NCIS LA Round Table Interview with Eric Christian Olsen at SDCC 2016
NCIS: Los Angeles will be airing its eighth season starting this fall. NCIS: LA will move to Sunday nights at 8pm starting with the season premiere on October 2nd. When sitting down with Eric Christian Olsen, who plays LAPD detective Marty Deeks, we got the scoop on what’s to come this season, what it has been like working around fellow actor Daniela Ruah’s pregnancy, and his gratitude towards his fans.
After Eric first sat down, he couldn’t help but express his love for Comic Con and being able to interact with his fans. “I love Comic Con. I think that this is one of the few times that you get to interact with the people that have dedicated hours of their lives to watching the show. And what’s amazing about that is that we don’t really get to see it. I mean social media obviously has bridged that gap.” He goes on to explain that at London Comic Con, they were able to see just how their show has affected their fans’ lives. Eric explains, “It’s kind of remarkable, and I love it.”
When asked about his fanbase, Eric remarked, “So I did about 25 movies before the show. And it’s a wide variety of like horror fans, teen comedies, dark romances. But this show specifically is one of the shows where people come up and say ‘I watch the show, and I watch it with my mom and my dad and our son and our neighbor.’ It’s like one of these shows that’s multigenerational, which I had never been a part of before. It’s usually some frat boy and his parents are like, ‘Who is this kid?’ So now with this show it’s remarkable that fans are families. You watch it with your family, which is such a cool thing because there is such a shortage of entertainment that does that.”
With fellow actor Daniela Ruah pregnant, Eric explained some of the challenges of filming scenes by working around her pregnancy. Daniela’s character, Kensi Blye, will not be pregnant on the show, so the writers and the rest of the crew had to be creative on how to hide it. Eric even jokes about her growing baby bump by saying, “We’re day seven in season eight, and my coworker is pregnant, like super pregnant. I know it looks like pasta. It’s a baby.”
He goes on to say, “So they’ve had to shoot around that. So we shot eight episodes of her arc ahead of time. So I know like the first eight episodes of that relationship, and I can say confidently that the best thing that happened to these two characters is that they had to figure out a way to do a storyline to shoot around that because there is a proposal.” You heard it here! Eric Christian Olsen revealed that there will be a proposal. At their CBS Fan Favorites panel, Eric and Daniela did confirm that their characters will be engaged this season. We will just have to watch and see if we will be getting a Densi wedding anytime soon!
One thing that fans of NCIS: LA love is that the show is all about good character drama and storytelling. Eric was asked how he feels about their show bringing in the great numbers that it does given that they don’t have dragons or zombies. Eric starts by showing his love of those shows when he said, “I mean listen I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones, and I love that show. Like when Jon Snow popped his eyes open, I was like JON SNOW!”
He continues genuinely about how grateful he is with his opportunity on NCIS: LA. “But there is something remarkable about television in which it’s just about the relationships. And the beauty of a procedural show is that you watch Brothers and Sisters, and you run out of things to go wrong in four seasons. On a show like ours, we can go for 14 years because it’s the crime of the week. But it’s really about the characters and their very slow and realistic growth as a family. And so my instinct coming into the show was ‘We gotta get to these beats!’ And they were like slow down. This show is a reflection of life as far as relationships go. And it’s all about an arc over 200 episodes with no dragons.”
Eric ended the interview giving us a taste at how filming movies and TV shows differ. ”Scorsese said it the best when he was talking about Boardwalk Empire. He’s like in a movie I have maybe two hours, Scorsese has three, to tell a story. I know where the character starts and I know where it ends, and I can tell that arc. And with a TV show like this, I find out what this character is going through, you know, two days before I get the script. And therefore, it’s a lot like life because I can’t prepare an arc to play.”
Eric goes on to say, “So playing an arc in a TV show is a lot like us as humans reacting to the world. And that’s a much more difficult thing to do because a lot of times, just like life, we find something that’s contrasting and conflicting to something we’ve done prior. So you just have to find a way to evolve the character in a way that’s realistic and real, so you don’t lose track of who the character is but also dealing with stuff you never thought this character would have to endure. That’s the main difference. And the hours.” Eric gripes for a moment about their 70 hour work weeks but is always appreciative. He ends saying, “But that’s great because we have jobs.”
If you haven’t had the pleasure of following this show, you can jump in anytime. You can stream free episodes from CBS.com or for more episodes, subscribe to CBS All Access. Be prepared for more NCIS: LA, and tune in for Season 8 starting Sunday Oct 2nd at 8pm.