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Emily Procter is probably best known as Associate White House Counsel Ainsley Hayes on NBC’s The West Wing, which ran from 2000 to 2002. Now she’s a regular on CBS’ CSI Miami as Calleigh Duquesne, and she’s expecting her first child in December with musician boyfriend Paul Brian. Procter also sings regularly with a 1980s cover band called Motion. Born and raised in Raleigh, N.C., she’s all Southern smarts and charm, and loves to laugh, seemingly unlike either of her best-known characters. When we caught up with her for a chat at a Hollywood hotel, she was about 8 months along.
Q: So first tell us, how are you feeling?
A: I feel great, really—the only thing I have now is insomnia. But in a way it’s not a huge problem. I just get up and do all the stuff I put off during the day.
Q: Do you like being pregnant? What do you like most? And least?
A: I love it! And I love that now I’m far enough along that I feel the baby kicking. I’m looking very pregnant, so that’s nice. I’m also aware that toward the end of the pregnancy, I’ll be enjoying my last moments of getting all the attention.
The only thing I miss is being agile and being able to hop up into my high bed. I’m contemplating getting a stepstool to help me get in and out.
Q: Any weird cravings or aversions?
A: I don’t have any aversions to anything. As far as cravings, I can’t get enough fruit or, for some reason, coffee! I’m not a coffee drinker, usually, but now I drink it with a ton of cream and sugar.
Q: It sounds like you are extremely fit and active. I read that you are a triathlete and a runner. What are you doing now to stay fit? Or not?
A: I was riding my road bike on the street until late July, when I couldn’t clip in and someone tried to help me. I almost fell on my face. Luckily I caught myself. That was the last time.
Now, I swim and walk. Oh, and I still hip-hop dance, which is a real treat. My favorite song is Janet Jackson’s “Nasty.” But I only go once a week now; it used to be three times a week. I live in a two-story house, so just going up and down the stairs all day is exercise, too.
Q: And what are you eating these days?
A: My mom tells me, “You’ve always been a healthy eater,” and she raised us to eat as naturally as possible. It’s a pretty well-rounded diet: I eat three meals a day and occasionally I’ll indulge in a cheeseburger. But my biggest indulgence is the organic Oreos at Whole Foods, with a glass of milk.
Q: Have you always wanted kids?
A: I have always wanted to have kids. And for so many years, I waited because of my job. I’m very thankful.
Q: What kind of mother do you think you’ll be, or hope to be?
A: I think I’ll be an excellent mom. I can’t wait to meet this baby, and I’ll be just fascinated to see a personality and interests develop. The challenge will be not to worry so much.