‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Star Vanessa Lachey Reflects on Her Daughter’s Heartwarming Reaction to Her Character

by Alex Falls

Vanessa Lachey is living her dream right now. As the star of NCIS: Hawaii, she gets to live on the beach in between filming her scenes catching criminals. Plus, her loving family gets to come along for the ride.

Lachey recently spoke to Insider about what the role means to her. And more importantly, how it made an impact in her children.

“For me, when my children saw it and my daughter saw it and the way she looked at me like her Wonder Woman and she saw me representing women, that hit me,” Lachey said. “And then I realized it’s a bigger picture than just my children. This is for all little girls and all little boys, too. Anybody that feels different.”

Lachey plays Special Agent Jane Tennant on the hit CBS show. She believes her role helps her make an impact on the world. The actor said it’s important to present women in roles of power on TV to give other women in the world proper representation.

“It means that we’re moving in the right direction in terms of what’s on camera, because it’s actually in the real world,” Lachey said. “You know, there are women in my position who are of my ethnicity in NCIS, and so to be able to see it represented on television is so… It’s an honor that I get to be the one to do the representation.”

What Her NCIS: Hawaii Role Means to Lachey

Providing children with an authentic representation of ethically diverse women is a strong priority to Lachey. The star also hosts Love is Blind and The Ultimatum for Netflix, and she looks back on her childhood when she didn’t see women like herself on TV.

“I just remember growing up, I remember thinking the closest thing I had to actually being to Wonder Woman was that we both had brown hair,” Lachey said. “I remember thinking, ‘I don’t look like her.’ I remember feeling less than growing up. Because I didn’t have someone that looked like me to represent that.” 

Lachey hopes her role in NCIS: Hawaii will inspire all children to chase their dreams. No matter what their background might be or where they’re coming from.

“You can be Jane Tennant on NCIS: Hawaii, but also you can be your own person and you can get the spouse and get the family and get the job and live in the dream island that you want to,” Lachey said. “If that’s what you want to do, the way you look will not stop you.”

NCIS: Hawaii is currently shooting its highly-anticipated second season. Tennant and her team return to investigate more military crimes across the islands of Hawaii on September 19th.