Mark Harmon, who performed NCIS fan-favorite Leroy Jethro Gibbs for 19 seasons, has been opening up about his time on the long-running CBS drama as he promotes his new guide, Ghosts of Honolulu: A Japanese Spy, A Japanese American Spy Hunter, and the Untold Story of Pearl Harbor.
Talking to ETOnline, Harmon, who left NCIS in 2022, revealed that he nearly by no means did the present as he wasn’t seeking to decide to a serialized drama at that time in his life.
“I didn’t anticipate to love the script as a lot as I did after I first learn it,” the Emmy-nominated actor stated. “I used to be studying different issues, and I used to be additionally attempting to remain residence… younger household and I needed to attempt to be residence extra.”
A part of what offered Harmon on the present was his character’s identify. “I learn ‘Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ and thought, ‘Huh, I like that identify,’” he defined. “After which, for a quick second, after I determined that I appreciated the concept of the mission, the identify modified.”
For a quick second, the present’s co-creator, Donald P. Bellisario, was contemplating a reputation change to one thing far much less fascinating. This was nearly a deal-breaker for Harmon.
“Bob Johnson or one thing like that,” he recalled of the brand new identify, including, “And I went, ‘No, no, it’s gotta be Leroy Jethro Gibbs.’ [Bellisario] stated, ‘No, you may’t play a man named Leroy Jethro Gibbs,’ and I stated, ‘Why not?’ After which it went again, and I used to be glad about it.”
A spin-off from JAG, the collection premiered on September 23, 2003, on CBS, and is about to embark on its twenty first season, which is about to premiere in 2024.
As for whether or not Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs will make a return, it stays up within the air. Nevertheless, the actor hasn’t dominated out the potential of popping out of retirement.
“He’s in all probability sitting in a stream up in Alaska fishing,” Harmon joked of his character. “Is he going to get out of the stream? I don’t know. But when he’s, I don’t find out about it.”
The present’s government producer Steven D. Binder previously told TV Insider it must be the “proper story” to carry Harmon again, stating, “It’s a card to play, and I don’t suppose we need to play it cheaply.”
“I feel once we do play it, it actually must be the best factor,” Binder continued. “And we work on a distinct timeline than different reveals. Different reveals possibly have a yr or two or they don’t understand how a lot time they’re gonna have. We simply, for rightly or wrongly, function on a for much longer time scale for these items than different reveals do.”
As for Harmon, he seems to be again fondly on his 19 seasons with the present, telling ETOnline, “I don’t know that any of us thought that the present was going to be round so long as it’s been round.”
In reference to the present’s twentieth anniversary, Harmon stated, “As an actor, you don’t suppose in these sorts of phrases. You’re considering, ‘TV collection, if it does three years, we’re gifted.’ However they’ve achieved effectively, they usually’ve labored laborious, and so it’s a extremely good group of individuals.”
Proper now, Harmon is specializing in his guide, which facilities on a U.S. naval counterintelligence officer working to safeguard Pearl Harbor and a Japanese spy ordered to Hawaii to assemble data on the American fleet. The story will deal with the beginning of the real-life Naval Felony Investigative Service.
“Once I first acquired the position within the present, I attempted to google NCIS to determine what it was. I by no means heard of it, there wasn’t a lot data. And in case you google it now, there’s like 25 pages of data,” Harmon instructed ETOnline on why he felt it vital to write down this guide.