Pauley Perrette, star of NCIS, Made A Significant Change to Abby Sciuto: ‘It Wasn’t Written Like That’

Pauley Perrette, star of NCIS, has revealed that she influenced a key component of her long-running and beloved character, Forensic Specialist Abby Sciuto.

Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) was a key member of the NCIS team for nearly a decade until her departure from the CBS franchise in 2015. Actress Pauley, like her on-screen counterpart, is a practicing Catholic who revealed she requested that her faith be incorporated into the character and even an entire episode dedicated to the subject.

Actress Pauley revealed that she was a major driving force behind the incorporation of Abby’s religion into the series.

Pauley served as the NCIS team’s Forensic Specialist for 15 seasons after joining the series through a backdoor pilot of JAG.

She quickly became one of the franchise’s most recognizable characters before deciding to leave in 2018.

Pauley became so identified with the character over the years that parts of her personal life were incorporated into Abby’s backstory at her request.

When fellow actress Kristen Vangsness pressed her for more information, she replied, “I was just thinking a lot about it.”

“It’s my favorite role I’ve ever had.” And I made Abby, this scientist who is a devout Catholic, go to church.

“She’s on a bowling team with nuns and crosses and everything, and that’s what I liked about her.”

Abby’s Catholic upbringing and cheerful demeanor provided a humorous counterpoint to her gothic style and darker sense of humour.

It did, however, lead to some pivotal moments of development throughout the series and provided valuable insight into the scientist’s thoughts on her demanding and often traumatic role with NCIS.

Pauley went on to say that this crucial aspect of Abby’s character wasn’t actually a part of the series until she was cast.

“She wasn’t written that way at first,” she explained on Kristen’s Agenda Podcast.

“She was written in the style of a ‘dirty girl.'” And I thought, ‘that’s not really for me.'”

Kirsten, who played Criminal Minds’ technical analyst Penelope Garcia, admitted she took a slightly different approach than Abby.

“I don’t think Penelope Garcia was written as a ‘dirty girl,'” she said.

“And then I turned her into a ‘dirty girl.'” So we did the polar opposite of that! You can be the dirtiest girl in the world and still be sweet.”

Pauley laughed and exclaimed, “I love you!” before going on to discuss a similar change she made to her most recent role in the CBS sitcom Broke.

“Didn’t you guys do an entire episode about prayer?” Kirsten inquired.

“We did,” Pauley said. “And none of this detracts from our insanely talented showrunner and writers.”

“But when I joined the show, I asked for that one […] I just thought it would be really interesting for a primetime sitcom to have a deep dive into faith.”

The NCIS mainstay has since retired from acting, so it’s unlikely she’ll reprise her role as Abby as the show enters its second decade on the air.

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