Being asked if she always wanted to be an actress:
“I actually never thought I’d be an actress. I always thought I was gonna be a singer because it was always what I did. I was a very quiet, shy kid and I was always making observations and I was always sort of hiding behind my grandmother’s skirt. I was watching things from afar. It wasn’t until I came to this country that I had to sort of crack the shell and develop a voice so that people didn’t walk all over me. And so I started expressing myself in many different ways and that’s how I landed on a stage in theater class in middle-school and that’s the beginning.”
Asked about living in America as a Chilean and her appreciation towards Ziva David’s feelings about being an outsider:
“I feel like I’m Chilean and I’m American. I don’t feel I’m just one thing. I live in no mans land in many ways because I’m not Chilean and I’m not American… I relate to her more because I am a foreigner more than I would playing just an American person. It was very easy for me to identify with somebody who’s a foreigner, who doesn’t understand everything”
About keeping a character “fresh” and “three-dimensional”:
“To maintain the fun and the lightness of it, all you have to dig deep into what makes these characters tick. What makes them sad? What makes them laugh? What turns them on?”
Commenting on her acting method:
“You always draw from yourselves even if you’re playing the most crazy type of person. What you really want is to be three-dimensional.”
What do you do to show that you’re still very much young at heart?
“I still get very excited when people say they fall in love. It doesn’t matter how old you are, falling in love is a beautiful thing. And I still act like I did when I was a teenager. I get fluttery and tap dance around. I’m never afraid of making funny faces or being completely goofy.”
Being asked if turning 30 changed her
“I’ve always had a sense of responsibility—I think that comes with being the oldest kid in the family. Now, I’m getting more comfortable with acting a little younger and carefree because I’ve been so responsible my whole life. I’m letting go a little.”
Special Agent Ziva David: [after finding out that Gibbs didn’t know that she had been assigned to his team, downhearted] I stand corrected. I guess he didn’t know. I feel like a donkey’s butt.
Agent Timothy McGee: [puzzled at her choice of phrase] A donkey’s butt?
DiNozzo: I think she means horse’s ass.
Special Agent Ziva David: Yes, that too.
DiNozzo: [about to enter and arrest a suspected murderer] Just stay behind me and follow my lead.
Special Agent Ziva David: I’m not a probie, Tony. I have been in a few of these situations.
DiNozzo: Not with me.
Special Agent Ziva David: So? I have not had sex with you either. Would that make me a virgin?
Special Agent Ziva David: Can’t you two agree to disagree?
Agent Timothy McGee: I can’t agree to that.
Special Agent Ziva David: [McGee is dismantling a network server] What can I do to help, McGee?
Agent Timothy McGee: You can stop touching things when you’re not grounded.
Special Agent Ziva David: Okay, sorry. Hack away, you won’t even notice me here.
Agent Timothy McGee: Okay, but you’re standing on my foot.