‘NCIS: Hawai’i’: Get to Know Vanessa Lachey’s Lead Character Jane Tennant

by Leanne Stahulak

With only about a month to go until the premiere of “NCIS: Hawai’i,” showrunners and lead actress Vanessa Lachey are eager to introduce us to the show’s lead.

For the first time in “NCIS” history, the show will feature a female lead as Special Agent-in-Charge. And Lachey seems to love embodying Jane Tennant almost as much as she loves eating the native Hawaiian steamed buns called manapua.

“I’m going to turn into a manapua,” Lachey joked with TV Guide Magazine yesterday.

TV Insider gave us the full scoop on Lachey’s interview about her lead character, Jane Tennant. The “NCIS: Hawai’i” star got right down to business. “She’s a bada– with a warm heart,” Lachey said.

Like Lachey, Tennant is the first woman to run the NCIS Pearl Harbor division. Executive producer Jan Nash confirmed that they always considered having a woman in the role.

“We never really talked about anything other than a female lead,” Nash said.

Tennant oversees about 40 agents, but she doesn’t just sit back and let them do all the work.

“[Jane] doesn’t bark orders and sit at her desk,” Lachey said. “She gets her hands dirty.”

We’ve already seen evidence of that in several behind-the-scenes clips. Recently, Lachey posted a photo of herself on horseback as she’s training for an early episode. Director Larry Teng also posted a clip of Lachey and other cast members riding through the woods as they investigate an issue. Jane Tennant definitely seems like the type of agent who can’t stay still when there’s work to be done.

And there’s always work to be done for the character. In addition to leading NCIS Pearl Harbor, Tennant also looks after her two kids. The divorced mom has a 10-year-old daughter named Julie (Mahina Anne Marie Napoleon) and a 16-year-old son named Alex (Kian Talan).

What Do We Know About ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’ Character Jane Tennant’s Personal Life?

Vanessa Lachey revealed in her interview with TV Guide Magazine that the first episode opens up with a very specific scene. As she’s coaching her daughter Julie’s soccer game, Tennant gets called in for duty. But she doesn’t get an actual “call,” per se. Instead, a Black Hawk helicopter lands at the soccer field to whisk her away to a crime scene.

“Day 1, Hour 1, I’m in a Black Hawk. I’m going up, I’m landing, I’m walking off, standing tall and proud, [heading] toward a crime scene,” Lachey said. “I feel like I’m in a dream.”

But the reality is, Tennant faces a lot of obstacles at the NCIS base. “She’s making it work in a man’s world, and she doesn’t take no for an answer,” Lachey revealed. “She finds her way into every opportunity she gets and comes out on the other end unscathed. At the same time, she’s human and she’s learning how to juggle her emotions and being a mother.”

While we’re not sure yet what happened to Tennant’s marriage, Lachey does hint at a potential romance on the horizon.

“Jane is not dating at the moment, but she’s not closed off,” Lachey said.

Executive producer Christopher Silber also confirmed, “We might find some romantic entanglements.”

The season debuts on Monday, Sept. 20, at 10/9 CT.