‘NCIS’: Does Wilmer Valderrama Get Much Say on Nick Torres’ Storylines?

by Shelby Scott
Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Many procedural crime dramas follow the same rubric and relay a lot of similar character types, plots, and so forth. However, “NCIS” is unique as it gives its cast members the opportunity to contribute and critique aspects of their roles. “NCIS” has boasted the iconic Gibbs actor Mark Harmon as both a cast member and executive producer since 2003. However, with newer cast members, like Wilmer Valderrama, we’re curious whether the cast member gets a say as to his own storylines.

In speaking with Parade, the “NCIS” star shared that he does often get the opportunity to work with show writers. Of the writers themselves, Valderrama said, “I love working with [them] because they’re very collaborative about me building an arc and me building my real stakes with the character.”

As I said above, many procedurals are very formulaic, and the “NCIS” star says as much during the interview.

“On a lot of procedurals, you don’t have that opportunity [to build] you know, but this show is different,” Valderrama explained.

As we well know, “NCIS” places heavy emphasis on family and loyalty. In connection, the Agent Torres actor shared, “This show is about the people, so building all these layers and all these ways for the characters to go, it’s really, really fun.”

Based on Valderrama’s responses, it doesn’t appear he gets to write many of his character’s arcs and storylines. However, as we love to hear, it does seem “NCIS” writers and showrunners allow cast members to have their own input when it comes to the growth of their on-screen characters.

‘NCIS’ Star Reveals Truth Behind the Head Slaps

The arrival of current “NCIS” star Wilmer Valderrama came following the heartbreaking departure of another character. The special agent’s role emerged following the departure of fan-favorite character, Special Agent Tony DiNozzo.

“Bull” actor Michael Weatherly filled the role of Tony DiNozzo from the pilot until leaving in 2013. DiNozzo served as a central and beloved agent on the “NCIS” team since way back in 2003. Throughout his time on the show, the actor’s character, DiNozzo, was iconic for his flirtations with women and his movie references. However, most importantly, he was iconic as the back of his head frequently attracted Gibbs’ slap.

Known as the Gibbs head slap among fans, DiNozzo was the primary recipient of these Gibbs-inflicted blows, however, “NCIS” fans may recall other characters including both Tim McGee and former “NCIS” character Ziva David enduring the blows as well.

In a 2009 interview, which starred my favorite “NCIS” team of all time, Michael Weatherly was asked if the Gibbs head slaps actually hurt. In true Tony DiNozzo fashion, the actor answered with a short no. Was he perhaps avoiding an expectant head slap? I guess we’ll never know, but for something which took place so regularly, we can only expect it was expected.