‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Explained How He is Still Learning About Gibbs After Many Seasons

by Anna Dunn

In a 2012 interview, NCIS star Mark Harmon talked about how he learns something new about his character all the time. The actor, at that point, had played agent gibs for nearly a decade. He’s played the character for nearly two.

When asked if he ever learns something new about Leroy Jethro Gibbs that he didn’t know before, he simply responded “all the time.” For the actor, working with the writers meant allowing them to teach him about his character instead of trying to run the show.

“[I learn something new] all the time,” he said. “And I think that everyone would say the same thing. I’ve never been one to go up to the writer’s office and sit down and say, ‘What are we doing?’ I much prefer getting a script and reading about what they had in mind.”

While this interview with TV Equals was almost a decade ago, it doesn’t seem like he’s changed his tune much. The actor still plays Gibbs, and even though his time on NCIS is winding down, it’s clear he’s very passionate about the show.

“A lot of time we play certain beats blind because you don’t know where they’re going, but that’s also part of the joy of this show,” he commented.

Mark Harmon Didn’t Want to Run ‘NCIS’ Into the Ground

Harmon was also aware that NCIS was starting to get a bit on the older side. When you start learning new things about your character, things become stagnant. Nobody wants a show where it’s clear people aren’t invested in their work anymore.

“I don’t believe two hundred and ten episodes in, going into your number one show, no one is bored. It’s still fun to play those roles. It’s still fun to play opposite these people that I get to work with every day. As long as that maintains, I think that all of us feel the same way,” he said. “I don’t think that anybody feels like they’re interested in running something into the ground. They would much rather this end on the high side, and they all end at some point. Right now, there’s nothing but future ahead of us, and I think that everyone feels that.”

Harmon certainly was right about the future ahead of them. NCIS has been renewed for season 19 now and will air in the 2021-2022 season. That means that it’ll air almost ten years exactly after that interview took place.