‘NCIS’: Why Cote de Pablo Was Nervous About Returning

NCIS fans everywhere are rejoicing now that Cote de Pablo is back as Ziva David. Ever since de Pablo left the series back in 2013, some fans felt the show wasn’t the same. The actress called the NCIS set home for eight years, but she still had the jitters when it was time for her to make her return. Here’s why de Pablo said she was nervous about coming back to NCIS.

Cote de Pablo was surprised by Mark Harmon

Cote de Pablo | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Cote de Pablo | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

De Pablo took time to speak with the NCIS producers so things could be finalized for her return as Ziva. In her interview with BUILD series, de Pablo said she wasn’t expecting to see Mark Harmon when she came back for the meeting because it was a weekday during work hours. However, she was treated to a big surprise when she unexpectedly bumped into her co-star:

I remember the first time I saw him, it was a secret meeting with the producers before we even shot that scene [for the season 16 finale]. And I think I went to the restroom for a second, and then I came back, and I had no idea that Mark was going to be there… And then I turn around and I come outside, and who do I see? Mark… And of course, what came out of me as soon as I came out of the door was, ‘Oh my God!’ I just gave him a big hug, and he just went, ‘Cotes.’ It was very heartfelt. It was a very sweet moment.

Cote de Pablo said when she reunited with Mark Harmon it was like she never left

Cote de Pablo and Mark Harmon | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Cote de Pablo and Mark Harmon | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

De Pablo and Harmon’s friendship has remained strong throughout the years. She said they haven’t talked much since her departure, but they still had the same connection when they reunited:

You can go years without talking. Really heavy-duty things can happen, and then all of a sudden, you’re back and you pick up where you left off. And I have that with a lot of people I’ve worked with; certainly, with Mark, certainly with Michael [Weatherly]. They’re relationships that are very special, for many reasons. They’re forged in the heat of pressure… We went through something incredible, which was years of working closely together. We were forged in fire.

Why Cote de Pablo was nervous about returning to ‘NCIS’ as Ziva David

You would never think a seasoned actress would get jittery about a performance, but de Pablo said she was indeed a little anxious. Why was she nervous? In her interview with BUILD Series, de Pablo revealed she felt this way because she had been away from the NCIS set for so long. It had been six years since her last appearance as a series regular, so it took some time for her to get used to being back:

I’m actually very excited. At the beginning, of course, I was jittery, and I was a little nervous… Even though [my season 16 finale scene] was only with Mark [Harmon], it’s the scene. You’re going back into this obviously familiar place, but it’s all very new after a long time. As soon as I walked in, the crew started clapping, and I felt, ‘Oh, I’m home.’

Read more: ‘NCIS’: Inside Cote de Pablo and Mark Harmon’s Sweet Relationship

Check out Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!