NCIS: Los Angeles star Eric Christian Olsen once talked about what it was like receiving his first paycheck from an acting gig. Olsen stars as Marty Deeks on NCIS: Los Angeles. He’s been a series regular since NCIS: Los Angeles season 2. Now, the show is approaching season 13.
In a 2016 interview, the NCIS: Los Angeles actor recounted what it was like being a much younger actor and getting paid for the first time.
“I was at Pepperdine University. I was a sophomore and had just done this movie called Pearl Harbor. And it was a very small role but you get a thing called residuals which is when a movie sells on DVD or HBO you get half a penny every time it airs, but if a movie is a big hit you get a big residual check,” he explained.
Eric Christian Olsen and His Friends all Thought his First Check Was a Misprint
“So I had like 300 dollars to my name. I’m checking my mail on the campus little boxes. I’m not even sure I have a shirt on. I open this little mailbox and see this residual check and open it up and its 21,000 dollars.” The NCIS: Los Angeles actor said. It would be any college kid’s dream come true. Thing is, they all thought it was a misprint.
“And I look at my friends, the brain trusts, two of which weren’t wearing shirts one of which was probably drunk [and they] decided the best thing to do is to go cash that check. That way, when Disney comes I can be like ‘I already cashed it!'”
Olsen then drove his 1984 Chevy Nova to the bank only to be told he couldn’t cash the check until it cleared. Of course, he called every day waiting until it cleared. Finally, they told him it was ready.
“I race my Nova over there. They are waiting for Disney to chase me down. And I take the money out. I cash out 21,000 from the Wells Fargo,” he hilariously admitted. “I am 19 and I am a student at Pepperdine University and I have no place to put it.”
Olsen wound up being so paranoid that Disney would “Hunt him down” that he carried around 21,000 for six months. All of his friends new, but nobody took it. Then, Olsen ran into another actor.
“I ran into someone who did Independence day, and he was like, ‘no, that’s like a normal thing. You can go ahead and put the money back into the bank account,'” he described.
‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ To Return Soon
Hopefully, whatever Olsen’s making on NCIS: Los Angeles, he’s learned to keep it safer than he did with his first paycheck. The hilarious anecdote is one of many Olsen likes to share in interviews, and it’s fun to hear about the antics of the NCIS: Los Angeles cast and crew.