Describe your perfect day.
I’d have breakfast at Sage on the Silver Lake/Echo Park border. It’s a plant-based restaurant, and they have amazing smoothies and green drinks. They have this great ice cream counter and all the flavors technically are vegan. Then I would head to Descanso Gardens. I love to go seasonally because it’s filled with native flowers. And the Theodore Payne Nursery, which sells native and indigenous plants to California. I love the Ace Hotel downtown for cocktails after dark. The bar is beautiful. I also love to go to the downtown Standard for drinks up on the roof. They have a beautiful view. There’s also a restaurant called The Must with a whole bunch of comfort food. They have a ton of vegetarian options and great wine. It’s a little off the beaten path. When it comes to shopping, I love going to the [local] surf shop or REI. I also love to hike, and I love Commonwealth near Griffith Park. Once you
get to the top, there are trails that go for hours. You can connect yourself to the Hollywood sign. There’s parking and it’s dog-friendly, too.
Ace Hotel 929 S. Broadway, downtown, 213.623.3233;
Descanso Gardens 1418 Descansco Drive, La Cañada-Flintridge, 818.949.4290;
Greek Theatre 2700 N. Vermont Ave., L.A., 323.665.5857;
Griffith Park 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, L.A., 213.485.5501;
Hotel Cafe 16231⁄2 N. Cahuenga Blvd., L.A., 323.461.2040;
REI 402 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.458.4370;
Sage Organic Bistro 1700 Sunset Blvd., L.A., 213.989.1718;
The Must 117 Winston St., downtown, 213.628.2000;
The Satellite 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., L.A., 323.661.4380;
The Standard Downtown 550 S. Flower St., downtown, 213.892.8080;
Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery 10459 Tuxford St., Sun Valley, 818.768.1802;
Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown, 323.850.2000