‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: How Eric Christian Olsen Feels About America Being ‘Divided,’ How ‘Storytelling’ Can Help

by Courtney Blackann

People have a lot of feelings about our world right now. From the Covid-19 pandemic to staying home constantly, labor shortages and everything else we’ve experienced over the last year, how could you not having feelings about it? For “NCIS: Los Angeles” star Eric Christian Olsen, storytelling is a way to help cope.

The actor sat down with CarterMatt to discuss how storytelling is a way to keep us united through varying beliefs and opinions.

He explains that movies and shows have more purpose than entertainment alone – and that through this art form, we can learn from each other.

Drawing Inspiration From Different Perspectives

“In my childhood, the biggest things that landed for me came in the form of stories. My dad was an English professor — understanding the Holocaust came through Sophie’s Choice. Understanding racism in the fifties in Chicago came through Richard Wright. So much of my understanding of the world came through these great stories,” Olsen says. “My goal is to find unique and diverse POVs and voices that have universal themes and the power to evolve perspective. That’s a complex way of saying what Will & Grace did for homosexuality in America, I think there’s a lot of different ways to do that.”

The actor went on to add:

“I think that we, as a country, have become so divided, so to have any storytelling that brings us together as a nation or gives us something that we’ve never understood before is something that I’m looking for. That’s one of the things I’m working on with Frank [Military] in Cascadia, and we talk about the genocide within our borders and the Native American relationship and the scorched earth within our own history. We do it through two great characters — from a macro perspective, it’s a love story of these two FBI agents who find identity in that relationship. You’re getting to explore all these things that I haven’t seen on TV before, and CBS is giving us an opportunity to give it a shot as a pilot there.”

“NCIS: Los Angeles” Star Discusses Writing for Show

When he’s not busy playing Detective Deeks, Eric Christian Olsen is still probably doing something to hone his craft. The former “Not Another Teen Movie” star really enjoys writing as well as acting.

In 2019, Olsen got to write “NCIS: Los Angeles’s” 250th episode. It was something he said was fun and different and really let him get creative. When asked if he would write more episodes now that he’s shown he’s pretty good at it, Olsen had some thoughts.

“If [the executives] were to say ‘yea, let’s give the kid another shot,’ I’d love to do that. It’s such a fun exercise and I know the mistakes I made the first time around and I have ideas on how to fix them,” he said.

Now in 2021, he’s getting to write an episode for Season 13 that will air later this year.