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NCIS: Los Angeles Interview: Miguel Ferrer Teases "War Cries," Trusting Granger & More

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While we’ve gotten used to Assistant Director Owen Granger’s presence on NCIS: Los Angles - along with his increased importance working with Hetty’s team - there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding him.

What is he really up to, some fans wonder.

On tonight’s NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 Episode 14, Granger is back from Afghanistan and working with none other than Detective Deeks on a new case.

Might Deeks have more than a few questions about Granger's time in Afghanistan with Kensi? How do the two different men get along when working side by side? And will we get to know more about Granger’s past and just how Hetty is involved?

I grabbed some time yesterday talking with Miguel Ferrer to ask about his thoughts on this week’s episode - and while he didn’t say much about why Granger is back in town, he did talk about how the mystery of Granger hasn’t lessened as he’s become a series regular... and why he thinks procedurals are as popular as ever these days.

Granger and Deeks
Pictured in this NCIS: Los Angeles photo: Miguel Ferrer as NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger and Eric Christian Olsen as LAPD Liaison Marty Deeks.

TV Fanatic: Granger is much more entrenched in things now that you’re a series regular. How are you feeling about that?

Miguel Ferrer: I feel great about that. It’s my third year with the show and every season the part’s sort of increased and gotten more and more interesting so I’m really thrilled to just be more a part of things. The fact that they keep coming up with interesting aspects of the character really is terrific. I couldn’t be happier.

TVF: When I heard you were going to be full-time, I was worried we’d lose some of that mystery about your character but that hasn’t been the case, has it?

MF: Not only has it not been the case but I think the mystery has deepened and become more complex. Unlike anyone else on the show, the Granger character seems to be completely without any rules or boundaries. One minute he’s sort of at odds with the team and another moment he’s very much a part of things and protecting them. He makes rules for others and then completely throws it out the window when it comes to himself.

His murky past with Hetty is completely unexplained and it’s exciting to me that they haven’t painted me into any kind of a box. He can do anything! He makes it up as he goes along and it’s really exciting for me to get a script and see where they’re taking the character because it’s completely unpredictable.

TVF: All that said, do you think we should trust Granger at this point or maybe only half trust him?

MF: Oh, I think Granger has the team’s best interests at heart. Now, how he gets there may be unconventional and inexplicable to those involved but I think he’s entirely trustworthy when it comes to the well-being of Hetty’s guys.

TVF: In the last episode you were in Afghanistan with Kensi but what brings Granger back to LA in this week’s episode?

MF: It’s funny, Shane [Brennan, Creator] doesn’t like any of us to talk about upcoming episodes but there’s one interesting thing and that’s that I team up with Deeks for the first time. Throughout the last couple of seasons I’ve worked one on one with Callen and Kensi and Sam so Deeks is sort of the last guy I haven’t gone one-on-one with and the dynamic is interesting. It’s not just two guys on a case. Our personal history and current realities are reflected in the relationship and that was a really fun show to shoot. It was written by, I think, one of the best writers on the show, Scott Gemmill and I’m excited for everyone to see it.

TVF: Granger and Deeks have different energies and are just different guys so can we expect some banter or is it more animosity?

MF: There are funny moments, there are serious moments, there are moments of conflict, a little bit of everything. What’s cool is, and I think where the real writing skill comes in, is everything that’s done in terms of the relationship and the interaction of these two guys is really true not only to their characters but to their history and to their given realities and the fact that I took his girl away to Afghanistan and he knows nothing about what’s happened with her. All those dynamics really play out and are true to where the story stands. It’s not just two guys out there trying to catch a bad guy.

TVF: How was it speaking some of the other languages as you did in last week’s episode?

MF: Well, that language (Pashto) is like Martian! If you want me to fake a little bit of French or Italian or Spanish I can do that pretty easily but you get into those languages that have nothing to do with Latin roots it all goes out the window. It’s just purely phonetic so it’s far more difficult to me…there was a [translator] there the whole time saying ‘No, don’t say it like this. Say it like this.’ They keep us pretty honest and they go to pretty great lengths to make sure that we’re not just walking through it.

TVF: Can you say at all whether we’ll be getting more of Granger’s past throughout the rest of the season?

MF: I sure hope so! To tell the truth, you know as much as I do! [laughs] All I can say is there’s so much gold there to be mined, I think, and if they just parcel it out in their own time, that’s fine with me especially given the shared history with Hetty. I want to find out what it is as badly as the fans do. I sure hope more of that comes out.

TVF: I feel any time there’s a scene with Hetty we might get some more information and I love those scenes with you and Linda [Hunt].

MF: Those are some of my very, very favorite scenes. I adore Linda as a person and I’ve admired her as an actress for decades so anytime we get a chance to do just the two of us, I’m really excited to go to work that day.

TVF: Miguel, you’ve been in the business so long, why do you think procedurals are so popular. As you know, some of these shows go on forever and even NCIS: LA, it doesn’t look like there’s any stopping it from joining them.

MF: Well, one can only hope! But you’re right. The procedural is just tried and true. It’s been dressed up in a million ways and it’s just something that fascinates people and continues to do so. It’s just the way it’s presented and I think these guys have obviously found a way to do it that people enjoy watching, first with NCIS and now with LA. It’s just a winner and they keep doing what they’re doing and keep improving on it every season and with any luck we’ll be around for a long time to come.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 5 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS. 

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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I'm REALLY tired of this story line. If it doesn't come to a quick end, I will be ending my long relationship with NCIS Los Angeles. Talk about whipping a dead horse.

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I have to say when he join I though he would be their version of Jenny but really he their Vance almost

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I love Granger. He's been such a great addition to the show, and I am so looking forward to seeing him work with Deeks. Talk about polar opposites, not just in personality but at the moment, in motivation. I can't wait.