‘NCIS’ Alum Sasha Alexander Once Explained Why the Acting Life Wasn’t What She Imagined it Would Be

by Katie Maloney

Who wouldn’t want to star on ‘NCIS’? Actor Sasha Alexander certainly did. And her dreams came true when she landed the role of Special Agent Caitlin “Kate” Todd in 2003. She instantly became a fan favorite. However, after only two seasons Todd was killed during the final episode of season two and Sasha Alexander left “NCIS.”

During an interview in 2018, Alexander talked about the realities of Hollywood. She said that life as an actor didn’t necessarily align with how she’d imagine it would be.

“I think that I’d hoped that it would be a little more like it was when I did drama in 7th grade,” said Alexander. “When it was extremely collaborative between people. And that you got to work together and you all got to create things that you loved. And do things you felt comfortable doing.”

However, Alexander said, the business side of Hollywood often detracts from the collaborative experience.

“The business of it is so different because it’s so money-driven. And so usually you have a lot of very big egos,” said Alexander. “So the person who usually wrote it wants to stick with what they want. So, it’s not as collaborative as you’d like it to be. “

Alexander added that the job itself is challenging. She said that she is one of the few among her friends who found success in the industry.

“And it’s a very grueling job,” said Alexander. “I’ve been very fortunate that I got to work in a business where most of my friends quit along the way. And I’ve been in a position to be able to pick and choose what I want to do and what I don’t want to do. But it’s not like that for everyone.”

The “NCIS” alum said that the lack of collaboration has been the most difficult reality to accept for her as an actor in Hollywood.

“So, I think that’s the hardest part is that ultimately when you do get there, there’s such a hierarchy and bureaucracy and politics involved that the creative part gets smaller than you actually want it to be,” she said. “The moments when you actually act and get to act are very fun but all the business surrounding it is very different.”

Why Did Sasha Alexander Leave ‘NCIS’?

The abrupt death of character Kate Todd on “NCIS” in season two, left fans looking for answers. During an interview in 2003, then-showrunner Donald P. Bellisario offered some clarity. He said that he met with Sasha as the show was wrapping up season two.

“Sasha came in… with tears in her eyes, she said, ‘I just can’t work this hard.’ We work very long hours, and Sasha just didn’t feel she was physically up to that kind of time and commitment,” he said.

Almost a decade later, during an interview in 2012, the former “NCIS” star confirmed that the grueling work schedule contributed to her leaving the show.

“People don’t realize that on a network show, you make 24 episodes a year,” she said. “That’s 10-and-a-half months a year, 17 hours a day. It’s hardcore.”