‘NCIS’ Star Gary Cole Still Playing Catch-up With Lead Role in Humorous Ways

‘NCIS’ Star Gary Cole Still Playing Catch-up With Lead Role in Humorous Ways

While Gary Cole joined NCIS in 2021 as Special Agent Alden Parker to take over for Mark Harmon’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the actor is still trying to get into the swing of things. Once Cole and Katrina Law joined the long-running procedural, the team has been a constant since Season 19 and have their own rhythm. However, despite Parker getting a handle on things, Cole is the complete opposite.

“I’m constantly lost still,” Cole told Us Weekly at the CBS Fall Schedule Celebration. “There’s people that have been there 20 years that make a wrong turn and we’re looking for them. I’m always asking, ‘What happened here?’ I mean, old episodes always come up. Not necessarily for research, but just to use it to see what happened when we were out here. You get a sense of what the stories were and what was up.”

Even though it’s been hard, Cole is giving props to the writers for having “solved a lot of issues, because they didn’t make it into a situation where you hear a knock on the door and it was like, ‘Hi, I’m the new guy.'” In addition, the actor also credits his castmates for creating such a great environment. “I enjoy when there’s a lot of us in a scene,” Cole explained. “We’ve become pretty good at doing a scene with five or six people. Everybody knows their choreography. It’s really like a dance. That’s been fun to develop with this group.”

It’s not easy coming onto a show almost 20 seasons in to replace the series lead, but Gary Cole has definitely been doing a pretty good job. Of course, no one can fully replace Mark Harmon, but it’s been a fun change seeing Parker lead the team, especially when it comes to connecting with each team member separately in recent episodes. Since he and Katrina Law came on around the same time, hopefully, that made things a little easier, knowing that they were both newbies.

NCIS has been renewed for Season 22, meaning that Gary Cole will have more chances to play catch up. Hopefully, he will be all caught up by the time filming starts for next season, but if not, it sounds like he has just the right ways to help him. Since he did join in Season 19, I don’t blame him for taking a while to get used to everything. In the meantime, the Season 21 finale of NCIS airs this Monday, May 6 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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