‘NCIS’: Why Mark Harmon Called Jamie Lee Curtis’ Guest Role a ‘Gift’ in 2012

by Jennifer Shea
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

“NCIS” has been on the air for a long time now. The CBS drama was recently renewed for Season 19, and it’s moving to Mondays at 9 p.m. after 18 years on Tuesdays.

During that time, the show has had some noteworthy guest stars. Among them is Jamie Lee Curtis. She played Dr. Samantha Ryan on the show during Season 9.

In 2012, Leroy Jethro Gibbs actor Mark Harmon opened up to TV Equals about working with Curtis and the relationship between Gibbs and Ryan. He said Curtis was a joy to work with, and the friction between their two characters was a lot of fun to act out.

‘NCIS’ Star Loved Working With Curtis

Harmon and Curtis got along swimmingly on set. In fact, the “NCIS” star said the whole cast really took to Curtis.

“She’s terrific,” Harmon said of the actress. “I’ve known Jamie a long time. She’s a treat to have on set. The rest of the cast loves her and Gary Glasberg has created a role for her that made her want to come and play in the first place, which is rare. But she’s had a great time there and I think she’d tell you that as well.”

“She’s a gift to have on the set,” he added. “And such a rare talent, and as a person, a good person and terrifically good at what she does. So, we’ve enjoyed having her.”

Since her stint on “NCIS,” Curtis has appeared in the movies “Veronica Mars,” “An Acceptable Loss” and “Knives Out.” She’s also slated to join the cast of the upcoming “Borderlands” and “Halloween Ends.”

Harmon Talks Character Development

As for their respective roles, Harmon said his character is “an odd guy in any kind of relationship.” But he said Curtis’s character was particularly inclined to clash with him.

“Her background and what she does professionally, even before they met, kind of put the two of them into conflict,” he observed. “I think conflict in characters is a good thing and certainly interesting to write and certainly fun to play.”

That conflict became entanglement eventually as Ryan became a love interest for Gibbs. Curtis was written off the show in Season 10. But not before the writers raised the prospect of keeping her on in a more permanent capacity.

“Whether they will end up together or whether this will just be something in passing and part of the ensemble nature of this show, which we’ve done a lot, it brings the character forward,” Harmon said. “It brings her character forward as well. And then obviously, every other character that comes into this arc, but it’s fun to have.”

The interaction between those two characters was reportedly polarizing for fans. However, the actors had a great time playing it. And as far as Harmon’s concerned, that’s what counts.