‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Why Chris O’Donnell Says It’s Been a ‘Great Gift’ to Appear on the Series

by Matthew Wilson

Actor Chris O’Donnell may have built a career for himself as an action star. But one of his longest-running creations has been on television on “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

O’Donnell has played Agent Grisha “G.” Callen on the “NCIS” spin-off for 12 seasons now. In fact, O’Donnell has been on the show so long that he’s watched his children grow up during the series run. Married to Caroline Fentress, O’Donnell has five children – Finely, Charles, Lily, Maeve, and Chris Jr. When he was first starting out on the show, some of his children were still small. Now, he has fully grown children and is still playing the same role.

In a recent interview with ET Online, O’Donnell discussed why starring on “NCIS: Los Angeles” is a “great gift.”

As an actor, O’Donnell has enjoyed being able to develop his character over the past decade. It’s allowed him to really dig into who Callen is as a person.

“It’s been amazing,” he told the outlet. “It seems like it’s gone by very fast, but I know when I look at my kids, how young they were when we started. I still had kids in diapers and they’re all, you know — some of them are adults now. It’s been amazing, but I think that from an acting standpoint it’s been fantastic, because the development of these characters and the richness to the storylines. You know, it does raise the stakes and it does lead to more emotion and that sort of thing.”

Chris O’Donnell on ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’

But on a personal level, Chris O’Donnell has been thankful for the job security. Being an actor can sometimes be like living life as a nomad. Actors are constantly looking for their next project to work on. That’s how it was at the beginning of O’Donnell’s career. And sometimes, the project doesn’t always hit. Just ask O’Donnell and the critically maligned “Batman and Robin.”

In a business where you’re only as good as your last project, O’Donnell has enjoyed working on “NCIS: Los Angeles” for so long. Without having to worry about his next project, O’Donnell has been able to enjoy watching his children grow up.

“But purely from a personal life, it’s been unbelievable,” he continued. “As an actor you know…you’re a gypsy. You’re moving around and you’re living in different parts of the world and you’re looking for your next job. To have a steady bit of work here while my kids are in their formative years, it’s been a great gift. I know I’m very grateful and I think most of our cast has been as well to have, you know, to park ourselves here for a while and work on this amazing show.”

O’Donnell will be back on the show for the upcoming Season 13.