‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Star Scott Bakula Says This Is Why He Connects With Dwayne Pride

NCIS: New Orleans almighty leader, Dwayne Cassius “King” Pride, is a man of many talents. Coincidentally, so is the actor who plays him, Scott Bakula. Some longtime fans think his portrayal of Pride feels eerily similar to other past roles. That might be due to Bakula’s core connection with Pride, and other characters he’s chosen.

Dwayne Pride is based on a real hero

'NCIS: New Orleans'
Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride, Jay Thomas as Marc Maslow, and Shalita Grant as Sonja Percy | Skip Bolen/CBS via Getty Images

Real-life NCIS: New Orleans hero, D’Wayne Swear, passed in 2016 from cancer. However, the loss gives Bakula that much more reason to get the details right in Dwayne Pride.

Swear worked as a technical consultant for the show during his retirement. He helped ensure all of those complicated storylines make sense. For the span of 92 episodes, plus two on the original NCIS in a crossover event that launched the Big Easy spin-off, Swear is the ultimate inspiration behind Bakula’s dedication and hometown love.

“He was a legend,” Bakula told Deadline at the time. “Everywhere we went law enforcement officers sought him out to shake his hand and relive old times. I was proud to know him and humbled to portray a character based on his honorable life.”

Though Pride isn’t 100 percent Swear (for instance, Swear had two daughters to Pride’s one), there’s enough to pull from that keeps the experienced actor relatable.

Why does Scott Bakula connect with Pride?

One thing Bakula practices is gratitude. As an actor who’s had multiple success stories (which is rare in Hollywood), he takes his time on the NCIS set with a grain of salt.

“I always try to tell people, ‘Don’t take anything for granted’. Our business is so crazy and I pinch myself – certainly at my age – to be in a show like this and to have this opportunity and this response from my work again. It’s very rare,” he told previously Stuff.

He went on to explain Pride’s evolution wherein he had a lot less emotional baggage. Bakula joked that the show fixed that saying, “He’s wrestling with his demons, but he’s trying hard to put that all behind him.”

As for his deep connection to the role, Bakula said it’s Pride’s “on-the-surface passion and joy.” He explained that even when Pride doesn’t appear joyful, but he shows it through his love of food, culture, music, and the appreciation of everyone around him.

“There’s also a little darkness to Dwayne Pride that I am relieved to say I don’t really carry with me at all,” he added.

Fans say this about Bakula’s character choices

Some think Bakula’s roles, both present, and past, take on similar dialects and personality traits.

“Anyone ever notice Scott Bakula’s Captain Archer [from Star Tre: Enterprise] and Dwayne Pride are the exact same person?” one fan pointed out on Reddit. “They are both brave leaders who buck authority when it is the right thing to do. They have the same personality traits. The only difference is the accent!”

Whether it’s intentional or not, Bakula’s role on NCIS: New Orleans not only resembles his work on other projects but maybe even his outlook on life: gratitude, always.