‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Actor Chris O’Donnell Addressed His Regrets of Life Before Show: ‘I Didn’t Know Any Better’

by Jennifer Shea

“NCIS: Los Angeles” has taught Chris O’Donnell the value of hard work.

The “G” Callen actor talked to CBS’s Watch! magazine about how he’s grown into a better actor over the years and what a great opportunity the hit CBS show has been.

“I look back and think, ‘I should’ve prepared more. I should’ve worked harder.’ I didn’t know any better [when I was younger],” O’Donnell said. “As I got older and really worked hard, I go, ‘Man, I would’ve loved to have that chance again.’ But that’s all part of maturing.”

‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star Has Put in His Share of Work

That’s not to say that O’Donnell hasn’t worked much. The “NCIS: Los Angeles” star has also appeared in TV shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Practice” and “NCIS.” He starred as Robin in the films “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin.” And he has appeared in movies such as “The Bachelor,” “In Love and War,” “The Three Musketeers” and “School Ties.”

So O’Donnell has had quite a career in the entertainment industry. And he certainly seems to believe in what he does. The actor spoke to the role of entertainment in these difficult times during a recent interview with CBS Boston.

“I feel like we’re doing our part,” O’Donnell said of “NCIS: Los Angeles.” “It is escapism for people, and we all have certain things in life that… just gives us a sense of normal life. Having fresh episodes for the audience, even with the extra lengths we had to go to produce, is a great feeling.”

“It’s our job. It’s what we do,” he went on. “Everyone has been playing such incredible roles and trying to help people survive. If this is the way we can help people get through the day, then we’re happy we can chip in in some way.”

Pandemic Has Been ‘Really Tough,’ O’Donnell Says

Meanwhile, “NCIS: Los Angeles” has undergone its share of pandemic trials and tribulations. The show implemented a ton of precautions when the cast was finally able to get back to work. And some of those changes will be permanent, O’Donnell suggested.

“The pressures that the pandemic has put on everyone has been really tough,” the actor told CBS. “I think everyone was grateful to be on the set and working and seeing familiar faces. We had to take a lot of precautions. We were tested five days a week. They really split up the crew and the cast. There are certain crew members I haven’t even run into this year.”

The show also stopped filming scenes with all eight stars in one place. Instead, it opted for one-on-one scenes. And the show’s cast could only shoot for a limited number of hours per day.

O’Donnell said some of those “efficiencies that are developed out of necessity” will continue into the future. But fortunately for fans of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” they won’t stop or fundamentally alter the show, which will continue to air at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday nights.