‘NCIS’ Alum Cote De Pablo’s Exciting Career Beyond the Popular CBS Series

by Shelby Scott

When “NCIS” debuted in 2003, we met several characters who spent more than a decade working their way into our hearts. Several include Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum), and Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly). However, in season three we were introduced to a new, firey Mossad officer named Ziva David. And while she’s been gone from “NCIS” for several years, her actress, Cote De Pablo has led an exciting career. So what became of Ziva outside of “NCIS?”

Cote De Pablo’s Journey to ‘NCIS’ Stardom

Interestingly enough, Cote De Pablo, whose roots lie in Chile, never intended on becoming an actor. However, her aspirations changed when her mother, a Chilean talk show host, scored work on a television show in Miami, Florida. It was then her career in show business took off.

“NCIS” served as Cote de Pablo’s breakout role, though she possessed a litany of talents. After studying musical theatre at Carnegie Melon, the Ziva David actress almost ended up on Broadway. As she awaited her call to the stage, the actress held small TV roles, with a recurring role in “The Jury.”

From there, she went to “NCIS.” However, her audition didn’t go as planned. Ironically enough, Cote De Pablo read a scene with none other than Michael Weatherly, who, like his character DiNozzo, has a penchant for the ridiculous.

“During the audition, he grabbed my hair. He would not follow the lines. He totally went off script and started improvising…I thought, ‘This guy is sabotaging my audition.'”

In the end, the pair established a relationship offscreen much like the one they share onscreen, minus the romance. Another interesting aspect of De Pablo’s audition is that her character was initially Czechoslavakian. Two days after earning the role, writers made Ziva Israeli, making learning her script that much harder.

Ziva David Left Crime Fighting to Become a Stunt Woman

After seven or so seasons of playing a dynamite, lightning-fast special agent, it’s unsurprising that Cote De Pablo went on to become a stunt woman following her time on “NCIS.”

According to The List, Pablo didn’t just practice a new language for her CBS role. She also decided to enact her own stunts.

One of the ways she prepared for the role was by spending time at a shooting range. Often, we see the actress occupying the persona of a rock-solid, no-nonsense assassin-turned-law-enforcement-officer. However, when she first began doing her own stunts, the “NCIS” alum said, “I remember holding the gun and just trembling.”

Later in the series, “NCIS” fans quickly learned Cote De Pablo had a talent for singing as well as acting. The season six premiere saw the actress in a scandalous blue dress singing an alluring tune, “Temptation.”

Mark Harmon Encouraged the Actress to Use Her Platform

Aside from “NCIS,” Cote De Pablo became involved in a number of projects, including “The 33,” “Prototype,” “Seneca,” and a short film, “The Crossing.”

In addition, she shared, “Mark Harmon said to me once that it’s a privilege to get the attention of people.”

That said, she’s aided in bringing attention to an organization called Un Techo Para Mi País, which helps in providing temporary housing for homeless Chileans. She’s also worked with Feeding America and hopes to draw attention to those suffering with cancer.