‘NCIS’: Gary Cole Reveals How He’s Unlike His Character Alden Parker

by Leanne Stahulak

For the last few weeks, “NCIS” fans have slowly gotten to know newcomer Alden Parker, who’s taking over as team lead for Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon). But how does actor Gary Cole differ from his “NCIS” character?

Cole broke it down for fans in a recent TV Insider interview. Apparently, the actor dislikes the modern world he’s been thrust into.

“I hate technology. I’ve been dragged into the future,” Cole told the outlet. “Don’t look for my Twitter. I’ve heard there’s somebody on Facebook saying they’re me. It isn’t. You heard it here!”

Duly noted. Cole refuses to engage in social media practices, which is absolutely fair. But this apparently contradicts his “NCIS” character Parker, who seems to be a tech wizard.

“He’s not as old school,” Cole explained. “He tries to get his hands on new tech gadgets and impress everybody.”

Will Parker do a good enough job impressing everyone to be accepted as team lead? We’ll have to wait until this coming Monday (and likely further Mondays) to find out.

But Cole doesn’t feel a huge amount of pressure while stepping into a regular series role on the show so far in. Even though he has to replace one of the biggest “NCIS” stars in the show’s history.

“I’ve done a lot of dropping into shows, [usually] as a recurring character,” Cole said. “Part of my job description is to get comfortable, whatever that takes. I’m not trying to be [Gibbs]. The writers made that distinction.”

Fans can already tell that Parker and Gibbs differ in their approach to team lead. Cole himself laid it out for TV Insider.

“Parker isn’t overly chatty, but he is more verbal,” Cole explained. He then mentioned how Parker tries to use new tech to impress people. “He’s trying to fit in with the rest of the team. Although he may be reluctant to voice it, he admires that Gibbs breaks rules. Parker bends them. We’ll see if it gets to the point of breaking.”

‘NCIS’ Actor Gary Cole Reveals Character ‘Most Resistant’ to Alden Parker’s Command

“NCIS” fans know that the team wants to stay steadfastly loyal to Gibbs, despite his mistakes. But one character, in particular, has a hard time accepting Gibbs leaving and Parker’s new role in leading the team.

“Initially, Torres [Wilmer Valderrama] is the most resistant,” Cole shared with TV Insider. “Why, I’m not sure. McGee [Sean Murray], whose nature is intelligent and open, is reluctant at first but rolls with it. Jimmy [Brian Dietzen] and Kasie [Diona Reasonover]—they’re in a different world because they’re scientific.”

We’ll have to wait and see if Torress ever really adjusts to the new change in command. “NCIS” returns this Monday, Nov. 1, at p.m. EST on CBS.