‘NCIS’: How Wilmer Valderrama Used His ‘Pretend’ Practice as Child to Prepare for His Role

by Suzanne Halliburton

Wilmer Valderrama plays NCIS agent Nick Torres, the former undercover guy who joined Gibbs’ team in season 14.

And if Valderrama looks authentic playing Nick, there’s a reason. Way back in the day, when he was just a kid, Valderrama said he used to practice playing such a character.

The Australian morning show Studio 10 interviewed Valderrama three years ago. The Aussies were interested in Valderrama’s early work — he started his TV career by playing Fez, the girl-crazy exchange student on the That 70s Show. And, the morning show also wanted to know about Valderrama’s work on NCIS. The CBS drama is seen around the world, so Valderrama is an international star.

A host asked him how he prepared for his role of Nick Torres, the sometimes unorthodox agent on Gibbs’ NCIS team.

“I don’t, because I did it all through my teens,” the NCIS star said. “When you’re a kid, you have the things you do that you hope that you look like when you eventually do it. But you’re always wrong. You never look that cool. But when you’re doing it in the mirror, you look super awesome. “

Yes, we agree. You always look far cooler in the privacy of your own mirror, with a whole lot of help from your imagination. But Nick Torres is cool by nature.

Nick Torres Was in Two Emotional NCIS Episodes In Season 18

Torres had two emotional NCIS episodes this spring.

In the first, viewers got to know more of his backstory. That was in the episode called Sangre. Nick never had a real relationship with his father, Miguel. He walked out on the family when Nick was five. Everyone thought he was dead. But as it turns out, Miguel worked deep undercover missions for various government agencies. (This is NCIS, after all, undercover is a common plot point).

Miguel kept a lookout on his son from afar and provided for his family, financially, through the church. In Sangre, the father returned to his son’s life. Nick’s dad gets shot several times but survives because of a bulletproof vest. Nick invited his dad to dinner. But Miguel was a no-show. That’s when he realized NCIS was his real family, with Gibbs serving as a kind of surrogate father. When Miguel let him down once again, Torres went to Gibbs’s house to talk about it.

Then, in the finale, Nick and Ellie Bishop finally act on their feelings for each other. But that was only after Nick figured out that Bishop torched her NCIS career in order to go deep undercover for the CIA. The two agents share a kiss, then Bishop walks away. Emily Wickersham, who portrayed Bishop, is leaving the show. So it’s probably over between the two, unless NCIS writers come up with a way for the two characters to do some undercover long distance.