‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Actor Scott Bakula Had To Work Hard To Learn New Accent for the Role

by Jennifer Shea

“NCIS: New Orleans” star Scott Bakula played Dwayne Pride, a native of New Orleans, on the show. And not only did he have to master the New Orleans accent for the role, but he had to mimic the particular way that cops in New Orleans speak, too.

It was a lot of work, Bakula admitted in a 2014 interview with Assignment X. But it was rewarding work. And he was gratified to hear that he mostly got the accent right.

“I’d never used it before, and it’s a very unique kind of accent. And it’s been mis-accented several times, especially if you talk to the folks down there. So it was very important for me to get it right,” he said. “I had a great dialect coach, Jessica Drake, who helped me.”

“We know who my guy is and where he came from,” he added. “And there’s a very unique kind of New Orleans cop-speak also. So we’ve incorporated some of that. So hopefully it will be – well, it’s already passed muster, I guess you could say. I’ve gotten hardly any angry letters about my accent.”

Series Was Canceled This Year

Amid declining ratings, CBS canceled “NCIS: New Orleans” during its seventh season this February. Bakula, who was also an executive producer of the show, told The Hollywood Reporter that he would miss New Orleans.

“Sad to end our love affair with this phenomenal city but so grateful for all the friends we made along the way,” Bakula said. “I will miss the music. Big thank you to CBS for seven years.”

The cancellation came as executive producers Christopher Silber and Jan Nash were gearing up for the new “NCIS” spinoff, “NCIS: Hawaii,” on which they were collaborating, and which was just about to be picked up by CBS at that point.

“As disappointed as we are to see NOLA end, we couldn’t be prouder of the work we’ve done and are grateful to the spectacular and resilient Crescent City that embraced us for seven wonderful years,” they said in a joint statement.

‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Was ‘Bonanza’ for the City

As Nola.com pointed out, the big-budget “NCIS: New Orleans” had brought a windfall for local vendors catering to the TV and film industry. And it shot on location around the New Orleans area as well as at the NIMS Center soundstage in Harahan.

“One of the gifts that ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ gave to the city was how much they shot on location and in music venues, and the support they gave to cultural organizations,” Carroll Morton, director of the New Orleans film office, told Nola.com.

Bakula said the show had tried hard to be authentic, and the city had welcomed them.

“I’m very excited about it and again, the city – they’re just thrilled that we’re coming down, they love the franchise,” he told Assignment X. “So it feels good and there are a lot of great, talented people working on it.”