It Didn’t Take Long for Wilmer Valderrama to Get Comfortable on the ‘NCIS’ Set
Many would be a little anxious to join a show with an established following and a cast and crew as close as family. Yet, when Wilmer Valderrama joined NCIS, he settled in quite quickly. Although he was joining lead actor and executive producer Mark Harmon, as well as regular Sean Murray — two NCIS stars who have been with the show since season one — he meshed with the group almost immediately
During an interview with Daily Actor, Wilmer Valderrama discussed NCIS, explaining what it was like when he first joined the show as Michael Weatherly’s replacement. He came in as the show’s next suave guy with his own baggage to confront. A little bit of experience with long-running shows helped Valderrama adapt.
Wilmer Valderrama on how ‘That ’70s Show’ helped him during his early days in ‘NCIS’
When asked what it was like to “stepping into a show that’s been on for so long,” Valderrama explained why the experience felt familiar (despite the newness of it all). He said:
Well, you know, it felt very familiar. I felt very comfortable. I’m not a stranger to long-standing families. We did eight years and 200 episodes on That 70’s Show, so to see how it gels and how the train keeps moving and how it’s at a certain pace, I kind of just parachute my way into it and I hit the floor running and I felt very comfortable in there. Some of the things that I’ve been doing the last couple of years have been very ambitious, very innovative, and very forward-thinking, so I was excited to come in there and do something different. And that’s what we’re doing.Daily Actor
Before NCIS rolled around, Wilmer Valderrama started stepping away from comedy — with roles in Minority Report and From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series. Thus, when the opportunity to take on a serious, naval officer fell ins his lap, the timing was just right. It was another project that would ask the actor to push his talents, extend his performance muscles. Yet, before Valderrama joined, he wanted to know where the show was going, and how he would add to the existing narrative and interpersonal relationships.
Before Wilver Valderrama joined ‘NCIS,’ he wanted to know he would bring a fresh ingredient
Though Valderrama was excited to join NCIS, and step on to a show with one of the largest international fanbases, he did want to know that he would serve a purpose, that he would offer something unique. Valderrama explained:
I did have a conversation with the showrunner and I said, “Where we going to go next? What is the next chapter for NCIS? If I join, what are we gonna do because I want try to light some shit on fire.” That’s what I said. Trying to break some shit, you know? And they said, “Listen, that’s what we want we want. To disrupt something. And we want to make some things different.” So, to me, that was exciting. But I’m humble and excited and proud to be part of such a long-lasting family.Daily Actor
Valderrama is now a significant piece of the NCIS puzzle; he’s got a romantic arc with Bishop going, a strong relationship with Gibbs, and he’s there to save the day when need be. But, as he said, he has gotten a chance to mess with the rhythm and flow, wreaking a little havoc along the way.