Pauley Perrette starred in NCIS from 2003 until 2018, playing the gothic-clad, compassionate, and quick-witted Abby Sciuto for over a decade. Her character brought a needed degree of levity to the show, as she solved puzzles in a lab coat as the Major Case Response Team’s Forensic Scientist. Though Abby Sciito is no longer part of the hit primetime procedural, the Abby legacy lives on.
Perrette has since established a Forensic Science Scholarship for John Jay College of Cr1m1nal Justice undergraduates pursuing S.T.E.M fields; the scholarship, targeted at female students, pays homage to a character who has inspired a generation of science-inclined female pupils.
It should come as no surprise that, after so many years playing Abby in NCIS, leaving the show was not easy. During an interview with People, Perrette recounted the emotions tied to her departure, and what the producers behind her final turn as Abby had to say about the episode.
Pauley Perrette on her final ‘NCIS’ episode
Though leaving NCIS was not easy, Perrette explained that she gave her final episode everything she had. She told People:
I knew it was going to be heavy, I knew it was going to be tough and I just decided, ‘I’m going to give this everything I’ve got,’ and I did,” she says…I was emotionally exhausted at the end of every single day. It was so heavy, but it’s probably the best work I’ve ever done.Pauley Perrette / People Magazine
Perrette went on to note that she wasn’t the only one involved happy with her performance. She told People:
I’ve heard from producers and post-production who have seen the episode and they said it’s probably the best NCIS episode we’ve ever done.Pauley Perrette / People
Pauley Perrette explains her emotional state following her final ‘NCIS’ episode
Perrette, and the producers involved in her final episode, were happy with her last time playing Abby. However, her grand performance didn’t make her exit any less emotionally taxing. She shared:
No matter what your job was, if you do something for 16 years and then all of a sudden you don’t, that’s a big change…The first day after I completed shooting, I was emotionally exhausted and was like, ‘I need to chill hardcore.’ I came home, and the pipes burst in my house, and I had plumbers that I didn’t know inside my house all day long. Then my cable went out! I’m like, ‘This is crazy!’Pauley Perrette / People
Perrette didn’t get the relaxing day she needed after shooting, but she went on to perform in a lighter series — Broke. Though the show was only on the air for one season, many NCIS fans gave it a shot to watch Perrette in a new series.
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