Cote de Pablo had a surprise touching reunion with Mark Harmon on the set of NCIS.
During a 2019 interview with AOL Build Series, the actress recalled the “secret meeting” where she reunited with her former co-star. This was to prepare for Ziva David’s return cameo to the show.
It was a Wednesday at 2 PM and the executive producers held the classified meeting. Although Harmon is an NCIS executive producer, de Pablo believed he would be shooting and not present for it.
“Well I turn around and I come outside come outside and who do I see?” she recalled.
Although she has numerous nicknames for him, she couldn’t believe her eyes and reacted. She was somewhat speechless and just screamed “Oh my God!”
“I just gave him a big hug and he just went Cotes,” she continued. “It was just like like right in the chest you know and just a hug and very heartfelt.”
She described the moment as “very sweet.” The reaction was “very genuine” and indicative of their close relationship. de Pablo views him as a friend, mentor and father figure in her life. Although they do go for months without talking due to busy schedules, when they reunite, no time has passed.
“The first time back on set… that in itself can be kind of nerve-wracking as someone whose been away for a long time. I hadn’t seen a lot of the crew members,” she explained. “I hadn’t seen a lot of the cast members and even though the scene was only with Mark there was that like ‘oh. it’s the scene’ you know?”
Her return was welcomed with open arms and flowers. Although she had to keep it under wraps, wait, and duck to hide, she had the best time.
Where Ziva Went Post-‘NCIS’
De Pablo worked with one of the writers on NCIS to develop Ziva’s backstory. After leaving the show in 2013, there were years that they had to fill.
“She called me up and said, ‘Where do you think Ziva’s been?’” de Pablo shared. “And then we got into this very fun sort of conversation about where the character’s been, what I think she’s gone through. Where the daughter is, and how she feels about Tony. And all these things.”
It didn’t take long for her to remember just how much she loved the character. She said that the whole process and returning to her role was “very easy.”