‘NCIS’: Cote de Pablo Says This Is the Best Part About Being on the Iconic Show

Ziva (Cote de Pablo) returned to NCIS for a four-episode run after leaving the show a few years ago. Based on the previews, fans can see there’s a lot going on for her, including dragging Gibbs (Mark Harmon) into the middle of her prolonged problem.

With de Pablo’s return comes another bonus: Critical accolades and public adulation. In a recent interview for the BUILD Series, she talked about what makes working on the show a joyful experience, if also overwhelming at times.

No one can resist love from the fans

Cote de Pablo as Ziva David on CBS' 'NCIS.'
Cote de Pablo as Ziva David on CBS’ NCIS. | Eric McCandless/CBS via Getty Images

Gaining support from fans for a TV series or other media can become a very intoxicating thing, especially when the positive responses far outweigh the negative. Thanks to fan bases being able to better organize on social media, it can mean having some very nice fans who will always support you and show their love in numerous ways.

During the BUILD interview, de Pablo was asked by someone what the most rewarding aspect is of being on NCIS. De Pablo’s immediate answer was the love of the fans and the prestige coming with playing a universal TV character. As she answered this, though, you could see a little bit of exasperation since she mentions her entire family are followed around by fans when they travel overseas.

In one instance, de Pablo talked about traveling to Germany and Italy to escape her celebrity. She ultimately found out everyone there knows who Ziva David is and screamed out her character name. This answer, of course, segued into the pains of being recognized everywhere you go to a point where you feel like you’re being watched all the time. We have to think this is going to become a bigger problem if NCIS makes Ziva a more significant part of the franchise again.

Cote de Pablo may have to prep herself for even bigger stardom

When de Pablo initially left NCIS in 2013, she noted it was only due to wanting more respect for the Ziva character. However, her stardom had grown enough where she thought she could transfer it into a movie career.

Unfortunately, big-screen stardom didn’t happen so soon. Not that this couldn’t happen later, but de Pablo probably realized she’s been a bit stereotyped as Ziva. Fans might not accept her as any other character now because of the international impact.

We’re also expecting the fan reactions to be gangbusters during this four-episode arc for Ziva. Will it lead to producers being forced to include her as a regular again next season? If Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) shows up, there’s been some suggestions the two could have their own spinoff show.

All of this leads to the question of whether de Pablo will want to keep on as Ziva or take the risk with other characters in movies later.

Can you bank on a character forever, or should you take acting risks?

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Many other actors have faced the dilemma of leaving a popular character they’re singularly known for and moving on to other things. Some of those actors managed to survive the transition, even managing to create other iconic characters in movies or TV.

Those of you who’ve seen de Pablo in other things know she’s always a standout in any part she plays. Yet, with Ziva so strongly associated with her, it might be in de Pablo’s best interest to stick with the character for the immediate future. There’s potential there to carry over the character into her own series for a long run.

At such a point, though, de Pablo may have to live out the problem she mentions in her BUILD interview about those who can’t live in privacy on a daily basis. The love of the fans will hopefully make that a joyful experience than a burden when trying to get lost in a country where she thinks they don’t watch American TV.