At the beginning of this season, Omar Miller joined the cast of CSI: Miami as Walter Simmons, the night-shift CSI. Last week, we called him at home—where he was relaxing with his two giant Neapolitan mastiffs—to chat about his new role and the strangest scenes he's shot so far this year.
What was the weirdest thing you've done this season?
They seem to have me on waste patrol right now. I've had to pull a man out of—a real man actually—I had to pull him out of a private jet's toilet. That was awkward. That was messy. That wasn't cool. And I've had to deal in the corn fields with E coli. And for the episode that we're filming now I've had to jump in a dumpster. So there's a lot of waste patrol going on. But the strangest thing, I would say, is the episode with the jelly fish when the jelly fish sting the guy to death. I was like, "Wow. Really?"
If you had one iconic accessory—like Horatio's sunglasses—what would it be?
I think it might be a light saber. People will never forget it if I slice and dice somebody with my light saber.
Let's talk about Horatio's sunglasses.
From what I understand, it's something that he requested. Then he toyed around with it and then he found it ... I think it's a throwback, honestly. A long time ago television characters used to have signature moves.
Do you think you'll ever get the chance to direct an episode?
I don't know. I mean, it's so specific. I feel like I need to become more familiar with the show before I think about one of those.
Have you ever directed?
Yeah, I directed an independent film that I wrote. It's an independent film about family called Gordon Glass ... It's a whole different pace. It's a small indie film, not a grandiose, high-definition show.
Who would you most like to see guest star on CSI: Miami?
I would love it if Eva Mendes could come do a spot where she's a lab tech with me for about a year. I have no idea if she's interested in that, but I'm just going to put it out there. You never know who's going to show up. Alan Ruck did an episode, and I was like, "Whoa, this is great!" He's from Ferris Bueller's Day Off!
Were you a science geek in high school?
No, no, I was a jock. This is a new thing ... It's a fun departure for me. I go from the lab to the crime scene. I got a gun, a badge. I'm positive. My character's smart. It's a role-model type character, and I'm just having a blast.
What did you play in high school?
I played baseball and basketball. I actually went to college to go play baseball and that's when I fell into the theater, strangely enough. That was the plan: to play first base for the Yankees. Instead I'm playing lab tech for Jerry Bruckheimer.
CSI: Miami airs Monday nights at 10pm on CBS.