Why Michael Weatherly Thought Ziva Was a “Train Wreck” in ‘NCIS’

Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo starred on NCIS as Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David respectively from 2003 until Pablo left the show in 2013. Playing the will-they-won’t-they – forbidden love – dynamic duo for nine seasons, their chemistry was palpable to a fault; it leaked from the screen with such intensity that many fans thought there was a behind-the-scenes romance being kept under wraps.

Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo
Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo | Photo by Richard Foreman/CBS via Getty Images

Cote de Pablo and Michael Weatherly have both confirmed that their relationship was, and always has been, strictly friendly. However, they had their international fanbase fooled for nearly a decade.

Though Cote de Pablo and Michael Weatherly’s characters loved and respected one another – the latter of which was rarely, if ever, verbally admitted – Michael Weatherly felt that Ziva had some major character issues.

Always the funny guy, Michael Weatherly sat down for an interview with TV Guide and explained why Ziva was no “perfect match” for DiNozzo. Though citing his own character’s flaws as part of the problem as well, he directs attention to the former Mossad agent’s fatal (literally and metaphorically) drawbacks.

Michael Weatherly calls Ziva David “a train wreck of a girl”

When discussing Ziva David and Tony DiNozzo’s relationship in NCIS, Michael Weatherly stated:

“Everyone gives Tony all this grief for being an overgrown frat boy. But Ziva David, she’s just a train wreck of a girl. Most of the guys that she’s slept with are dead. If you had a girlfriend, and more than 50 percent of the people she’d slept with were dead — and by the way, she’s not 90, I’m talking about a healthy young female — that’s a weird amount, even for someone in Israeli intelligence. I’m just saying.”


So, while Tony may be an immature “frat boy” with a tendency to make inappropriate jokes, Ziva David’s history is a bit more sketchy. Would you rather date a guy who can’t get his act together (in terms of mental and emotional maturity) or a girl whose boyfriends frequently wind up deceased?

Michael Weatherly does make quite a strong point here. A boy will eventually become a man (some need a stronger shove than others), but will a mysterious agent with a history shrouded in secrecy ever become less scary?

Michael Weatherly: Why Tony DiNozzo was the way he was for so long on ‘NCIS’

Discussing Tony’s dynamic with Ziva David, prior to the highly anticipated moment – during which they sealed the deal – Weatherly explained why he assumed the two would never get together. And, given his character’s narrative arc for most of the show, his response is quite logical. He stated:

“The Tony DiNozzo character is trapped like a fly in amber from prehistoric days because he has to be. If Tony actually gets his groove on, gets his shit together, grows up a little bit, knocks the chip off his shoulder, gets the girl, or just gets on with it, then he’s out of that squad room. He doesn’t get paid that much now. Not to be too inside-baseball about the whole thing, but come on.”


Tony had his issues. Ziva had her problems. However, in the end, love was always present – a love that resulted in a beautiful daughter; a beautiful daughter who, with Ziva back in town, may make an appearance in season 17.

While this may sound like wishful thinking, wouldn’t a mother want to see the daughter she’s been away from for years, even if she has to peer across an open field, hundreds of feet away, to keep some life-threatening secret protected?