HitFix Interview: Cote de Pablo hints at what’s to come on ‘NCIS’

“NCIS” returns for its tenth season in just a few weeks (Tues. Sept. 25, 8:00 p.m.), but the premiere promises to be worth the wait. In last season’s finale, Dr. Ryan (Jamie Lee Curtis) went into hiding, Ducky (David McCallum) had an apparent heart attack, and a bomb tore apart NCIS headquarters. That explosive ending killed Jonathan Cole (Scott Wolf), while Ziva (Cote de Pablo) and Tony (Michael Weatherly) were trapped in an elevator. While I was only able to talk to de Pablo for a few minutes at the CBS TCA party, I (very quickly) asked her about what’s ahead for Ziva and Tony, a pair who’ve sparked even from the acrimonious beginning of their relationship. Here’s what the Chilean-born actress had to say. Very quickly. 

The season nine finale was quite literally explosive. Any hint as to what’s going to happen to Ziva and Tony?

Well, the cliffhanger is that we were stuck in an elevator. The bomb exploded and the next thing you know we’re on the floor. Nothing else is seen. So, we have no idea what happened. The beginning of this year, we’re still stuck in an elevator — you find us there — and we have a nice little bit in the elevator, which is so much fun. Ironically, the writers were around and they just saw the chemistry between these two characters, and they were like, we’ve gotta do more of this, and Michael [Weatherly] and I jumped. Of course you have to do more of this! This is what we love to do, so hopefully they’re going to have more scenes and explore that relationship more. It’s always fun for us.

When you joined the show, Ziva and Tony weren’t so friendly. Which do you prefer — acting out that fractious relationship, or flirting? And how does that affect you both when you’re not filming?

We’re always having fun. Always. And we’re going to go through the ups and downs of whatever they write. So if we’re supposed to be having tension, then we’re gonna go through tension, much like life. But we embrace it all, and whenever there is tension between the characters, Michael and I take distance from each other. We do; it just happens naturally. It just does. And whenever we have to be more connected, we just naturally come together. It’s really funny. So right now we’re getting together, and I think the writers are going, oooh, look at the chemistry there, and him and I are like, it’s always been there. You just have to seize it. Always.  

So, are Ziva and Tony finally going to get together? 

I don’t know together, but it’s definitely going to be more explored. [Fans] want more things to happen between these characters. And I think the writers are on board, and they want more things to happen. And I think it will.

The show is coming up on its tenth season and you’ve been on “NCIS” for eight years. Looking back, what’s been the biggest change for you? 

I’ve been on this show more than most people are on most shows. Being on a show for almost a decade, not only do you go through a lot physically, ten years is a long time. And people change drastically. And if I’m not mistaken, scientifically it has been proven that a person changes cellularly speaking every seven years. So I am a whole new person! And the show is good, on a cellular level. 

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