Behind the Scenes With the Cast of NCIS

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When the cast of NCIS sat down with TV Guide recently, massive amounts of deep character analysis, season finale info and shocking NCIS spoilers were revealed.

Okay, not really.

There was, however, this fun video interview as well as a lively question and answer session with the cast of TV's #1 drama that fans will surely enjoy. Below is the very beginning of that chat, followed by a link to the full, unedited version ...

Q: Most of you have been playing these characters for a lot of seasons. This may be a stretch, but are there ever moments where, having been in character for so long, you find yourself off-camera doing or saying something that seems more like your character than what you might have done or said if you’d never taken on these roles?

David McCallum: I talk about death a lot more when I’m at home.

Mark Harmon: But you live alone!

David McCallum: Touché.

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Rocky Carroll: I have found myself running a federal agency sometimes.

Michael Weatherly: Sometimes you will meet people in an airport or a mall or wherever you are - parking lot - and they will expect that you are of course the way that they have seen you.

David McCallum: Aren’t you?

Michael Weatherly: It may be why my wife doesn't like my character that much.

Because I will jump right into character. I mean, I don’t have any problem just going DiNozzo on people. And then they’ll leave, and my wife will turn to me and say, “Do you HAVE to do that?” (laughter) “Can’t you just let them meet Michael?” But I think there’s a switch, you know. I don’t know about anybody else. I know that when I get to work, I get out of my car in the morning and walk to whatever stage or location we’re at, ready to go, and I’ve turned a corner where I’m seeing everything from that character’s perspective.

And we’re at the end of our term here, the 10-month term. I think everybody’s looking at this hiatus coming up and saying, okay, we recharge our batteries. Because I think it’s a lot of (commitment). Especially for Mark, I think more than anyone else. Mark carries this show with an amazing, quiet grace. Because you don’t know how many people have questions all day long, from the moment Mark gets there to the moment that episode is done. I would say 10,000 questions. And he’s still there every day, doing that thing. And we all I think look to him as our sort of spirit guide in how to handle it.

David McCallum: I like our association with the Navy and the Marine Corps, too... During the hiatus I’m going to be able to go back to Washington, and I have a visit planned to [the real] NCIS.
Rocky Carroll: So am I. I’m planning to go to NCIS, too.

David McCallum: And I’m going to meet again with now-Captain Mallak, who is the chief pathologist of the army. That’s all set up. So we keep that side of it going as well during the hiatus.

Sean Murray: Now, David, remember in year 2 when we went to FLETC, the federal law enforcement training center in Brunswick, Georgia? We were up in the building being escorted around to see some of these things, and you had just gone through a door in front of me. And I see a woman just screaming down the hall, running as fast as she can. She practically tackles me, and goes “Was that David McCallum that just walked through the door?” and I went “Uh, yeah,” and she’s like “All right”… [He makes a motion like he’s being violently tossed aside.].

David McCallum: And she came rushing up to me and she said, “I never knew!” I said, “Never knew what?” “That you guys really are special agents!” She thought we were there being trained.

Rocky Carroll: It kind of puts it all in perspective.

David McCallum: They took me out in a police car on the high speed driving course…

Sean Murray: Weren’t those fun?

David McCallum: ... and you’re strapped in, and we go off a bend like this at 100 mph, and I’ve never felt my stomach or my heart go down and my stomach come up like that.

Sean Murray: They’ve got this thing that’s like the size of a football field that’s got little sprinklers that constantly put a little level of water, so we’re hydroplaning all over the place. I remember I had a lot of fun.

David McCallum: And I was saying to myself, if they knew how old I was, they wouldn’t let me do this. (laughter)

Michael Weatherly: Was that on the 405?

Rocky Carroll: You know, I always assume—and sometimes it’s true and sometimes it’s not—that people know that we’re professional actors.

Sean Murray: Yeahhhh…. They don’t know.

David McCallum: They think we’re buddies, because we’re in their living room.

Sean Murray: They’ve spent hours with you personally.

Rocky Carroll: But I’m not the director of a federal agency, and I have a lot more fun than that guy [Director Vance] does, and they usually pick up on that pretty quickly. But I call it the Halloween aspect. You know that one day out of the year when you dress up and play make believe? That’s what I do for a living! And whatever you do or you behave on that Halloween day or at the office Christmas party, now, if somebody holds that to you for the rest of the year, you’re like “Dude, I was dressed up, I was playing, it was Halloween, I was at the party. I can’t be accountable for that behavior every day!” So for me, when people approach me, it’s like, “No, that was the Halloween party I was at.”

David McCallum: I shall never think of my career as anything else but a Halloween party from now on!

Continue reading this article here ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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NCIS Quotes

McGee: You and Zoe broke up?
Tony: You heard.
McGee: Why didn't you tell me?
Tony: Well the break-up bug's going around. Didn't want you to catch it.

Worry’s a bully. It gives you nothing. It only takes.

Grace Confalone