TV’s number one drama, NCIS has a pair of explosive (pun intended) episodes coming up (Nov. 16 and Nov. 23 on CBS) that will focus on Israeli weapons expert Ziva David (Cote de Pablo). We caught up with de Pablo to find out what’s in store for Ziva, and whether we should be worried about the future of our favorite Chilean actress on NCIS.
We hear there are two big episodes coming up for your character, Ziva. What can you dish about the episodes?
It’s a two-part episode where the whole Israeli team comes back from Israel, including Ziva's father. So obviously that’s going to be a big thing for Ziva because she finally gets to confront her father for sending her away on, basically, what I would call a suicide mission. They get to see each other after all of that and there’s conflict.
Is Ziva’s dad going to let her know that he’s sorry for what he did?
These characters are able to justify [their actions] because they come from a country that’s at war. You learn to sympathize with her dad, who’s played so beautifully by Michael Nouri. The audience will get some answers, but there’s more to come.
Rumor has it that the two-part episode will deal with bombs and bombers. Is stuff going to be blowing up left and right?
Stuff is going to be blowing up, and not only that, but it was a crazy episode to shoot because there were sooo many stunts for me. And so that was a little hard. I had a big fight sequence, I had to shoot a lot—there was a lot of gunfire—and there was one huge explosion in which a whole kitchen blows up and I’m in the middle of it! Needless to say it was fun, but incredibly challenging.
Ziva is a weapons expert, so that means she can create bombs herself, can’t she?
Oh yeah! For sure. We’ve never done it on the show so I think its something we’re going to explore. In that particular episode, Abby (Pauley Perrette) asks, ‘can anyone make this type of a bomb?’ and all of the Israeli’s that are in the room raise their hands. It’s kind of funny the way we are all very well taught in the art of making them.
For years, NCIS fans have been waiting for ZIva and Tony (Michael Weatherly) to become a couple on the show. Is that ever going to happen?
You know what? I have no idea. But people love that tension between these two characters. It’s great and we definitely play around with it, because we both love it. We enjoy working with each other and there’s an innate chemistry between us.
How does it feel, as a Latina, to be playing one of the biggest badasses on TV, in terms of strong, female characters?
I don’t know how it feels as a Latina, but I’ll tell you what it feels like as an actor: fantastic! I’m an actor playing a role and I think it’s fantastic that people can play any type of role—and that I am playing this particular role—it’s awesome. We get a lot of Latinos in this show that don’t play Latin and the first thing they say is how cool it is that I’m playing an Israeli character.
You’ve been on this show for a long time now. Are you planning to stick around for as long as the show does?
We’ll see. You can say, I want to be here forever, but the truth is you can only enjoy every day as it comes and hopefully get the most of it. As of now, I’m in my sixth year and it’s been an awesome journey. We’ll see if I’m lucky enough to come back next year. I would love it.