‘NCIS: LA’ Star Barrett Foa Pens Heartfelt Message After Season 12 Finale: ‘End of an Era’

by Jacklyn Krol

NCIS: Los Angeles star Barrett Foa wrote a send off message to his fans and his character, Eric.

On Monday (May 24), Foa shared a sweet Instagram message with fans. Amazingly, he was on the show since the pilot episode and has played Eric for a total of 280 episodes. His final appearance on the series was during the Season 12 finale alongside other fellow departing cast member, Renee Felice Smith (Nell Jones).

“It’s the end of an era,” he began. “I’m so proud of this show. The writing, the acting, the cast, the crew, the fans, and yes, my work on it. Creating and developing a gorgeously fleshed-out character like the brainy, bumbling, beta, billionaire Eric ‘Bulletproof’ Beale over the last 12 years has been an actor’s dream.”

He added that not many people have the “incredible privilege” to bring to life a character. He thanked the cast, crew, creators, and fans for a memorable twelve seasons.

All About Eric on ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’

NCIS: Los Angeles star Barrett Foa believed that it was time for his character’s departure. He felt that it was “just sort of clear” and that “this feels right.”

He told TV Line that during the pandemic, he spent his time working on himself and exploring constantly. Foa noted that it was “a nice little parallel reflection” between himself and his character.

What has Foa been up to in between filming episodes during the last two seasons? He was working fulfilling a “theatrical endeavor.”

“It just really recharged my batteries for each new 10-month stretch of NCIS: LA. It kept things fresh, and I’m excited for new, wonderful things coming my way. First of all, theater is back, which is very exciting. Television also is back, but it’s so different from when we started 12 years ago,” he said.

He added, “[NCIS: Los Angeles is] sort of the last of its kind, and I love that I got to be a part of that and have that consistency, to have one character for so long, to have one family for so long.”

Foa admires how far Eric has come as a person and team member.

“I started out as this sort of computer geek who delivered a ton of exposition,” he explained. “And I don’t know if they knew what to do with me at first, but then I think the writers were like, ‘Oh, Barrett’s funny. Oh, Barrett can fall in love. Oh, Barrett can give us some quirk.'”

Did Eric Learn Any Cool Computer Tricks?

One would assume that after countless hours near computers on NCIS: Los Angeles, that he would pick up a few things. He did not, he knows nothing about computers.

“I learned how to poke at Microsoft tablet — a little nod to our sponsors, there,” he noted. “Eric said a lot of fancy things and he hacked into a lot of FBI websites, but I don’t think I can come close to that — nor would I want to try.”

Showrunner R. Scott Gemmill noted that the crew left a “loophole” for either character to later return to the series. Will this be the last we see of Nell and Eric?