‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: How Stars LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell’s Similar, But Different Life Stories Created Chemistry

by Anna Dunn

NCIS: Los Angeles has a fantastic cast. Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J, however, may just be the soul of the show. The two unlikely leads have set the series apart from its flagship series, NCIS, and its sister spinoffs.

Both O’Donnell and LL Cool J have talked at length about how they’ve perfected their on-screen chemistry, and why the two work so well together.

In a 2011 interview with Daily Actor that occurred in the show’s earlier years, O’Donnell talked about how he and LL Cool J relate, and why that helps their on-screen chemistry.

The Two Have A Real Life Dynamic the Helps them On-Screen

“We, in general, Todd (LL Cool J) and I have a lot of fun with each other. We BS with each and give each other a hard time but at the same time, there’s a real mutual respect,” he said of their behind-the-scenes friendship. But the two have a deeper connection than joking around.

“We’ve got different upbringings and come from different cities but we both have been in this business a long time and have an appreciation for hard work and knowing when we’ve got to work and when we can have fun,” he explained. “[We] both have big families and, I don’t know, I think we just, we like to give each other a hard time, and there’s something about that kind of rubs off on the characters.”

O’Donnell plays G. Callen, while LL Cool J plays Sam Hannah. Together, the two work for NCIS in Los Angeles, solving crimes. The show may be a drama, but it also has a very healthy amount of humor thrown in.

“A lot of the show is, you know, us having fun and also being serious in working together as a team.  Then it’s up to the writers to make it work,” he said. And the writers and cast have definitely made it work. NCIS: Los Angeles is now shooting its 13th total season.

When You Can Catch ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Season 13

NCIS: Los Angeles season 13 will premiere on Sunday, October 10th at 9 pm on CBS. Season 13 will still star LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell along with Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, and Linda Hunt. Gerald McRaney, who plays Killbride, has been promoted to a full-time member of the cast.

According to updates from the cast and crew, episode one of the season is officially wrapped, but for many fans, it still feels like forever until the new season airs. Thankfully, it’s right on schedule, with fewer conflicts due to COVID-19. NCIS: Los Angeles still remains part of a widely popular franchise series.

Its flagship series, NCIS, is still the most popular scripted drama in the world. Meanwhile, NCIS: Hawai’i is a brand new spinoff series premiering on CBS this year. You can catch both of those shows back to back starting on Monday, September 10th.