‘NCIS’: The Hilarious Way Michael Weatherly Remembered His Lines

NCIS star Michael Weatherly is known for the entertaining way he portrayed Special Agent Tony DiNozzo. Although Weatherly made his performance look effortless, there was a trick he used to make sure he remembered his lines. Here’s what Weatherly said about how he made his job a little easier.

Michael Weatherly’s early years as an actor were tough

 Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images
Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images

Weatherly has enjoyed a successful career, but his early years as an actor weren’t so smooth. During a 2016 interview with Kelly Ripa, Weatherly said he experienced a rough patch before his career took off. He shared a small New York City apartment with two other roommates and played guitar on subway platforms for money.

In a 1994 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Weatherly spoke about the perks of performing on New York City subways. “You can set your own hours; you can walk in and walk out whenever you want. You only have to have a five-minute attention span because the trains come every three to five minutes,” said Weatherly. The actor explained how he first started his side gig. “I stole my roommate’s guitar while he was at work. I went down to the subway. I started on 14th street, and I would make maybe $200 or $300 a day.”

The hilarious trick Michael Weatherly used to remember his lines

Emily Wickersham, Rocky Carroll, Michael Weatherly and David McCallum | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images
Emily Wickersham, Rocky Carroll, Michael Weatherly and David McCallum | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

During a CBS NCIS roundtable discussion back in 2012, the cast spoke about the show and their characters. Host Lara Spencer led the discussion. Weatherly chimed in to reveal the hilarious way he remembered his lines. “If I’m picking my fingernails, it’s probably because I have my lines written down on my hand,” said Weatherly. Spencer looked surprised, saying “Are you telling the truth? Because these are your fans. Are you telling the truth? Do you really sneak lines in places?” she asked. Pauley Perrette responded, “Every actor does.” Weatherly confirmed that he really did write his lines down on his hand. He said he felt better about doing this when he realized another famous actor did the same thing.

There’s a part in To Catch a Thief that I told Mark [Harmon] about a couple of years ago. I’m watching this Cary Grant movie with my wife and all of a sudden Grant stutters a line and he looks in his glove compartment in the car. And I’m like, ‘He’s got his lines written down!’ And I watch as he reads the lines and finishes. And I’m like, ‘thank you.’ [That provided] some confirmation.

Read more: Michael Weatherly Revealed He Was Fired from This Job Before His Career Took Off

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