‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Actor Scott Bakula’s Character Was Based On a Real NCIS Officer

by John Jamison

With “NCIS: Hawai’i” around the corner, it only seems right to take a look back at its immediate predecessor. From 2013 to 2021, Scott Bakula and “NCIS: New Orleans” entertained the franchise’s fan base over the course of more than 150 episodes. Now it’s time for a new cast and setting to take over. But no iteration will ever replace Bakula’s Dwayne Pride.

In fact, his character was directly inspired by a real Naval investigator. So much so that their first names are practically the same. “NCIS: New Orleans” wasn’t as concerned with matching all of the details. But Bakula’s character and the things he did on the show were absolutely influenced by D’Wayne Swear.

The real NCIS man, unfortunately, died in 2018. Before that, however, he was actually involved as a technical advisor on the show.

“D’Wayne led with a grin, a hug and a joke. He was the heart and soul of our show. The greatest ambassador for the city of New Orleans and a shining beacon for good cops everywhere. His life was devoted to service… to his family, to NCIS, to law enforcement, to everyman…no matter his or her station in life,” Bakula told Deadline.

And Swear really lived it. Though, the organization was called the Naval Investigative Service back in his day. Swear was a New Orleans boy through and through. He started his career just outside the city in Jefferson Parish. According to Deadline, Swear continued working in and around New Orleans for years. He even went so far as the Phillippines for NCIS work before retiring in 2010.

When “NCIS: New Orleans” came knocking, Swear was ready and willing to help. After all, retirement jobs don’t get much better than helping people tell your stories for millions of loyal fans.

Scott Bakula Tried to Bring His Leadership Experience From ‘Star Trek’ to His Character in ‘NCIS: New Orleans’

Fans may or may not remember Scott Bakula’s stint at the helm of the iconic ship on “Star Trek: Enterprise.” It was a relatively short-lived show, but it saw Scott Bakula in command of a team. Not unlike his Dwayne Pride character on “NCIS: New Orleans.”

Of course, his “Star Trek” character wasn’t based on an actual man.

“It’s interesting when you do a part that’s based on a real guy,” Bakula told AssignmentX in 2014. “Once you meet D’wayne, he’s a big, gregarious kind of open-hearted lovely fellow, and I’m very intent on bringing that kind of guy to life.

But Bakula also brought certain aspects of his own leadership experience from previous roles.

“Leadership happens – the leadership in the guy who runs a starship is a little bit different than a guy who runs an office in New Orleans, but certainly there are elements that you carry with you as a leader and that’ll be a part of it,” Bakula finished.