‘NCIS’: The Risky Stunt That Caused Cote de Pablo to Get Injured on Set

NCIS star Cote de Pablo likes to take risks now and then. One indication of her willingness to go all in for her character was the fact that she sometimes performed her own stunts. Here’s what she said about a simple NCIS stunt that turned out to be riskier than she thought.

How acting helped Cote de Pablo find her “tribe”

 Cote de Pablo, Sean Murray, and Michael Weatherly | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images
Cote de Pablo, Sean Murray, and Michael Weatherly | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images

Cote de Pablo was born in Chile and moved to the United States when she was 10 years old. She told Prevention magazine that acting helped her feel like she fit in, even though she was living in an unfamiliar country:

I missed my country and my friends terribly. But I was raised here. And I found my niche because I went to a performing arts high school. I had always been interested in the arts but performing became even more important because it was a way to communicate with people in my new country. It wasn’t till I got to the United States that I learned to speak English. My friend had the perfect saying for it: “You found your tribe.” We’re not Chilean or Argentinean or Brazilian or Russian. We’re actors.

The risky stunt Cote de Pablo performed on the NCIS Set

Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images
Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

You might be surprised to learn de Pablo does some of her own stunts. Unfortunately, one NCIS stunt resulted in a neck injury that prevented her from exercising for a month. Although she describes the stunt as simple, it turned out to be risky because she hadn’t rehearsed it. Here’s what de Pablo told Prevention about what happened when she attempted the stunt:

I only just went back to exercising because I injured my neck, working on the show. So, I was out [of the gym] for about a month. It was a very simple stunt. I had to say one line, turn around, and then there would be explosions, gunshots, all sorts of things. But we had never rehearsed it, so I had no idea what it was going to be like.

When the stunt started, I was trying to scream my line, because of course as an actor, you’re like, “Remember your lines–you only have one pass at this, ’cause they can’t re-create the entire explosion!” But it was like being in the middle of a war zone. We were supposed to be in a big restaurant kitchen, and I was being hit by flying cabbage–I still have the bruises on my legs. [A few days later] I woke up in horrible neck pain. My mother always used to say, “You don’t think about your teeth until you have a cavity.” It was the same thing with my neck. But it’s 100% better now. Because of that injury I’m going back to yoga.

What’s Next for Cote de Pablo

The actress is set to return for the premiere of NCIS season 17. Will de Pablo be back as a series regular? As of this writing, nothing has been confirmed, but we hope to see a lot more of Cote de Pablo as Ziva David.  

Read more: ‘NCIS’: Fans React to Cote de Pablo’s Ziva Return

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