After series regular Cote de Pablo, who played fan favorite Special Agent Ziva Davis for eight seasons, decided to leave the cr1me show, actress Emily Wickersham landed her first big TV role as Special Agent Ellie Bishop on “NCIS” Season 11. When Wickersham joined the long-running series’ star-studded cast, she told TV Guide that she had some “big shoes to fill” after de Pablo’s departure. While Wickersham has appeared in films such as “Gone” and “I Am Number Four,” her most notable role to date, according to IMDb, is her seven-season stint on “NCIS.”
However, filming 172 episodes over the course of eight years was not as easy as fans may believe. Wickersham announced her departure from “NCIS” after Season 18 in a heartfelt Instagram post, after filming numerous storylines and investigations that will go down in “television history.” Although Wickersham told the New York Post in 2014 that the transition from Agent Davis to Agent Davis was easier than expected, it was her training from “real NCIS agents” that helped her acting look so realistic. Wickersham was actually trained to do something she had never done before in order to prepare for her big role.
On NCIS, Emily Wickersham learned how to shoot a gun.
Emily Wickersham told CBS Watch Magazine in 2014 that she had “never held a gun in [her] life” before being cast in her “NCIS” role, making her training “hardcore.” Even though the actor clarified that she knew using powerful weapons came with the territory of starring on a cr1me drama, she was always afraid that the gun would “turn around and shoot” her. But, according to TV Fanatic, the “NCIS” casting team quickly got her training from some of the best, who helped her feel “comfortable with a gun in [her] hand” when she joined veteran actors like Sean Murray on-set a year prior.
Wickersham said she went through shooting training with a “tech advisor,” who happened to be a real former NCIS agent, to learn how to use a gun for her role. Wickersham explained that because her character Ellie Bishop is a special agent, she wanted to learn properly because “that’s an important part of the character.” Wickersham admits that using a weapon was “the scariest thing,” but she wanted to “come across” as a true investigator, so she went ahead. Her training appears to have paid off, as she starred as Agent Bishop for eight years on one of the world’s most popular dramas.
How Emily Wickersham’s NCIS character changed her perspective on cr1me
“NCIS,” which aired for a memorable 19 seasons, has remained one of the most-watched scripted series on television, according to Variety. Fans all over the world have fallen in love with their favorite mainstream actors posing as undercover cops in a variety of investigations. Emily Wickersham took her role as Special Agent Ellie Bishop very seriously during her seven-season run on “NCIS.”
Wickersham had no experience in the cr1mefighting department prior to landing her “NCIS” gig, but she admitted to Entertainment Inquirer in May 2021 that she’s developed a “inclination” for it after acting out so many technical forensic scenes. Wickersham told the outlet that she frequently sees cr1me scenes while driving around Los Angeles and feels compelled to get out of her car and inquire about what’s going on in a way she “wouldn’t have before joining ‘NCIS.'”
Although Wickersham’s time on “NCIS” has demonstrated that she now knows how to shoot a gun properly, she told TV Fanatic in 2015 that after her shooting training was completed, she had “very little free time” while filming the show, limiting her time to practice her new skills. Since she parted ways with her special agent character at the end of “NCIS” Season 18, we hope Wickersham will be able to use her investigative skills in future roles.
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