Category Archives: Interviews
Cote de Pablo Opens Up About NCIS Exit (‘No Second Thoughts’), Her Fans’ Reaction and Ziva’s Possible Return
Exactly a year-and-a-half after the news first broke that she and NCIS were parting ways, Cote de Pablo has answered many burning questions about Ziva’s “rushed” exit storyline, the “outpouring of love” she felt from fans and whether she’d ever return to the CBS drama she called home for eight years.
Following her appearance at the Television Critics Association winter press tour — where she was promoting the upcoming CBS mini The Dovekeepers — de Pablo said that after her break from NCIS, “I took a couple of months off, and my entire family came over which was really great. They knew that it was a tough transition for me, and within three-and-a-half months I had an offer,” for the Chilean miner biopic The 33.
“For the most part I have had incredible opportunities knock on my door — I have read them, I have been not quite interested,” she said. But The 33 afforded her both an opportunity to return “home” to Chile and work with “incredible people” including Juliette Binoche, Antonio Banderas and Gabriel Byrne. “I thought, ‘My god am I ready for this?’” de Pablo relates. “And I was ready.”
Invited by TVLine to reflect on and assess her NCIS exit storyline, which was folded into the first two episodes of Season 11, de Pablo admitted, “I think it was rushed. I would have liked a little bit of closure. But I think all in all I could not be more blessed, because I got a chance to be with my ‘love,’ Michael [Weatherly, who plays Tony]. Any time you put Michael and I together there’s going to be a spark, and there’s going to be real honesty, and for that I am forever grateful. Because in that sense there was a sense of conclusion as far as what [the characters] felt for each other.”
As such, and given that she got much-needed personal time, de Pablo attests that she has “no second thoughts” about ending her NCIS run. “I’m very happy with my choices. I spent time with family, which was incredibly important for me. I’ve had time to deal with me, which I couldn’t really do for a long time, so I’m blessed for that.”
Of course, a chunk of the NCIS fanbase reacted strongly to losing de Pablo and Ziva, with an “ouptouring of love” she says was “humbling.”
“When you make decisions like this, you never expect for people to fully understand,” she added. “So it was really delicious to feel that kind of love and I’m always grateful for that.”
So, might she one day reprise her role as Ziva, even on a one-off basis? “I think the fact that they never killed the character off is very telling,” de Pablo noted with a smile. “Under the right circumstances, I think it could definitely be explored.”
As for locking into another series regular TV role, de Pablo let out a hearty laugh before telling TVLine, “I’m not sure if I’m ready to sign a 6- or 7- or 8-year deal. I did a long run [on NCIS] and it was remarkable and I learned a lot.” That said, she’s game “if it was the right story. If we could keep up telling a really good story, that’s the most important thing if you’re an actor.”
Source: TV Line
This Tuesday at 8/7c, a Thanksgiving-themed episode of CBS’ NCIS will serve a side dish of Bishop insight alongside a main course of terrorist drama, when the probie agent, her husband Jake and Agent Tony DiNozzo spend their time stranded at the airport investigating a threat to holiday travelers.
Coming on the heels of an episode which shed much-needed light on Gibbs’ kid-gloves treatment of Bishop, TVLine thought it time to check in with Emily Wickersham on that emotional reveal, Battlestar Galactica alum Jamie Bamber‘s debut as her TV husband and more.
TVLINE | Looking at the pictures from this week’s episode, it would appear that before we get to the high drama of it all, the whole team gets to meet Bishop’s husband. Does anyone offer immediate feedback?
Initially, when he first comes in, Abby (played by Pauley Perrette) is like, “Aww, Ellie, he’s adorable!” – in her Abby way. And then he meets the whole gang, with the exception of Tony. We meet Tony a bit later on.
TVLINE | That’s during the main thrust of the episode, when the three of you find yourselves stranded at the airport?
D.C. is having a very cold, snowy Thanksgiving, and Jake and I are off to Turks and Caicos for a much-needed vacation when we find out that all these delays are happening. Then, after we run into Tony (Michael Weatherly) at the airport and the guys get to meet, we find out that there is some chatter about a possible situation involving a terrorist, so we kind of spend the entire episode in the airport.
TVLINE | Is there the faintest whiff of Die Hard 2 amidst it all?
[Laughs] Uh, I guessssss you could say that, maybe….
TVLINE | Tony’s not charging across a snow-covered tarmac waving a pistol at a jumbo jet?
No. That would be awesome, but no.
TVLINE | What assistance is Jake able to offer, as an NSA attorney?
Well, he doesn’t really know what he has gotten himself into at first. He kind of lets Ellie take the lead and is in a lot of ways is in awe of her. He’d seen her do her thing when they worked together at the NSA, but he hasn’t really seen her in action at NCIS, so this is the first moment that he sees what she does every day. But Jake actually helps out with his NSA skills, which is pretty cool. What was interesting to play, and was an interesting thing to read on the page, is that there’s this whole new dynamic in their relationship, because at the NSA they were able to talk about their days. But now with just him being in NSA, they can’t do that.
TVLINE | But would you still call them a “happy “couple?
Yeah! Definitely. I think everyone is going to absolutely love Jake.
TVLINE | How was Mr. Bamber as a husband? Did you join his fangirls in lamenting him not using his native accent?
I know! Jamie has a lot of great, great fans out there, and he has a wonderful accent. I’m sure many were disappointed that it wouldn’t be in the NCIS Episode.
TVLINE | So, the last episode had a really important moment where Gibbs (Mark Harmon) called Bishop on the carpet, and they kind of worked through some stuff that neither of them quite knew had been in the air there for over a year now. Do you think that was always the plan, for it to be this deep-seated thing with Gibbs, where he was purposely allowing her to skate? Or could it have been written in in response to viewer reaction?
That’s a good question…. I think he did that because of the two agents that he had lost before. He was just trying a different approach….
TVLINE | But you don’t know for certain if that was [showrunner] Gary [Glasberg]’s plan from the get go? “We’re going to have Gibbs treat Bishop differently and not say why, but ultimately…”?
That’s a question for Gary; to be honest, I don’t really know. My take on it is Gibbs was just trying things differently. A lot has happened and come from that desk [where Kate Todd and Ziva David previously sat], and he didn’t want to tilt things one way or the other. He wanted to keep things pretty stable and forge ahead.
TVLINE | Did you ever wonder why the mighty Gibbs was so tolerant of your character’s quirks?
I like to think that he trusted Bishop all along and felt like, “She’s really smart, she’s super-capable. Although she has these weird quirks, she’s going to get the job done at the day.” It was a really fun episode to shoot, playing that sort of conflict. It shows a huge growth in their relationship and also for Bishop personally. It exposes this whole new side of her to fans.
TVLINE | Do you think she feels more a part of team as a result?
Yeah! To me she is more a part of the team than ever, but also she’s real. She’s flawed. She’s not perfect. She doesn’t get 100 percent on every test, she’s not as perfect as she, I think, first was written, which I loved.
TVLINE | As an actress, are you glad to no longer be sitting on floors and desks? Was it uncomfortable? Was your butt falling asleep?
Sometimes! [Laughs] On certain takes it was.
TVLINE | Looking back on your first year-and-change with the show, have you seen why TV’s most watched drama is TV’s most watched drama?
It’s interesting – when I first joined, I was kind of nervous all the time, especially at the very beginning. The No. 1 show in the world, these people had been working for so long….
TVLINE | You were filling a void of sorts…
Yeah. And I didn’t know what to expect. I knew how much this show impacts people around the world, but I’ve now seen, by working with them, that it’s about the chemistry between the cast and between the characters. All the hard work that everyone puts in every day shows on-screen, and that connects with people.
TVLINE | In today’s TV climate, it’s really something else to be drawing 20 million viewers a week [in Live+7], in Year 12.
It’s insane. Its pretty crazy when you think about it.
TVLINE | And they’re not doing it with aliens or sci-fi.It doesn’t have any big “trick,” just good stories.
It’s good stories, well-written. And again, the characters are like real people in the way that they’re quirky and not just one-sided. They’re weird, they’re smart, they’re very dynamic, which is what we are. It’s not like your regular procedural television Show.
Source: TV Line
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!
That’s what I told NCIS Executive Producer Gary Glasberg about the start of NCIS Season 12 since we’ve been hearing of some actors coming on board playing Russian characters, such as Lev Gorn as a Russian Deputy Ambassador and Alex Veadov as villain Sergei Michnev.
But with McGee and Gibbs in danger in the opener, what will that adventure mean for the season ahead? And now that we’re a little further away from last year’s emotional departure of Ziva, is Tony back out in the dating world again? And what else did we find out about the Ducky flashback episode with guest star Adam Campbell?
All that and more was discussed with Glasberg when we talked earlier this week…
TV Fanatic: What’s been the biggest surprise so far in the process with NCIS and NCIS: NOLA since you started production on both?
Gary Glasberg: I have to say it’s really been remarkably smooth, not to jinx it. I wouldn’t say there are surprises, it’s just that getting any show off the ground. There are realizations, there are ideas that come up, you learn things about actors and characters and people’s strengths and then on top of it you’ve got a very hands-on network that’s giving you notes and really wants this to work and succeed and you’re trying to keep all the balls in the air. So it’s not so much about being surprised as it is just the amount of work and participation and creative input. It’s keeping it all going and at the end of the day meeting that September 23rd launch date.
TVF: So the new NCIS season is, basically, the Russians are coming!
GG: Well, there’s certainly a lot politically going on in that part of the world right now and it was a storyline that I was kind of drawn to for the opener and I think we came up with something that certainly is super action packed and flips McGee and Gibbs in an interesting, different scenario and we’ll have to see where it leads throughout the season.
TVF: I’m curious why it’s McGee and Gibbs on this adventure. I love that it’s McGee but I guess if I were to guess I would’ve said Tony.
GG: We all know that the Gibbs-Tony combo is an extremely strong one and we always want to do a story that often sets them off on their own. At the same time it’s really nice to have Tony to anchor things back at headquarters when something significant is going on for Gibbs and Sean [Murray] has just been so fantastic.
Last season he was amazing, this season he’s been extraordinary. You know, it’s just fun to watch Sean and Mark [Harmon] work together and this was a really challenging episode that set them out there in the woods and, even with McGee’s Boy Scout training, which has been established, gave them something fun to play. So we had a good time. It was a tough episode to film but everybody had a good time making it.
TVF: Now that Ziva is in the past a little bit more, might Tony find love or be dating this season? I know it’s a very touchy subject with the diehards fans but I feel like I have to ask.
GG: Yeah, we really touch on it in the first few episodes of the season. Tony is a smart guy and went through a really difficult year and we wrote it as a difficult year last year and did a lot of soul-searching and now it’s time for him to get back to being Tony DiNozzo and I don’t think that even Ziva David would have argued that as a friend.
Tony is going to go out and have fun and play the field and be Tony. And his friends are going to acknowledge that and comment on it and we’re writing some fun stuff. It’s not so much about locking Tony down with another woman. It’s about Tony being Tony and that’s the part that people need to embrace.
TVF: I’m guessing once Stephanie Jacobsen shows up as Leia that people might start thinking that that could be a potential relationship.
GG: Yeah, she is one of several. So it’s us having fun with the idea that we’re going to see a little bit of the old Tony DiNozzo again and hopefully everybody will have a good time with that. I think they will, and we’re having fun with it from a casting standpoint, and Michael is too…I’m very pleased with where his character is and is going six, seven episodes into season 12.
TVF: What was your biggest surprise in doing the Ducky flashback episode? Especially once you got Adam Campbell involved, who just looks so much like David McCallum it’s scary?
GG: Yeah. I have to tell you, Adam was unbelievable. I just finished spotting that episode and the flashbacks, the cutting back and forth between David McCallum and Adam, the lightness, the fun, the energy, the cutting between time differences, it all worked out great, and Leslie Libman directed and did a really terrific job and I’m really excited about the episode. I think people are going to get a huge kick out of it and it explains some things about Ducky and about his background and about his reference to his mom and to the corgis and the bowties. It’s just chock full of goodness.
TVF: Talk to me about Bishop a little bit because now that audiences have gotten used to her, what’s in store for her this season? I know she’s a big part of the Ducky episode.
GG: Starting the season off is really about Bishop grounding herself more as an agent, finding a setting as a probationary agent with the agency, proving herself more and then she goes on this fantastic trip to London with Ducky and they connect. She’s very involved with the solving of that case and then along Thanksgiving will come and for our Thanksgiving episode you’re going to meet Jake, her husband, and we’ve got all kinds of plans for Jake.
We haven’t cast him yet. We’re just in the writing stages right now, but that’ll be a fun, interesting addition to who she is and what drives her, and the dynamic between the two of them, and I’m sure we can talk later about that.
NCIS Season 12 Episode 1 on September 23 at 8/7c on CBS.
Source: TV Fanatic
It may not be safe to entrust Eric Christian Olsen with spoilers. “I’m off to go get killed,” he says, picking himself up from a shaded picnic table and heading back out into a Southern California winter heat wave. In the parched hills above Santa Clarita, sets for an Afghan army base and village have been constructed, making NCIS: Los Angeles suddenly seem like NCIS: Afghanistan. “This,” he repeats, “is the scene where Deeks dies.”
He’s joshing, of course, since the only fatality for Olsen’s character this season is more along the lines of “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight,” if you can stand an ’80s-music reference. His Deeks and Daniela Ruah‘s Kensi have long provided the implicit romance that complements the bromance of LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell on the smash series. In November, the two finally hooked up, however briefly, shocking fans who expected an endless variation on the unconsummated flirtation common to coworkers on TV procedurals. But no sooner had the pairing known to shippers as Densi become an actual thing than Kensi was sent to Afghanistan, where, in the upcoming episode I’m observing, her partner and putative beau has come looking for her.
Would it kill Deeks and Kensi to spend a second night together? Well, yeah, actually, it might.
Ruah really does look like death warmed over when I meet with her at this location’s makeshift commissary. Her lip is cut, the right side of her face is black-and-blue, and a wound over her left eye has been crudely stitched (all thanks to an expert makeup crew). But she springs to life, as does Olsen, when the subject of romance comes up.
Olsen: That’s more honest storytelling, because that’s what life is. You don’t have 10-year relationships of flirting without taking that to the next level.
TV Guide Magazine: Unless it’s on your parent show, NCIS, where Tony and Ziva did pretty much just that.
Ruah: If you compare us to the other show, our characters have similar traits. If you go by the very superficial traits of these characters, you’ve got the brunette, kick-ass girl who’s too tough for her own good, and then you’ve got the sarcastic funnyman —
Olsen: Charming, attractive —
Ruah: Right. Sure. [Laughs] And I think that since people already compare us by those traits, if you didn’t differentiate where the relationship goes, it would just be a repetition of what’s been done before. So the fact that we’ve shown something more than just the banter and flirtation between these two characters was actually quite crucial to our show. You want to make it your own and pull away from what’s been done, especially on a show that has the same name as ours.
TV Guide Magazine: But doesn’t the other shoe have to drop? It seems unlikely that the producers would let you guys move in together and have domestic bliss.
Olsen: That’s why they kill off Deeks.
Ruah: No, no. I’ll tell you what’s gonna happen. Prepare for Eric to roll his eyes. Think Friends: Ross and Rachel, on and off for 10 years, have a baby together, the show ends, and they are in bliss — but it’s at the end of the show. I’m just sayin’.
Olsen: I don’t even know how to do an eye roll.
TV Guide Magazine: Give yourself credit. That was an excellent eye roll you just did, Eric.
Olsen: But seriously, this is where the obstacles are so important. Just because something has happened doesn’t mean that two characters can be together, especially when there are consequences for their actions. Especially when they’re partners at work and they’re putting themselves in danger. Because when you’re driven by passion, you’re not doing your job right. And that’s where the storytelling gets really interesting. The journey after that moment is much more interesting than the journey before that moment.
NCIS: LA airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS and Sundays and Mondays on USA Network.
For more on NCIS: LA, pick up this week’s issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands Thursday, March 6!
Source: TV Guide
Laying claim to the NCIS desk that someone else previously occupied for nearly 200 episodes — and on TV’s most watched drama, no less — was a “very big thing” for actress Emily Wickersham. But based on the results of a TVLine reader poll and viewer reaction to date, the transition has gone as well as anyone could reasonably expect.
Though Wickersham never crosses paths with predecessor Cote de Pablo (“I would love to meet her someday,” she shares), she absolutely appreciates the significance of filling the void created in the wake of Agent Ziva David’s departure. As NCIS resumes Season 11 this Tuesday at 8/7c, TVLine spoke with Ellie Bishop’s portrayer about joining the CBS drama and soon exposing her character’s less-than-perfect traits.
TVLINE | After your first episode, we put a poll up on the site asking readers for their first impression of Bishop. Seventy-nine percent either “love” or “like” her. Is that number pleasantly surprising for you?
Oh wow. Yeah. That’s really nice to hear. I know it’s a weird change for a lot of these viewers, so that’s really nice. I like hearing that a lot.
TVLINE | You’re surrounded at NCIS by people who have been on the show for nine, 10 years. Was there any advice as you kind of entered this lion’s den, this tricky transition?
I think everyone knew it was going to be a bit of a bumpy start, but the writing is so great here and the way they wrote Bishop was so wonderful. She’s not an intimidating character. She’s really excited to be here. She’s determined. She’s charming in her own weird ways. I think she’s non-threatening, which I hope comes across. You know?
TVLINE | Gary Glasberg told me that you “brought some fun stuff to the table” in creating the character. Such as…? Maybe the sitting on desks?
Oh, well that’s nice to hear. As I said, she was written so well, but from the beginning I set about finding those little quirks and looking for little things to bring out in her. So yeah, for example, sitting on the desk was something I did in the [audition] that was brought into each episode. Then they brought in the funny food associations, where she’ll remember what she was eating when she was studying certain facts, which I thought was quirky and cool.
TVLINE | What’s the sum total of her backstory that you know thus far?
Well, Ellie is from a big family in Oklahoma, a midwestern girl…. We know that she is married, though we don’t really know much about Bishop’s husband yet.
TVLINE | Isn’t he a lawyer? Haven’t we heard or read that much?
I’m not sure what’s been revealed, to be honest, but it’s a storyline that I’m really looking forward to getting to know more about that. I think it’ll be fun to see where Bishop comes from. She has three older brothers, which I think makes the transition to hanging out with the NCIS crew easier. She’s used to being surrounded by the guys….
TVLINE | …taking guff and teasing, that kind of stuff.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s been a part of her whole life thus far, so that comes easily to her.
TVLINE | Bishop has come off as a bit “perfect” so far, so I asked Gary if we’re going to be picking up on any faults of hers. He said that there’s something really significant coming up after the holidays.
Oh, yeah. I know what he was referring to, but it’s something I don’t think I can talk about yet. For me, I think the faults in people are the most interesting and fun things to play. Like anyone, she’s got her weaknesses for sure. Even though she’s usually very on top of it, there are definitely fun weaknesses and faults that’ll pop out.
TVLINE | As an NSA analyst, her field experience has been an issue. Has she ever fired a gun?
She’s gone through, with NSA, weapons and field training. That was actually something that I had to do before I started here. Our tech advisor, Leon Carroll, took me to the gun range. I had never held a gun in my life, so I was terrified.
TVLINE | Loud, right? My first time at a gun range, I was not quite prepared for that.
Oh my gosh, they’re so loud. I mean, you wear [ear protection], but I was so scared that the gun was like, going to turn around and shoot me. I mean, they are so powerful. But that kind of comes with the NCIS territory, so it’s definitely something to know about.
TVLINE | Well, she’s already helped apprehend a guy by hitting him with a car, so a gun’s almost a step down.
Exactly. I mean, she could just use the car as a weapon!
TVLINE | Lastly, what might NCIS viewers be surprised to know about the newest cast member of TV’s most watched drama?
Well, unlike my character, I’m very nervous. I mean, I guess Emily was nervous about joining the team, but I was really nervous about joining NCIS just because it’s been around for a while. Coming into that was really intimidating and scary. I’m a nervous person, so that was a very, very big thing!
Source: TV Line
NCIS Emily Wickersham tells Craig about her dogs and her memory of when she was a baby on a kitchen counter.