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Robert David Hall Recalls A Frightening Experience Watching Autopsies In Preparation For CSI

Few franchises have blown up over the last couple of decades the way that "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation" has done (via Parrot Analytics). The CBS series is so popular that it ran for 15 seasons and led to three spin-off series, as well as its own follow-up show — "C.S.I.: Vegas." Much of this popularity is surely tied to the unique premise of the shows that comprise the "C.S.I" franchise, which explores the forensic evidence left behind at crime scenes in order to solve the often gruesome murder cases at the heart of each episode. 

Of course, you need more than just law enforcement to get to the truth behind these crimes, and that's where Robert David Hall comes in. Hall was a member of the original "C.S.I." cast and played Dr. Albert Robbins, the coroner in the first "C.S.I" series. Hall went further than a lot of other actors may have gone in preparation for the role to ensure that he was highly informed about the part he would be playing in the show.

Robert David Hall watched real-life autopsies to prepare for his role

Robert David Hall stopped to have a chat at PaleyFest (via YouTube), and the actor shared a surprising anecdote about his preparation for taking on the role of Dr. Robbins in "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation." Hall explained how he watched some real-life autopsies to get into the mindset of his character in the series. "The first week I was on the show, I went to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, and I watched three autopsies," Hall said. 

Hall went on to share how as part of his training as an actor, he always tries to get some insider knowledge about the job his character performs. Still, this experience was particularly troubling for him. "Thank God I'm an actor," Hall said wryly. "It was not just frightening, but it was eye-opening in every sense of the word — and nose-opening." 

It sounds like Hall definitely went to extreme lengths to make sure he was ready to play a coroner on "C.S.I." and that the experience was downright disturbing for the actor. Especially noteworthy is that Hall used the term "nose-opening," likely referring to the smell of the cadavers he was around while he was doing research for his role as Dr. Albert Robbins. While a lot of people seem to have the idea that acting is a glamorous profession, anecdotes like this show that this isn't always the case.