Why ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star Chris O’Donnell Calls Himself a ‘Reactionary’ Parent

by Quentin Blount

Chris O’Donnell is a fan favorite special agent on NCIS: Los Angeles. But when at he’s at home he goes back to being just a husband and a father. And those are two things that he doesn’t take for granted.

O’Donnell has been starring on NCIS: Los Angeles since 2009. The show, of course, is a spinoff of the original NCIS. O’Donnell plays Grisha “G” Callen, an NCIS Special Agent in charge of the Office of Special Projects Team in Los Angeles. And if you watch the hit show, then you know that Special Agent Callen is a man of many talents. CBS describes the character as “a chameleon who transforms himself into whomever he needs to be to infiltrate the criminal underworld.”

That’s quite the description. But when it comes to who Chris O’Donnell is when he isn’t on screen, that’s a different story. The popular actor explained what his at-home relationship is like with his wife Caroline and their five children to People Magazine. He calls himself a “reactionary” parent.

“I tend to be reactionary,” O’Donnell said. “It’s funny there’s stuff that comes up when you first have a baby. You think, ‘how do I change a diaper? What do I do? Is it going to sleep?'”

All of you parents out there can probably relate to that in at least one way, shape, or form. No one is really ever ready for parenthood nor do they know what to expect when it happens to them. It’s just one of those things that you have to learn by getting on-the-job experience.

However, after so long, Chris O’Donnell woke up one day and realized his kids were teenagers. He went from being a new parent with no idea what he was doing to a pro who had raised teenage kids.

“Then all of a sudden the kids become teenagers and you think, ‘that was so easy!”

‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star Brags on His Wife

As you can probably imagine, Chris O’Donnell doesn’t get all of the credit for his parenting work. Instead, he credits his wife, Caroline Fentress, for helping to run their home. He explained as much while attending the show’s Paley Fest Fall TV Preview at the Paley Center for Media.

“Caroline is a great mom,” O’Donnell gushed. “She has great common sense. She is thoughful, reserved, and she takes a breath before she speaks.”

Caroline sounds wise beyond her years. But it just goes to show that after being married to each other for 18 years, Chris and Caroline have definitely come up with a recipe for success when it comes to a healthy marriage and parenting chemistry. The NCIS: Los Angeles star says that he and Caroline have good communication and are constantly working on their relationship.