‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Star Scott Bakula Has Sage Advice for Anyone Visiting ‘The Big Easy’

One major advantage NCIS: New Orleans has over the other two iterations in the franchise is that it’s filmed on-location. Because of this, stars of the show either permanently moved into the city or commute between filming dates. The show’s leading man, Scott Bakula, has a little insight on how he learned to embrace the city.

What is Scott Bakula’s favorite part about filming in New Orleans?

'NCIS: New Orleans'
Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride and Joanna Cassidy as Mena Cantrell | Sam Lothridge/CBS via Getty Images

Playing Dwayne Cassius “King” Pride is second nature to actor, Scott Bakula. For six seasons, Bakula’s graced TV screens with his supervisory skills and approachable demeanor.

The Missouri-grown star didn’t always live in New Orleans. Bakula commutes, living in the city for work and flying home to California to see his family during off days.

That said, Bakula learned a thing or two while living in the city. In a previous interview with Parade, he called New Orleans a “very warm place.” He credits the music scene.

“I’m a huge music guy, and being in the place that birthed jazz is almost incomprehensible to me at times,” he said. He noted the food and history of the city are equally comparable.

“Living in the city on a daily basis, it’s been eye-opening. It’s a remarkable place. It’s full of a bunch of resilient, tenacious people,” he said.

“The citizens are so proud of the town. I lived in New York for 10 years, but you never heard people walking around saying, ‘How do you like my city?’ They literally say that in New Orleans. There’s a sense of pride.”

If you’re going to visit New Orleans, do as Bakula says

Bakula noted in another interview with Parade that of all the cities he’s lived in (New York, Los Angeles), New Orleans holds a special place in his heart.

“There’s a great joie de vivre down here that’s pretty unusual. They say ‘my’ all the time. I think it’s because they’ve gone through so many difficult times. There’s a feeling of living through a battle together that bonds you,” he said.

Bakula advises tourists visit Preservation Hall in the French Quarter where newcomers can hear “old-time New Orleans jazz.” He reckons it with the way it was many years ago (no air-conditioning, three shows per night, and wall-to-wall people).

When he’s not filming, the NOLA star loves biking along the Mississippi River — just as he did growing up in St. Louis.

As for advice on how to get all you can from the experience of New Orleans, Bakula said to be sure you stay more than 24 hours.

“Things move a little slower here. You’re not going to get your food as fast. You might get a little bit of a story with it. You can either be impatient and ugly about it, or you can just let it be,” he said.

Why Bakula and Pride are similar in a lot of ways

As an actor working on a show that revolves around Navy Criminal Investigative Services, Bakula has a deep respect for everything Pride represents.

“My dad spent a couple of years in the Navy, and I had one uncle in the Army and the other one was in submarines in World War II,” he said. “I’m so proud to be putting out stories about the military.”

Though Bakula fancies himself a “good soldier” in the kitchen, he still relies on advice from his father.

“My dad always said, ‘You’re only as good as your last impression’ — which became oddly prophetic, given the business that I’m in, which really is pretty fickle,” he said.

NCIS: New Orleans airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on CBS.