‘NCIS’: Why Maria Bello Had One Specific Request About Her Character’s Name

by Matthew Wilson

“NCIS” has had many characters over the years. But Maria Bello helped set herself apart during her four-year stint on the show. Up until Season 18, Bello starred as Dr. Jacqueline “Jack” Sloan on the show. And it turns out, she’s responsible for the character’s unique name.

On “NCIS,” Bello’s character often went by the name Jack. In an interview with TV Insider, Bello discussed the behind-the-scenes conversation when it came to giving the character her moniker. The actor pushed for the character to have a man’s name.

“I liked the idea of the other [characters] talking about ‘Agent Jack Sloane’ assuming it’s a man,” she told the outle. “Then she would walk in the room, and they’d realize that wasn’t the case. I’ve always loved boys’ names for girls. And ‘Jack Sloane’ has a very throwback, the 1940s feel.”

So why did Bello decide on Jack then? Well, it turns out that Bello’s “NCIS” character has a connection to her real life as well. Bello’s son is named Jack as well. So when she starred in the TV drama, Bello snuck in the moniker as a tribute to him.

Besides the name, Bello also did her due diligence in looking up her pretend-TV profession. She researched the real-life NCIS.

“I did quite a bit of research on the real NCIS and I’m going to meet a forensic psychologist from NCIS, which I’m really looking forward to,” Bello said. “But here’s something that struck me: In the actual NCIS recruitment pamphlets, one of the questions is ‘Is it really like the TV show NCIS?'”

Maria Bello Says Goodbye to ‘NCIS’

Of course, as they say, all good things must eventually come to an end. After four years on the show, Maria Bello bid farewell to “NCIS” and Jack. During her final episode, her character chose to stay behind as the guardian over a village in Afghanistan. Her departure ended a few years of romantic speculation between Jack and Leroy Gibbs.

Maria Bello thanked both the cast and crew for her time on the show.

On Instagram, she wrote, “Though in our business, like many, there are quite a few a–holes – there is not one on the set of NCIS – in front of or behind the camera. Only a profoundly decent group of people who care more about each other and the world in general than what is in it for them. I understand why this show after 18 years is the most-watched in the world – you must all feel our love. Keep watching. I have a feeling there will be many more years to come. Thank you to all of my pals at NCIS and to all of our fans. I am truly grateful.”