NEXT ON NCIS: Los Angeles
10×1 - "To Live and Die in Mexico” - Gravely injured and unable to communicate with the team in the U.S., Callen, Sam and Kensi, with an unconscious Deeks in tow, search for a safe way home as a cartel boss places a “dead or alive” bounty on their heads. Also, Mosely and retired Navy Admiral Hollace Kilbride (Gerald McRaney) beseech their contacts in Mexico and D.C. for assistance with their missing colleagues, on NCIS: LOS ANGELES, Sunday (9:30-10:30, ET/PT) on CBS.
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admin / November 3rd, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

This Monday on NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, 10/9c), the episode title – “SEAL Hunter” – could not be more apt, as Sam is arrested for the murder of a woman, the deck improbably stacked against him. Will Callen & Co. be able to salvage their colleague’s good name? Chris O’Donnell spoke with TVLine about directing this intense episode, which features one of the high-octane series’ most unique fight scenes, as well as shared his thoughts on the NCIS crossover he’d most like to see.

TVLINE | Talk about the set-up for this episode. What’s the main narrative thrust?
Sam has been taken in, accused of murder, which has left the team in disbelief. And as we investigate it, his DNA is all over the crime scene, everything is against him…. Needless to say, it makes it a very personal episode for everyone.

TVLINE | Well, it was good having LL on the show all these years. He had a nice run.
[Joking along] It was nice. I thought he would stay for a little longer, but we got five-and-a-quarter seasons out of him. [Laughs] But no, there is something bigger and more ominous at play, and it ends up with one of the best fight scenes we’ve done thus far on the show, and in an unusual location, which was kind of fun. Todd [aka LL Cool J] just nailed it, which was great.

TVLINE | And Callen is partnered with Granger during the investigation?
Yes – and you know, I don’t get a ton of scenes one-on-one with him in general, and I really enjoy Miguel [Ferrer] personally. He’s also such a talented actor, I relish any chance I get to spend time interacting with him. I spend so much time with Todd every day — and I love him, he’s my man — but it’s fun to mix it up and have scenes with Linda [Hunt], and Miguel….

TVLINE | That was actually my next question: What are your favorite dynamics to play on the show?Between the Lines
I really enjoy the scenes with Linda, with the whole exploration of Callen’s family history. Hetty seems to definitely know more than she lets on, and this thing has agonized Callen his whole life, the struggle to understand his background. And though you will read a script and hear the words in your head, you can never guess how it’s going to come out of [Linda’s] mouth. She has such a command of the language and a unique spin on things, so that’s always a pleasure. And the scenes that are my bread-and-butter, of course, are with Todd. We sit there on set just busting each other’s chops all day long, so then to get in there [and do a scene as Callen and Sam]…. It’s not too far-fetched from what we’re doing anyways!

TVLINE | What was the most interesting challenge in directing this particular episode?
The most daunting thing was trying to coordinate this big fight scene. We had a huge day filming, outside, with 100 extras. And then at the end of that day, after Todd had already had a big day of filming, he had to do this massive fight sequence, and he rose to the challenge. I always said, “Once we get through that day, this episode’s a piece of cake,” and that kind of was the case. I’ve learned from directing in the past that so much of it is your prep work beforehand. The more work you out in those eight days of preparation, the easier it is when you get on the set.

TVLINE | TV is seeing some truly great stunt work these says, on shows such as Arrow and Banshee, and NCIS: LA obviously films a lot of great action sequences…. What do you find is most integral to capturing a fight scene?
We have a terrific stunt coordinator, Troy Brown; I’m actually surprised he doesn’t get more recognition. But there are guys that have worked on the Batman films I did, everyone we bring in is the best… But like anything, it’s about the preparation. I remember when I was doing Three Musketeers, there was the repetition, day after day, going through these sword fights with Bob Anderson, who did the Stars Wars movies and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I think [a fight scene] is Todd’s favorite thing to do, because of who is and his physicality. Me, I would much rather have a five-page scene with Linda Hunt, but Todd really relishes it. I’ve had to do it a couple of times, but boy, you don’t want to be opposite Todd even for a staged fight! He is very physical.

TVLINE | What I like, especially from a close-quarters fight, is a variety of camera angles, so I can appreciate what exactly is going on. I need to see limbs flying, have a sense of who is where.
Wait until you see this one – we have a couple shots that are anything but tight, because the setting was so unique and beautiful.

TVLINE | The NCIS franchiseNCIS Season 12 Weatherly Re-Signs is a bit crossover- happy these days, and Rocky Carroll’s Vance even returned to LA earlier this season. Anybody else you’d like to have swing by?
We’ve got to get [Michael] Weatherly over. It’s funny: When we were filming this episode, he was driving down the street randomly. We were at a deli on location, and all of a sudden this [SUV] pulls over and it’s Weatherly. It’s kind of like your long-lost cousin you haven’t seen in a while! He came in like, “I’m coming on this year!” I was like, “Great, let’s do it!” I just enjoy him as a person. He’s very quick-witted, so it’d be a lot of fun.

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admin / October 13th, 2014   Articles,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

Nell (Renee Felice Smith) tackles her most challenging security assignment to date on Monday’s episode of NCIS: Los Angeles: going undercover as Hetty (Linda Hunt).

With Hetty under investigation by the Department of Justice (and also apparently the target of a more sinister plot, if last week’s episode is any indication), the team mobilizes to protect her. And for Nell, that means masquerading as her boss.

Remarkably, Smith says she only spent five minutes in the makeup chair for her disguise, since Hunt wears minimal makeup on the show. The real heavy lifting in terms of her costume came via her wig and mimicking Hunt’s mannerisms.

Check out an exclusive gallery of Smith’s transformation and get her behind-the-scenes take on the plot here.

NCIS: LA airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS.

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admin / October 7th, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

Densi fans take heart. Eric Christian Olsen, who plays LAPD Detective Marty Deeks on “NCIS: Los Angeles” is here to say that this week’s episode, “Inelegant Heart,” has one of his favorite-ever Densi moments. It all begins when Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) is under investigation in Washington, D.C. in the White Ghost OP, while back in Los Angeles, Kensi (Daniela Ruah) is being interviewed by Chief Investigator Ava Wallace (Aisha Hinds) as to what she knows.

“It leads us to one of my favorite Densi scenes ever,” Olsen told Examiner.com. “It’s very revealing about their relationship and their feelings toward each other, and what kind of roles that they play in each other’s lives.”

During the phone interview with Olsen, he also talked about the “NCIS: Los Angeles” partners trying to put the pieces of their lives back together after each was tortured, what role DEA Agent Talia Del Campo (Mercedes Masohn) will play, how the dynamic of the Sam (LL Cool J)-Deeks relationship has changed, the move to Monday nights and more.

For Kensi and Deeks, there was the kiss — maybe more happened was implied — and then a lot of sexual tension, and Kensi was sent to Afghanistan. Is their relationship still affected by what happened to her there?

I think that part of it was — which is so great about the show — and the reason, I think, this relationship has found so much traction with the viewers is, it is honest. These things happen in life. One of the complications of a relationship when people are working together is navigating the circumstances of what happens professionally. When you add what it is that these guys do for a living, she was sent to Afghanistan to chase the White Ghost, who may or may not have been her ex-fiancé who left her at the altar. She already has abandonment issues, she has issues with her father, all of that stuff comes to a culmination in Afghanistan, and then she has to deal with the emotional fallout of what happened. The torture she went through, and Deeks, of course, went through a version of that himself. This is a really exciting year for Kensi and Deeks.

Also, what is so great about this season is we have a really great history for these characters to pull from, and we get to explore all that stuff. There is talk of Ray (Channon Roe )coming back from Deek’s past, which I think is really interesting because I think he represents a part of Deeks’ life that he tries to shy away from — a part of him that taps a little too much into his own father. They had this dysfunctional relationship and maybe the abuse– verbal or emotional — that he got from them.

Is Deeks henpecked?

I think he kind of enjoys it. I don’t think he really falls for Talia, but I think he likes the idea that Kensi is acting like an 8-year-old child and becomes possessive. Whether or not they’re together, he is certainly not available for Talia. I think he finds great joy in the fact that it is so revealing about Kensi’s feelings toward him.

Then, when the two women become buddies and they are talking about him and whispering, I think the tables turn. He’s, “Wait a minute. This is not part of the plan for you guys to become friends. It was more fun when you hated each other.”

But he must be very confident in his masculinity to deal with it, don’t you think?

I think he is very confident in his masculinity. I think a lot of the things he does are just tools that he learned along the way.

What are you allowed to tease about Monday night’s episode in which one of the team has been compromised?

Hetty has been brought to Washington, D.C. for a hearing by the Department of Justice about what her role was in the undercover OP in Afghanistan. In the midst of that, somebody is selling information that may or may not be her own personal information about her whereabouts, because somebody is hunting her down at the same time.

For that, they sent in a great guest star, Aisha Hinds, and she is sent to interview everyone who is involved to find out who is buying this private information of Hetty’s, what they’re planning on doing with it, what is the purpose of finding out where she lives, and what they want of her. So she is interviewing Sam Hanna, which is actually one of my favorite scenes in the episode, where they are driving through the streets of Los Angeles in a shootout while she is interviewing him.

Usually a TV episode has an A storyline and a B storyline. This has four. So it is a lot of high-octane, action sequences with the investigations of Hetty at the Department of Justice. There is a lot going on.

Deeks didn’t reveal anything about Sam’s wife when he was being tortured. Has that changed their relationship? Does Sam have more respect for him?

That is one of my favorite kind of relationships on the show, too, because that is one of the relationships that Deeks really had to work to earn. Sam’s background was as an operator in Special Forces and that is all he knows. I think his definition of value comes from that. Deeks, obviously, has a very different path. He went and got a law degree. He went to LAPD. He was undercover. I think that the question was: When the world falls apart, are you strong enough to hold it back together? I think that moment, obviously, proved that Deeks was capable of it and he earned Sam’s respect. Forever that relationship will be different because of it. As much as they jest, and verbally joust with each other, I think now there is an underlying respect that wasn’t there before.

Why do you think Deeks stays a member of the LAPD instead of becoming an NCIS agent?

That is a question for [executive producer] Shane Brennan, but I have my ideas about it. Deeks goes back to the LAPD this year. I think any time a character puts himself out on a limb and takes himself out of his comfort zone, whether that be from a professional standpoint, an emotional standpoint, or a relationship standpoint, we either have great success or great failure. The catalyst for Deeks leaving to go to LAPD, and if he does end up becoming an NCIS agent, I think that would be the same catalyst for making that move, too. Whatever those reasons are, they are going to be big.

How do you feel about the move to Monday night at 10 p.m.?

We have just stepped into the most competitive hour of scripted drama on television opposite “The Black List” and “Castle.” I am excited to be a part of that. I think it just steps up the pressure on us. “The Black List” is one of those shows that has a lot of action sequences, and James Spader is amazing. But there isn’t a love story. I think “Castle” has done a really good job of building a love story between its two lead characters. We are a combination of those two things, so I think it is going to be really interesting as viewers sort themselves out with DVRs and live viewing as to what they are going to tune into. I think it’s great. We are in the big leagues. Everybody understands what is at stake and we are gunning for it.

Season six of “NCIS: Los Angeles” airs in its new timeslot Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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admin / October 7th, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

NCIS: LA didn’t wait long to dive right into the Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) and Kensi (Daniela Ruah) drama, and in this week’s episode adds more fuel to the will-they-or-won’t-they fire. While Hetty’s (Linda Hunt) getting grilled in Washington, D.C., the Department of Justice comes to LA to question the team in the form of Under the Dome’s Aisha Hinds, who rattles the usually unshakeable Kensi.

“She takes the bait and goes to an emotional place, because they’re essentially drilling her about Jack and about her role in Afghanistan and why specifically she was used,” Olsen tells EW.

After the interview, Kensi and Deeks will share a rare heart to heart—a scene Olsen says is one of his favorite Densi moments ever. “She has this incredible art of self-preservation and the biggest walls because of her failed childhood—same with Deeks, too,” he says. “So when these self-defense mechanisms crumble, which they do in this scene, the result is the most honest and kind of heart-breaking conversation that we have for these characters. It gets to a very real place.”

The duo will get a chance to work through their emotions physically, too. (Get your mind out of the gutter!) They have an intense sparring scene, which they filmed on a day when they didn’t have stunt doubles, so both Olsen and Ruah ended up black and blue. “It ends up with me on the ground and her on top of me landing a series of jabs while I talk smack about her being a pole dancer,” Olsen says.

Emotional and literal fighting aside, will we ever find out what’s in that box? You know, the one that Kensi gave Deeks for his birthday, but when he finally opened it, inside was… another box. Apparently, it will come back into play this season. “The only person that knows what’s in there is [Executive Producer] Shane Brennan, so I am as emotionally invested as everyone else,” Olsen teases, after describing an elaborate late-night plan to break into the studio in ninja gear to try to reveal the secret. “Because I want to know what’s inside the box!”

NCIS: LA airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on CBS.

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admin / October 7th, 2014   Articles,Interviews,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers

Big changes are coming for Densi on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6 Episode 2.

Series creator Shane Brennan teased it recently in an exclusive interview, so we thought we should talk to one of the players involved in the Deeks/Kensi relationship.

What did Eric Christian Olsen tell us about what we’re going to see and how audiences will probably look at the relationship differently moving forward? And just how will Deeks fold into Hetty’s interrogation story and, also, the tough, competitive Monday time slot. Let’s see what one of our favorite actors had to say…
Kensi and Deeks Have A Moment – NCIS: Los Angeles

TV Fanatic: I talked to Shane Brennan recently and he made it sound like some big steps are being taken forward for Densi. Would you say that that’s accurate?

Eric Christian Olsen: Yeah, I think that as the pieces fall on the floor and the person that you chose to put them back together with ended up playing the most kind of pivotal role in whatever that recovery is. I know that she’s obviously still suffering from what happened to her in Afghanistan. The body reacts in really bizarre, interesting ways [due to] traumatic experiences. Deeks went through that and I think Kensi is going through her version of that, and it comes in waves, it comes in flashes.

I think we have one of those moments where Kensi’s character in a very typical Kensi way, she tries to fight it. But they end up having this kind of conversation about it and it’s one of my favorite scenes that we’ve done so far about their relationship, about navigating the walls of her defense.

I think one of the most powerful tools in her toolbox is the art of self-preservation and she uses that a lot when things get too painful or too emotional. To deal with kind of thinking step by step is learning how to navigate those with her and there’s a really amazing scene that capitalizes on that.

TVF: How was it to shoot that scene because I’m guessing even as actors they are scenes that you guys have been kind of itching to play. Is that accurate?

ECO: I think you’re always itching to play those scenes, and I think the beauty of a show like ours, though, is unlike, you know, family dramas where this happens every single week, the backbone of the show, is because we’re inherently a show about NCIS and about all these crimes, and about these scenes that you get them once every seven episodes or so, you maybe get these juicy moments that are about characters, and they’re about the emotion of the characters. And so, yeah, we loved getting those, and it’s so fun to do them, because first off Dani is phenomenal. She’s a great actress.

I don’t know how other actors work, but it’s like watching Lebron [James] when he’s having one of those games where he scores 63 points. It just happens. And all of a sudden, you’re just like, “That’s it. That’s the take.” It’s so honest. It’s so heartbreaking, so real. And that’s kind of my way to look at all the scenes, especially dealing with my own acting and Dani does it too, if you never feel as if you’re being dishonest then the moments aren’t honest then you’ve got to go again. These moments in this scene are so heartbreaking and so honest and they’re one of my favorites so far.

TVF: Did you feel challenged differently, with these scenes than maybe what you’ve done in the past?

ECO: Yeah, because the stakes are always higher. Like when you go to these scenes in life, the repercussions if it goes wrong, you know, you’re out there and you’re putting yourself out there. When you do a scene like this, it’s the same place, because you’re asking your actors to go to this place and if any fraction of that is false, I think we as an audience detach from it. That’s the great thing about Dani and this scene is they are nothing but honest and seamless, which is what I like to call that kind of acting.

TVF: Would you predict the audience might look at these characters differently after what we see in this next episode?

ECO: Yeah, I think they look at the relationship a different way. I think we have a general idea, kind of who these characters are. I think that Shane and Scott and Frank and all these guys have done such an amazing job with the slow reveal of these characters. One of the things I love most about them as writers is that it comes in the most surprising ways. We get to these places in the most surprising paths. And with this it’s the same thing.

You know, these two characters especially, makes these turns on a dime. In one minute there’s anger and then there’s comedy and then there’s honesty, and there’s heartbreak. And I think that’s what’s true about any character, and that’s what’s true about life, really, the relationships.

TVF: I know in the episode there’s something going on with Hetty and the case this week. How does your character fold into either one of those story threads?

ECO: I think it’s kind of the best version. My favorite kind of version of storytelling for our show, which is that there’s, instead of an A story and a B story, there’s about four stories. And Hetty has been taken by the DOJ, Department of Justice, and is being kind of grilled for her role in Afghanistan about the white ghost, about Kensi and there’s a cover-up and they want to know where the money came from. So, she’s really being grilled, and in the meantime, someone has bought personal information about Hetty because they’re coming for her.

So, we’re tracking that down, you’re dealing with Kensi and her own kind of struggle with what happened in Afghanistan and her past, and relationship. It’s a really incredibly, layered is the B-minus word, but there is a, there’s a lot of interwoven plot line in this episode. It’s a really good episode.

TVF: From talking to Shane and now listening to you, it sounds like things are definitely more emotional this season than what we’ve seen in the past. Would you say that’s true?

ECO: I think we’re at episode seven now. We’ve done seven, rising tension, emotional, high-action episodes. We haven’t had a dud yet and sometimes an episode doesn’t work out, but so far, everybody’s brought their A game. I think moving to Monday night at 10 o’clock, is kind of a rally cry for everyone. We’re all in. The ante has been upped. The most competitive hour of scripted television in that time slot on TV. You’ve got Blacklist. You’ve got Castle, not to mention Monday night football. So, I think everybody’s stepping up their game.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 6 airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS.

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admin / October 7th, 2014   Articles,Casting News,News,Sneak Peek,Spoilers,Stills

SCORPION-02

NCIS: Los Angeles’ Hetty is going to lend the Scorpion guys a hand later this month, and EW has the exclusive first look.

Walter O’Brien (Elyes Gabel) and his team will enlist Linda Hunt’s NCIS: LA character when a lead on an upcoming case tracking down a priceless painting takes them to a Halloween party and they need her expertise to go undercover and infiltrate the event. The crossover episode of Scorpion is slated to air in late October around the spooky holiday.

SCORPION-01

Scorpion airs Mondays at 9 p.m., followed by NCIS: LA at 10 p.m. on CBS.

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