Chris O’Donnell of NCIS: Los Angeles is an actor who has also worn the director’s hat for a number of the show’s episodes. He’s been playing G. Callen enough now that people who watch him feel comfortable with O’Donnell on their TV sets. He’s been an actor in both TV and movies for a long, long time.
Well, there was an episode of the CBS drama where he had his wife, Caroline Fentress, on there. No, she didn’t have a starring role. But Fentress and some friends happened to get a spot with Chris as the director. OK, this story gets a little crazy and we’ll let O’Donnell talk about it himself. He made a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert talking about NCIS: Los Angeles and his new dance show on CBS, Come Dance With Me.
Chris O’Donnell of ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Ended Up Setting Wife, Her Friends Straight
“I had my wife and I was directing an episode,” O’Donnell of NCIS: Los Angeles tells Colbert. “She and her friends went, ‘Well, we want to be on. If you’re the director, they can’t say no.’ I was like, ‘OK, we’ll get you in.’ This is how she was going to get into the Screen Actors Guild.” He would recall a scene that he was filming when a guy enters a restaurant. He starts shooting up the restaurant on the set. O’Donnell says that everyone freaked out and they start running away. This is where things begin to get wonky for him and Fentress and her friends.
“I’m watching the playback after we did the take ’cause there’s hundreds of people there,” O’Donnell says. “This one group of girls comes running through and they all are laughing hysterically. And they’re still carrying their real champagne that they’d ordered themselves.” About that time, he says that the director of photography [or DP, if you will] comes up and says something to him. “‘Chris, you know, they’re all laughing,'” that person tells O’Donnell. “‘Yeah, I know this. That’s my wife. We’re gonna handle that.’ So I went back. ‘Guys, you’re gonna get me fired so you need to cooperate here and, maybe, when the guy starts firing a gun, it’s not that funny.'”
NCIS: Los Angeles is coming back next season as are all the NCIS shows on CBS. He and Fentress have been married since 1997 and have five children. He says that “values and traditions” keep his marriage strong these days. “Our families have the same values and traditions, and I think that goes a long way,” O’Donnell said in an interview with Redbook. “Because when the excitement and heat of romance wears off, those are the things you fall back on.”