Did Cote de Pablo Have Trouble Finding Work After Leaving ‘NCIS’?

Until very recently, Cote de Pablo (Ziva David) hasn’t just been absent from NCIS — she has been largely absent from movie or TV screens altogether. Since she left the show in 2013, de Pablo has only acted in four projects. And, few — if any — of them garnered much publicity. Whether that was because de Pablo couldn’t find work or didn’t want or need it is the question before us.

Given that de Pablo has made it clear that she’s not interested in the spotlight beyond the work itself, we’re willing to bet that her absence from screens was mostly voluntary.

Cote de Pablo’s iconic role on ‘NCIS’

Cote de Pablo
Cote de Pablo from NCIS | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

De Pablo initially departed NCIS in 2013, with the show telling us her character, Ziva David, had been killed in a mortar attack. The show told viewers about it but did not show the actual attack, so from the very beginning of the end, the actress’ fans held out hope she might come back.

Those hopes increased when an unseen Ziva left a note that she was in hiding to protect her family. Still, Ziva did not reappear until the most recent season finale, when she told a maybe not-so-shocked Gibbs that he was in danger. Fans have to wait until the season premiere, but the showrunners have made it clear that Ziva will definitely be back to play out her reappearance.

What Cote de Pablo has done after ‘NCIS’

Like Ziva, de Pablo kept a low profile after parting ways with the show. Her first post-NCIS project was a TV miniseries called The Dovekeepers, which is about the siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire.

After that, de Pablo appeared in a 2015 movie called The 33. It’s not hard to guess why she signed on for this. She was born in Chile, and that movie is about the 2010 Chilean mining disaster in which 33 miners were trapped for more than two months.

Other than that, the only other upcoming movie listed on IMDB is an indie film called Seneca, which is in post-production. She did shoot a pilot of Syfy called Prototype, but Syfy declined to pick up the show.

Cote de Pablo prefers leading a private life

Aside from Syfy turning down Prototype, it seems that the actress decided quite deliberately not to act.

“I took a couple of months off, and my entire family came over which was really great. They knew that it was a tough transition for me, and within three-and-a-half months I had an offer (for The 33),” she said to TV Line.

When she left NCIS, she didn’t look back, saying: “I’m very happy with my choices. I spent time with family, which was incredibly important for me. I’ve had time to deal with me, which I couldn’t really do for a long time, so I’m blessed for that.”

She and fellow former NCIS co-star Michael Weatherly did team up to work on a detective drama called MIA, although the status of that project is not known. The actors will not appear on camera — they are executive producers on the proposed show.

De Pablo has not talked about why she decided to return to NCIS. She’s very likely under a non-disclosure agreement, in that she can’t talk about the show for a certain period of time. Since she can’t talk about the show, the notably private actress is not likely to discuss the reasons for her change of heart.

When she exited the show, she did say: “Until someone can really write something fantastic for her, I won’t come back.” Keeping her words in mind, we can at least surmise that something fantastic is in the offing. We’ll find out when NCIS returns Sept. 25