Date: November 18, 2002
Julie Chen: Actor Eric Close is featured in the new CBS drama series "Without a Trace." Close is also in an upcoming Sci-Fi tv miniseries called "Taken" produced by Steven Spielberg.
[Clip from Taken]
John (Eric Close): How do you feel?
Child: Like I'm floating.
John: Headaches? Anything like that?
Child: Nothing like that.
John: Good. That's good.
Julie Chen: Eric Close, good morning.
Eric Close: Good morning.
JC: What is "Taken" about? From what I've seen it looks like "Roots" but in space.
EC: That's good. It's a... it's a story that follows the lives of three separate families over a period of about 50 years and it starts out with uh, it basically deals with how they deal with alien abductions. And how it affects their lives. And in the beginning, my character, John...
JC: Who is an alien.
EC: ...is an alien. Is part of the Roswell crash and I'm the one surviving alien. And I'm wounded and I make my way to this farm to one of the families that this story follows. And have a relationship with the the...
JC: An earthling.
EC: Yeah, an earthling(earthly?)/alien relationship with this woman and it starts sort of this hybrid human/alien race.
JC: Right. And your character um, also has all these cool powers, but uh, very complex family issues.
EC: Yeah, yeah. Like... one of the things that we can do is, oh, we have the, as you saw in the clip, the ability to levitate people, and we can read people's minds, we can cause them to see things that they don't want to see. There's a lot of... there's a lot of mind power. And we come to discover that they can fly... they fly their spaceships with that mental power. It's not due to... there aren't any engines or anything like that in the spaceships.
JC: Do you believe in aliens?
EC: Euhhh, it's one of those things where there seems to be a lot of evidence that people... we wouldn't have all these stories. There's people out there that are convinced that they've been abducted so... but thank God I've never been abducted.
JC: That's a very safe answer.
EC: Yes. Yes. (laugh)
JC: It's a 20-hour mini series...
JC: 40 million dollars, that's a huge project...
EC: It's very ambitious.
JC: Steven Spielberg production. What's it like working on a Steven Spielberg prod... er, project?
EC: I mean, anything that his name's attached to does well and as you can tell from the project, it's hugely ambitious. They did 20... uh, 10 er, yeah, 20 hours... 10 two-hour movies that's going to air on the Sci-Fi channel, and it's a huge mini series.
JC: When does it start?
EC: It's going to start in December.
JC: Okay. But I also want to talk to you about "Without a Trace." First of all congratulations. It's doing great.
EC: Yeah, it's doing really well.
JC: It's about... the premise of "Without a Trace," um, you play an agent that helps find...
EC: We're FBI agents on a missing persons squad, and we're based out of New York City. So when someone goes missing, we... we go after them and we have about about... we give ourselves about 48 hours to find them. And once that 48 hours is up, the chances of finding someone diminishes... quite a bit. So, but the cool thing about the show is, it can be a pretty dark subject. Because you've seen in the media about people going missing, a lot of kids and things like that although abductions are down. But a lot of the stories aren't just about people that have been kidnapped. When someone goes missing, there's a lot of different reasons why someone's missing.
JC: They may want to kind of check out.
EC: Want to be missing.
EC: Yeah, so we have a lot of different stories. And it's a really unique twist on this... something you've never seen before. And the writers, Hank Steinberg, Ed Redlich and the rest of the writing team are doing an amazing job of giving us really cool and interesting stories every week. And they keep you guessing. Up until the end, you sometimes don't know who is involved in this.
JC: Yeah. It's a mystery. Can you identify with... with that feeling, you know, someone going missing?
EC: Yeah. You know, I've known people who have been taken or abducted and uh, and you know, people that are even close to you and it's a horrifying feeling.
JC: It really is. Well good work on "Without a Trace." Eric Close and good luck with "Taken."
EC: Thank you.
JC: Remember, "Without a Trace" airs Thursdays at 10:00, 9:00 Central, right here on CBS, right after "CSI."