‘NCIS’: What Mark Harmon Thinks About at the End of His Workday

The NCIS cast gives what appears to be an effortless performance each week. However, the job of an NCIS actor is far from effortless, according to Mark Harmon. Here’s what he said about what it’s like to work for the top CBS drama.

Mark Harmon said his first day on the ‘NCIS’ set lasted 21 hours

Mark Harmon | Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty Images
Mark Harmon | Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty Images

In a 2017 interview with “The Talk,” Harmon spoke about what it’s like to work on the set of NCIS. One thing he mentioned is the long work hours. Former “The Talk” host Sara Gilbert asked Harmon what his first day on the show was like. Harmon revealed the first day lasted a whopping 21 hours. However, he said some things have changed so the workdays are slightly less grueling. “We’ve maneuvered the show over the years to make it much more specific, and I think we’ve gotten better with that,” said Harmon.

Why Mark Harmon said working on ‘NCIS’ isn’t easy

During an interview with “Entertainment Tonight” host Kevin Frazier, Harmon wanted to make it clear that a lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into making each episode of NCIS. “This is hard to do. We miss that sometimes because this is a happy group and we all work hard. But this looks so much easier than it is. And that’s because you’ve got such talented people in so many different directions here, who all kind of get in the same path of what they’re trying to do,” said Harmon. The actor also said he tells young actors who leave the show that they’re leaving a very special place:

The longevity of this show, I tell young actors all the time. I say, ‘Hey, are you gonna leave? That’s great. Good luck. And I said, ‘But you come here, and you have a chance to work every day with friends who are going to support you. You work with a tremendous safety net underneath you here that nobody’s going to let you fail. And I said, ‘And they’re paying you. And, oh yeah, by the way, it’s the number one show in the world.’ There’s a bunch of professionals here who know what they’re doing. And I don’t know that this kind of thing in network television is going to happen again.

What Mark Harmon says he thinks about at the end of his workday

Mark Harmon | Colleen Hayes/CBS via Getty Images
Mark Harmon | Colleen Hayes/CBS via Getty Images

Harmon gave a hilarious but honest response to Frazier when he asked what his thoughts are at the end of his workday. So, what does Harmon think about on his way home? “That I’m back in six hours,” joked Harmon. He said the NCIS cast works hard, but it’s OK because they want to be there:

That’s the reality. We work hard here. And we started working hard here in the beginning and we’re still working hard… This is a machine here, and it’s because of everyone sitting here and many more who aren’t sitting here. I really think collectively it’s about everybody getting on the same page and pulling in the same direction. And it’s what Maria [Bello] said too, which is, if you don’t want to be here, it doesn’t work. And you could say that for any job.

Read more: ‘NCIS’: This Terrifying Fan Encounter Might Be Why Mark Harmon Avoids the Spotlight

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