‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Alum Renee Felice Smith is Considering ‘Surgically’ Attaching Hat to Her Head in Selfie

by Suzanne Halliburton

Renee Felice Smith, the now-former star of NCIS: Los Angeles, was going through some healthy self-reflection as she posted another selfie.

Smith loves to post photos on Instagram. She’s like every other young star in Hollywood. But she also acknowledges a reliance on a specific accessory. She’s never without a hat, specifically a straw hat.

The actress who played fan-favorite Nell Jones on NCIS: Los Angeles, posted a photo of herself. With the hat. So she joked:

“Thinking ’bout having this thing surgically attached. what are my options?”

Former NCIS: Los Angeles Star Said She Loved Hats Because of New York

Smith always has acknowledged her love of hats. She said in an interview five years ago it’s probably due to where she was born. She grew up in Patchogue, NY, on the south shore of Long Island.

“I was born in a snowstorm, and I miss the cold weather,” the former NCIS: Los Angeles star said. “I’m a coat, scarf, hat girl. When I try to do that in L.A., it’s just… sweaty.”

But hey, she wears a straw hat, which is perfect for a breezy California summer or time spent on the New York shore.

No doubt, fans of NCIS: Los Angeles are going to miss Smith’s portrayal of quirky Nell Jones. She was half of the “Wonder Twins.” The other half was Barrett Foa’s Eric Beale. Smith joined the show in 2010.

In the season 12 finale in May, Nell got the hard push to stay in the NCIS: Los Angeles office. She’d been the interim Hetty, meaning she ran things. Retired Admiral Kilbride (Gerald McRaney) told her she either needed to take the offer to be the permanent manager or resign.

So Nell resigned. But there was a twist. Hetty, played by Linda Hunt, showed up in the office after spending the season away in an unspecified war zone. And Hetty gave Nell permission to leave and make her own path.

Nell left with Eric, who was opening a security office in Tokyo. And with that, both actors left NCIS: Los Angeles.

Showrunner Scott Gemmill told TV Line that it was the perfect time for both characters to depart.

“Both Renée and Barrett have been on the show a long time,” Gemmill said. “And they’re both very ambitious individuals who have projects that they want to do on their own. And we’ve been giving them time off to do so. It seemed like a natural time to let them go off and do some other things and give (the characters_ what is a happy, hopefully, ending.”

The show now is in production for season 13. There has been some shifting in the cast. McRaney was elevated to a full-time character. But it’s unclear who might be the new female in the office. Hunt is expected to be in more episodes. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hunt didn’t film in the studio. At 76, she was at higher risk of the virus, so she filmed scenes on her driveway.

The NCIS: Los Angeles premiere is Oct. 10. Stay tuned!