‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Admiral Kilbride Actor Gerald McRaney Reveals Why He’s Sticking Around

by Jacklyn Krol
Paul Archuleta, Getty Images

After being promoted to a series regular this season, NCIS: Los Angeles star Gerald McRaney revealed why he chose to stay on a permanent basis.

In a new interview with TV Insider, Admiral Kilbride actor spoke about why his character is sticking around on the series. You’ll recall that previously, his character was only a recurring guest star and helped the team while Hetty was absent last season. In real life, actress Linda Hunt was at home due to pandemic concerns. But NCIS: Los Angeles fans haven’t seen the last of him in this role. He will continue to be helping Hetty.

That’s the overall idea,” he explained. “Because Hetty was the one who brought him in ages and ages ago on a particular case. And so he and Hetty are old friends-slash-rivals, they have their disagreements and stuff, but when Hetty needed him, he came in.”

Their dynamic is something that you can’t look away from. McRaney shared that the writers want to portray “some level of conflict” but not in a disrespectful manner.

“They’re just writing good stuff for me,” he added. “And I think they’ve managed to walk that line between a simple disagreement and disrespect, which they’ve managed to pull off.”

‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ In Real Life

In real life, McRaney loves the setup on the show and is having a blast. “I’m having so much fun on this. I told some of the guys the other day, this is the most fun I’ve had on a series since Simon & Simon,” he revealed. “And it is just fun every day I go to work.”

He also enjoys the unique set. “It’s one of the most interesting sets ever, and I love it. The quirkiness of all of that stuff is appealing to me as an actor.”

At the end of the day, he loves coming to work. And the “I don’t know if it’s not appealing to Kilbride as a character, but I love working there.” Part of the reason is the epic boat interrogation room with a trap door.

“They’ve added a nice sort of deck area in back of the boatshed itself, where we’ve played a few scenes now,” he teased.

Eric Christian Olsen and His Script Ideas

Eric Christian Olsen, who portrays Deeks, is also a writer and producer. He wrote his first episode for the series on the 250th episode entitled “Mother.” But he has more ideas where that came from.

“I think I probably have about 15 episodes written in my head right now,” he told Carter Matt. “You wake up in the middle of the night and you’ve got an amazing new cold open.”

Olsen also wants to do a “deep dive” into Hetty’s backstory.

“I think that for me, the thing that I love the most about the show — the pillar of the show — is Linda [Hetty],” he added. “After her accident, it’s something that I really missed and I think the audience feels that as well — her POV, her character’s POV, and the strength and gravitas that she brings to the show, but also to the dynamic of the team.”