‘NCIS’: What Lauren Holly Thought of Michael Weatherly When They First Met

Former NCIS star Lauren Holly joined the cast as Director Jenny Shepard in 2005. Here’s what she once said about working with Michael Weatherly.

‘NCIS’ creator Don Bellisario said Lauren Holly brought ‘sophistication’ and ‘beauty’ to her role

Lauren Holly on the set of NCIS | Ron P. Jaffe/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
Lauren Holly on the set of NCIS | Ron P. Jaffe/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

“Lauren’s done a great job,” said NCIS creator Donald Bellisario in a CBS interview about NCIS Season 3. “Lauren has kind of had to cowboy up to become a director, you know. Lauren is used to playing a softer, pretty girl kind of role, pretty woman kind of role. And so, playing this, through the third season, I was constantly telling Lauren to, you know, you gotta be tough. It’s not her nature to be tough. But she really got it.”

Although the role was challenging for Holly, Bellisario seemed happy with her performance. In his chat with CBS, he describes her work as sophisticated and beautiful. He was also pleased to have more female characters on the show.

 “Lauren brings a sophistication and a beauty to [the role] that is just wonderful,” said Bellisario. “I want to get more females in the show. I love having the three women on the show, and I’m sure all the guys do, too.”

Lauren Holly was tempted to ‘go toe-to-toe’ with Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images
Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

Holly told CBS she thought Weatherly was very funny when they first met. However, she said she had difficulty not using her comedic style when she began working with her co-star. Weatherly is known for being quite the jokester, so she wanted to joke along with him during her scenes. However, she says she learned to adjust the style she was used to and dive into her role as Shepard. This was important because Shepard is a serious character.

“When you work with people like Michael Weatherly, and he’s so talented and so funny, if I have scenes with Michael, I so want to go toe-to-toe with him and do that,” Holly said. “And it’s so hard for me, especially with so much of my background being in comedy, not to do that. But it’s rewarding that I don’t.”

Weatherly described the addition of Holly as a big win for the cast. “The addition of Lauren Holly to the cast of NCIS is sort of like when the Yankees in the 70s brought in Reggie Jackson from Oakland,” Weatherly told CBS. “Lauren in person is about as far away from the director as you can get, and Cote de Pablo is about as far away from Israeli assassin as you can get. But the way they approach the material is unbeatable. So, you have two actresses that are doing a phenomenal job.”

Mark Harmon put in a good word for Lauren Holly

Holly says Mark Harmon helped make the transition smoother for her after she was hired. He let the cast know he worked with Holly before, and he could vouch for her work.

“I think maybe they were a little more welcoming than they would have been because Mark, who is like the captain of the ship, said, ‘I’ve worked with her, I love her, I wanted her here.’ So, that always helps.”

Read more: ‘NCIS’: How Lauren Holly Was Cast as Director Jenny Shepard

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