‘NCIS: New Orleans’: This Is Why Pride’s Go-To Interrogation Method Works

Dwayne Cassius “King” Pride (Scott Bakula) knows how to keep the town safe on NCIS: New Orleans. In Jefferson Parish, there’s no one better, and it shows in his impressive arrest record. There’s a method to Pride’s madness. Unlike his comrade, Leroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his list of rules, Pride’s ways are a little unorthodox.

Here’s how Dwayne Pride’s leadership skills differ from Leroy Gibbs

'NCIS: New Orleans'
Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne Pride | Skip Bolen/CBS via Getty Images

Any NCIS fan knows all about Gibbs’ rules. He lives by them. As private as he is, those rules are what connects him to his teammates and sometimes, to the suspects themselves.

For 17 seasons, the 69 rules Gibbs continues to utilize the groundwork for the series, and who Gibbs is as a leader. His way isn’t wrong, it’s just a little different from his old buddy, Pride. They both have the same gut instincts when it comes to solving cases, and they both are dedicated to seeking justice.

Pride is known throughout NOLA as “King” for good reason. He’s easygoing, well-liked, and easily trusted. This plays out in jow he runs his team, and how others perceive him in the field. That’s not to say he hasn’t lost his temper, but his most reliable trait is keeping an even keel.

Some of their work methods, however, show more about who they are as people, not just NCIS agents. The men are longtime friends. Both are part of the Fed Five — a group of five NIS agents who took down the “Privileged Killer.”

What is Pride’s Interrogation method and why does it work?

The way Pride questions some people he’s investigating — or his friends and family — may not sit well with Gibbs. The method is called “Chill and Spill.” The phrase originated from Special Agent Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black). It pulls from Pride’s NOLA-inspired cooking skills and his innate ability to do the whole small talk thing.

“Chill and Spill” is the method in which Pride cooks a meal while casually asking a string of questions. He believes the way to get someone to open up is to help them feel comforted and safe. The way to do that is through a hot meal in a relaxed atmosphere.

Most of the time, those Pride’s trying to get answers from don’t even realize he’s using the method on them. He does it in such a way, each person feels as though he genuinely cares about what they’re going through. In most cases, he actually does care anyway.

With witnesses, he’s been known to do something similar at his bar. By offering a drink or playing a tune on the piano, he can get almost anyone to answer almost anything.

Did the person who inspired Pride’s character use ‘Chill and Spill’?

The real-life man who Pride is based on, D’Wayne Swear, passed away in 2018. There’s evidence that hints “Chill and Spill” might’ve been inspired by Swear’s time on the job.

A longtime friend, Glenn Grannan, told The Hollywood Reporter, Swear “never compromised his morals or his ethics,” Grannan said Wednesday. “He only knew how to do things one way, and that was the right way.”

Echoing that is Bakula himself, in a 2014 interview with NOLA.com.

“He’s such a charming guy, so likable,” he said. “He’s got great stories he loves to tell, and he loves this city.”

One of those stories, in brief, is mentioned in Swear’s obituary. One of the highlights of his career, he said, was “Operation Jambalaya.” The reference was to a cold case homicide. Swear and close friend, Jeff Winn, solved the case.

However, it’s the nod to NOLA cuisine that suggests Pride’s methods may have been a way to give credit to Swear in even the smallest moments of the show.

The next time Pride attempts “Chill and Spill” on NCIS: New Orleans, take a moment of silence for the man who helped make this part of the franchise that much more real.