‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Why LL Cool J Says the LA Team are a Group of ‘Knights’

by Keeli Parkey

In the popular procedural drama “NCIS: Los Angeles,” the characters are a dedicated team of individuals who do all they can to keep others safe. They are a unit. They are a family. And according to LL Cool J – the show’s star – they are also a “knighthood.”

The 53-year-old rapper turned actor talked about his view on the show’s characters during a January 2017 interview with Seat42F.

“These guys really see themselves as knights. It’s a knighthood, females included, all of them see themselves as knights, see themselves as people who are part of the honored tradition of making sure that they protect the innocent and get rid of the bad guys,” LL Cool J said of the characters in “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

During the interview, the popular actor also commented on how his character has evolved over the years. As fans are aware, LL Cool J plays the character of Sam Hanna in the “NCIS” spinoff.

“I think you grow and evolve and become — I don’t know if relaxed is the right word — but more accustomed and acclimated to the pressures of that life,” LL Cool J said of his character. “I think the character becomes acclimated to what’s going on and the pressures, but my character has grown because the sense of family has deepened. His sense of honor has deepened.”

LL Cool J Said His Understanding of His “NCIS: Los Angeles” Character ‘Does Deepen As You Go On’

LL Cool J has played Sam Hanna in “NCIS: Los Angeles” for many years now. And, according to what he said in 2017, those years of experience help him bring his character to life.

“It does deepen as you go on,” the rapper said of his understanding of his character. “You find that the reasons why the characters do what they do. Like I had a scene the other day and I was interrogating somebody and there was a callback to something that had happened earlier, and I really felt that as an actor because I had really lived it. This was something that had happened maybe a season or two ago, so there is a depth that comes with living this character day to day that you really don’t even get in a movie.”

LL Cool J then went on to talk about how character development on “NCIS: Los Angeles” is different from the film roles he has played. He said working on a television show allows an actor to grow with a character over a long period of time.

“In a film, the script does it for you because the arc of the character takes you on a journey and because of the script, you find that depth automatically, whereas with these shows, the arc is so much longer. It’s so much longer and the journey is extended so much more that you just grow roots as you go along,” he also said. “You become more and more rooted in what it’s doing, but the branches come later. They do. The writers challenge you. It tests you. It’s a constant test. …”