‘NCIS’: Why Cote de Pablo Felt ‘Incredible Empathy’ for Brad Pitt

In case you haven’t already heard, Ziva is back. Cote de Pablo reprises her role as Ziva David on this season of NCIS. Although she’s only appearing in a handful of episodes, she’s been overwhelmed by the public’s response to her character. 

NCIS is one of the most popular shows on television, and not just in the U.S. The drama has received international acclaim, and Ziva’s character has been a big part of that. It’s gotten to the point that de Pablo is recognized when she goes out in public, even abroad. 

Cote de Pablo is excited to bring Ziva back

De Pablo recently sat down for an interview on what it’s like to play such a popular character, and how it feels to be back. All in all she’s excited, although sometimes she gets nervous thinking about going back to the show. She explains it feels like coming home. She knows the set, the character, and her co-workers so well that it’s easy to jump right back in. 

De Pablo was light-hearted and relaxed throughout her interview. It turns out her personality is the complete opposite of her character’s in a lot of ways. Ziva is a serious, butt-kicking agent. De Pablo is more of a hugger. She thinks it’s funny when fans approach her cautiously, as if they were approaching the character.

Cote de Pablo doesn’t love the fame

Cote de Pablo in an interview
Cote de Pablo from NCIS can relate to Brad Pitt | Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

Acting is a job for de Pablo. She was never chasing fame, although she recognizes it’s part of the gig. She tries to separate that aspect of being Ziva David from the job of being Ziva David. It doesn’t always work out.

She says the age of social media has brought on a whole new level of scrutiny for people in the public eye. Now, anyone can snap a picture and put it on social media. While she’s happy that she can interact more with her fans, she doesn’t always love the attention.

In her recent interview, de Pablo talked about a recent incident in France. She was walking down the street when she was recognized. She was followed by eight paparazzi, and three cars, all within a matter of minutes. De Pablo says the experience gave her a lot of empathy for big stars like Brad Pitt, who have to live like that every day. She also found one single day of living life under constant scrutiny “exhausting” and “way too much.”

Pitt hates the media attention

Much like de Pablo, Pitt sees acting as a job. He loves movies, and finding truth in his work. The fame is just a side effect, and in Pitt’s case it’s an unwanted one. He actually hates being the center of attention, according to the director of his latest movie, Ad Astra. 

The attention has led to some serious issues for Pitt. In the ’90s, when being constantly watched started getting a bit too much for him, he would just hide out. If it was bad in the ’90s, it must be much worse now in a post social media age. Pitt developed a serious drinking problem. It reportedly contributed to his divorce with Angelina Jolie, and may have been one of the factors that drove a wedge between him and his oldest son, Maddox

Pitt is sober now, but he’s still famous. He will likely be followed by the media for the rest of his life. He loves his job, so it’s worth it for him. Hopefully he’s able to maintain sobriety. In the meantime, de Pablo’s revelation has given us all insight into what it must be like to be Brad Pitt.