‘NCIS’: The Surprising Way Pauley Perrette Got Inspired to Play Abby

One NCIS fan favorite is the quirky character Abby Sciuto. Here’s the surprising way Pauley Perrette found inspiration to play Abby.

Is Pauley Perrette anything like Abby Sciuto?

Pauley Perrette | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images
Pauley Perrette | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

During a 2015 interview for Studio 10 Australia, the host asked Perrette how much fans expect her to be like Abby. Perrette said fans often think she’s just like her character, but she doesn’t think they’re similar. “People who know me really well don’t think that I’m like Abby at all. And people that don’t know me, there like, ‘Oh, you’re just like her.’ And I’m like, ‘not really,’” said Perrette.

On the other hand, former co-star Michael Weatherly once said he was a lot like his NCIS character, Tony DiNozzo. In his interview with Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo, Weatherly revealed there are similarities between him and his NCIS character. He shared that he and DiNozzo have a lot in common. “Tony DiNozzo was 15-year-old Michael Weatherly. Pure and simple. Magnum P.I., James Bond, Girls. That’s it. No politics, nothing to confuse his simple rendering of ‘Isn’t this awesome?’”

Pauley Perrette sacrificed her health to play Abby

Pauley Perrette on set of NCIS | Patrick McElhenney/CBS via Getty Images
Pauley Perrette on set of NCIS | Patrick McElhenney/CBS via Getty Images

In 2015, Perrette told Queen Latifah how much she loved playing Abby for NCIS. The actress even went as far as dyeing her natural blonde hair black. However, this proved to be a problem after Perrette had a serous allergic reaction the hair dye that could have been fatal:

So, on that day, I dyed my hair. It was the first day back shooting on NCIS. I dyed my hair on Wednesday, and I went to work at five in the morning on a Thursday. I worked all day long, went home, and woke up the next morning and my head was getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger.

Despite having an allergic reaction, Perrette told Queen Latifah she kept her hair black because she didn’t want to let her fans down. “A lot of people were like ‘Oh no, go blonde.’ And I’m like, I don’t think the world is ready for a blonde Abby. I’m not ready for a blonde Abby,” said Perrette.

The surprising inspiration for NCIS’ Abby Sciuto

Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette, and Duane Henry | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images
Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette, and Duane Henry | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

So, what inspired Abby’s unusual mannerisms? Perrette said she got the idea for the way Abby acts from her rescue dog. Here’s what Perrette said about the surprising inspiration for Abby:

I patterned everything [Abby] does physically after this rescue dog that I had named CiCi. So, the way Abby stands–she stands very upright—and the way she cocks her head, and the way she turns, and the way she walks–everything is done exactly like this dog. I’m not like that. I have terrible posture and I’m nowhere near as alert as Abby is.

Read more: ‘NCIS’: Pauley Perrette Said She ‘Hated’ This Part of Her Job

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