|Cote News, NCIS News • By Tim • 0 Comments|
It was more than eight years ago that the fuse between NCIS stars Cote de Pablo and Michael Weatherly was first ignited.
Auditioning for the role of Israeli sniper Ziva David opposite Weatherly’s agent Anthony DiNozzo, the latter got a fiery reaction when, improvising a scene, he said, “You remind me of Salma Hayek”.
The Chile-born beauty’s swift comeback was enough to convince producers she had what it took to survive in this environment and her flash of temper masked a sexual tension between the duo ripe to be exploited for TV ratings.
The will-they, won’t-they relationship has produced some of the most charged moments of the popular CBS series, now in its 10th season.
For de Pablo, the simmering love story has provided her with some of her favourite scenes since joining the hit show.
Nominating a Mr & Mrs Smith-style episode called Undercovers and another called Boxed In as personal highlights, they are marked by the closeness with which de Pablo works with Weatherly.
“When you have these characters stuck in small spaces, things happen,” de Pablo says.
“Boxed In was the first time that chemistry was felt. There was a lot of going back and forth … like a tennis match. Every once in a while there would be a moment where things would land the wrong way and there would be a moment of, ‘Wait a minute, what did you say’? There would be that confrontation. There’s always that tension between these characters.”
What lies at the heart of that tension, de Pablo admits, has sometimes fluctuated between love and hate for the real-life actors.
Hollywood gossip had it she had pursued Weatherly in her early years, but was allegedly rebuffed by him.
They are now happily settled into their private lives: after a broken engagement with Jessica Alba, Weatherly married medical intern Bojana Jankovic, who gave birth to their daughter, Olivia, in April (he has a son from his first marriage to Young And The Restless star Amelia Heinle); while de Pablo is in a long-term relationship with actor Diego Serrano.
While she regards the cast as friends she loves, de Pablo says, “it doesn’t mean there’s not conflict”.
“There is always conflict and no one will be more honest and tell you that than me, because there is, and I take pride in saying, ‘We fix it, we make it better, we talk about things and that’s how it’s gotten stronger’,” she says.
How long the 33-year-old plans to keep playing Ziva is a dilemma for de Pablo, who sounds keen to explore other career challenges, including a dream to work with great modern Spanish filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar.
De Pablo and lead actor Mark Harmon (special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs) have yet to sign for NCIS season 11, which could force writers to resolve the David-DiNozzo romance.
What is on the cards for Ziva is the return of her father, Mossad director Ari David.
As de Pablo says: “There is a lot of conflict in her family life. It’s something she doesn’t like to go into but her father comes back to rekindle something that was perhaps lost along the way.”
With the key cast, including Pauley Perrette (Abby), David McCallum (Ducky) and Sean Murray (McGee) “still working really well together”, she says the show would “limp for a little bit” if any were to leave.
“I do feel that each of us brings a different element in making this ship sail. Am I worried (about leaving)? You can’t live your life worried. I’ve done eight years and I am proud to say I’ve survived eight years of procedural work. I am ready for new things and I’ll leave it at that.”