‘NCIS’: The Specific Way Ziva Fans Approach Cote de Pablo

At last, Cote de Pablo has returned to NCIS. Appearing in the season sixteen finale of the hit procedural, the actress is set to star in a total of four episodes throughout season 17; with the premiere now behind us, fans have at least three more glorious episodes with Ziva David. Will she stick around for more, or will she depart, bidding farewell to her fellow agents once and for all?

Cote de Pablo of NCIS
Cote de Pablo of ‘NCIS’ | Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Cote de Pablo — though going on to star in The 33 and The Dovekeepers following her nine-year run in NCIS — has been intimately connected to Ziva ever since she stepped into the former Mossad agent’s combat boots. Thus, it should come as no surprise that she is often recognized globally for her work in the show.

During an interview with BUILD TV, Cote de Pablo discussed what it’s like being part of such a widespread cultural phenomenon — a show with an international fanbase rivaling all other scripted shows on the air. She even got into exactly how fans tend to approach her. 

Cote de Pablo on ‘NCIS’ and Ziva fans

During her interview with BUILD TV, Cote de Pablo explained that she can always sense the admiration fans have for Ziva. She told the interviewer that wherever she goes she is “showered with a lot of love.” Cote de Pablo explains that it’s “incredible how much this character has been embraced by so many people on an international level.” 

Though the admiration is always evident, Cote de Pablo goes on to explain the specific way fans tend to approach her, and she credits the character’s personality for their behavior. Cote de Pablo states: 

I’m always approached, and I believe because the character is sort of a little bit of a bad*ss, I’m always approached with a lot (Cote de Pablo stresses this word) of respect. Because, I think, a lot of people think that they’re approaching the character, and there’s a part of me that’s like, “That’s right.” 

But you know, it’s funny. Cote and Ziva are very different people. I’m a very warm and open and, at times, a little too open…


According to Cote de Pablo, fans approach the actress as if she is Ziva in real life. While Cote de Pablo is a bit warmer, and less somber than her butt-kicking counterpart, at least she benefits in this way. Being approached with a great degree of respect, due to her character’s strong disposition and combat skills, isn’t the worst outcome imaginable. 

The fan reactions just go to show how connected Cote de Pablo and Ziva David are in fans’ minds. Fans subconsciously approach Cote as if they’re approaching a woman who might roundhouse kick them if they overstep! Now that Cote de Pablo is back in NCIS, she’s sure to receive the same treatment…only heightened. While Cote de Pablo may not be back for long, most fans of the series are just happy that she has returned (even if her stay is brief).