More: The last time we saw your character on CSI: Miami, she was trapped inside the trunk of a car that went off a pier and is sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Don’t leave us hanging: Does Natalia escape?
ELR: It does not look good for Natalia, no. But I will say this: I have re-signed my contract, so I assume I escape.
More: Your costar David Caruso’s character, Lieutenant Horatio Caine, is shot while you are holed up inside the trunk. Does he make it?
ELR: He was shot, which was shocking. But for me, I have been the victim here. I was kidnapped twice last season!
More: Do you like playing the victim?
ELR: Those were actually my favorite episodes. I don’t mind playing the victim just as long as she is the victor at the end.
More: Your real-life sister Nika was the inspiration for a past episode of CSI: Miami that centered on your TV sister being kidnapped.
ELR: Yes. In real life our story involved a serial killer we met while we were teens. He was a photographer we met at an event called a photo day, which brings together aspiring models and photographers, in a park. This guy would lure young girls by telling them he would do their portfolios for them for modeling jobs.
More: Did you know who he was?
ELR: No. Years after the authorities reopened the case, they discovered pictures of my sister and some other girls. Oddly enough, this happened the same year I started on CSI: Miami. Because the authorities were trying to identify these girls, they put some photos in a major magazine, hoping people would recognize them and come forward with information. Someone saw my sister’s photo, and luckily she is alive.
More: What was it like working on that episode?
ELR: It hit way too close to home. It was creepy and very hard to shoot because I was so connected to it. I felt I did a horrible job on that show because I felt shut down from the whole experience. Nika told me not to sensationalize it because many women didn’t survive. So we found a solution. We shot a PSA announcement with an 800 number at the end of the program and put up photos of the women the authorities were still looking for.
More: I want the scoop on the cast. What's everyone like?
ELR: Emily Procter is a great mom. Adam Rodriguez is probably one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Omar Miller is great, and Jonathan Togo is probably one of the freakin’ funniest people in the world. He is probably the set favorite.
More: In addition to appearing on this series, you are going back to your roots and reprising your role as Maria Santos on All My Children.
ELR: I am so excited about that.
More: Why go back after all these years?
ELR: It is a show that never leaves your bones. Everyone I knew and loved was there, like Susan Lucci, Alicia Minshew and Rebecca Budig. Everyone I adored, I got to work with again. I just can’t imagine wrapping this all up in August. Just thinking about it is heartbreaking.
More: How did you hear that the plug had been pulled on AMC?
ELR: I got a text from my good friend Sarah Michelle Gellar saying there is a strong rumor AMC was going to be canceled. When the official announcement was made, I cried my eyes out for hours. Even my good friend Kelly Ripa cried, too.