‘NCIS’: Why Former Star Michael Weatherly Says Mark Harmon Didn’t ‘Have as Much Fun’ as Rest of Cast

by Jacklyn Krol

Michael Weatherly learned about being the star of a show from NCIS lead Mark Harmon.

In an interview with USA Today, Weatherly revealed that he learned about leadership during his time on NCIS to prepare him for Bull.

“It’s been very illuminating and given me a great deal of insight and regard for what Mark Harmon was doing all those years (on ‘NCIS’),” he said. “When I was like, ‘How come he doesn’t have as much fun as the rest of us?’”

Things didn’t start off as well as Gibbs and DiNozzo’s relationship. Weatherly compared him and Harmon to different poles like Antarctica and the North Pole.

“We were just looking down there going ‘what is up with your polarity? What’s going on? The water goes down the drain the other way for me,'” he told The Futon Critic.

Weatherly recalled one instance where Harmon was confused by him. During an interview with CNN Showbiz Today, Weatherly answered the question of what was the best part about making the pilot in a comedic way.

“I said, ‘I got a rubber gun and I got a fake badge,'” he responded. “And Harmon looked at me like, ‘That is your CNN answer?’ [Laughs.] And I was like a little kid who had one too many bowls of Count Chocula.”

Inner ‘NCIS’ Workings

During Weatherly and Harmon’s time on NCIS, the Bull star believes that he knew more about the show than Harmon did. This was because as the No. 1 lead, people don’t want you to know certain things.

“Whether it’s a legal liability or it’s just that they don’t want to bother you, everyone wants to kind of keep you in a bubble,” he said in an interview. “And I watched Mark [Harmon] fight very hard to stay out of that bubble and try to stay in touch, or stay integrated and have the information.”

Weatherly explained that people want to isolate and protect their star. But that can create an anxiety as you want to know what’s going on.

Aside from learning how to be a leading man and the top-billed on a call sheet, Harmon taught Weatherly more valuable lessons.

“What I learned from Mark Harmon is that it’s my job as an actor to stay complicated and to keep that,” Weatherly revealed in an interview. “Thankfully, we had a great writer and he makes sure that I’m very complicated. Much more complicated than I am in real life.”

After thirteen seasons on the show, Weatherly left the show. Prior to his exit, he even tried out some new acting techniques to keep things exciting.

“On (’NCIS’) I was doing a little bit as Steve Martin in every episode,” he revealed. “So that kept it very fresh for me for a very long time. But being the central character – I think I found this in season one – you have to limit the range of stuff that you’re doing because otherwise you just look like a crazy person.”