Michael Weatherly, an NCIS alum, revealed how he approached each day of filming the CBS drama.
Lifelong NCIS fans will argue that the show peaked when the original cast was in full force, including actor Michael Weatherly as Agent Tony DiNozzo. Because of his quick wit, cocky attitude, and more vulnerable side, the charming film fanatic was a favorite among CBS viewers. In a 2013 interview, actor Weatherly revealed that, while most actors worked hard to prepare for scenes, he was not one of them.
Michael Weatherly was a member of the NCIS cast for 13 seasons before leaving in 2016.
During this time, the 54-year-old appeared in every episode of NCIS and in nearly every scene, so he was rarely absent from the set.
Weatherly, however, admitted in an interview with World Screen Podcast that he did very little preparation for the drama.
In fact, most days he went to work with little to no idea what he was doing.
Weatherly elaborated: “I’m going to explain my somewhat unconventional approach to things.
“I do this thing where we have a table read, I know what the script is, I go through it when I get the script, if I have anything I want to talk about, Gary’s [Glasberg] door is always open thankfully, or if it’s one of the individual writers, I’ll approach them and say, ‘Hey,’ instead of saying, ‘How could she not like me?’ Could she possibly say…?’ Minor details.
“I then put it away.” When I get home at night, I don’t work on my script; instead, I see my wife, greet my daughter, and try to reconnect with my real life by reading, watching documentaries, and playing with my dogs.
“So when I get to work the next morning at 6.45 a.m., I have no idea what we’re doing.”
Weatherly went on to say that when he’s on set, he goes through the script and finds his highlighted segments, describing it as a “great few hours” shooting when he only has a line or two.
“It’s like a pinata; you never know what’s going to come out,” he explained.
“Every morning, I slam it open, and it keeps me on my toes.”
Weatherly went on to say how this acting technique helped him develop his character DiNozzo.
He continued: “Because I’m not a very good actor, it forces me to listen very carefully to what everyone else is saying because it’s not nonsensical, it’s not just road-memorization of a series of words.
“I have a lot of energy as a character because I don’t know what’s going to happen next.
“So if it feels impromptu at times, that’s because it is, and by the time we start with bigger, wider shots and work our way into tighter shots, I’ve figured out the scene, I’ve got a good flow going, and everyone puts up with it. I’m a complete pain in the a**.”
Weatherly may have left NCIS six years ago, but fans continue to hope for his return.
He went on to play the titular character, Dr. Jason Bull, in the CBS legal drama Bull.
Weatherly left Bull earlier this year, bringing the show to an end after six seasons.
With no immediate projects in the works, could Weatherly consider reprising his role as DiNozzo for NCIS’ 20th season?
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