I really enjoyed Ted Danson on “Cheers,” but I also think he is good on “CSI.” Does he have a preference between comedy and drama?
—Ralph Ginsberg, Tupelo, Miss.
“I find drama really relaxing,” says Danson, who turns 65 on Dec. 29. “Comedy is hard. Comedy is like: This is not funny, this is not funny, this not funny. You have to find the right funny every day. When you do a drama, it’s the writing, it’s the directing, it’s the editing, it’s the director of photography that makes the drama. You have to show up and be real in the moment and that’s kind of your job. It’s a different kind of job.”
Taking on the role of D.B. Russell, supervisor of the night shift of the “CSI” crime lab in the series set in Las Vegas, wasn’t completely easy. There was the matter of all the technical dialogue the San Diego, Calif.-born Danson had to learn.
“You could almost see smoke coming out of my ears in some of these early scenes, wrapping my brain around all the new technology,” says the Emmy Award-winner for “Cheers.” But that’s fun.
“I’ve been doing a lot of character work and this is not as character driven. It’s mystery and science driven, but just to literally figure it out, you almost feel like a real CSI person, in that you’re trying to wrap your brain as an actor around all of this information and have it make sense. So it’s a great discipline, and I’m having a lot of fun.”