‘NCIS’ Star David McCallum Gushed About Working with James Garner, Steve McQueen for ‘The Great Escape’

by Joe Rutland
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David McCallum has been a part of “NCIS” for many seasons, but he spent some time talking about playing in “The Great Escape”.

McCallum, who plays Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the CBS crime drama, was part of a cast that included James Garner and Steve McQueen.

“Well, thankfully, life has never been able to overwhelm me,” McCallum said in a 2013 interview with Media Mikes. He talked about “The Great Escape” as the film was celebrating its 50th anniversary that year.

“I tend to enjoy and take great pleasure in all of the work that I do,” he said. “And back then it was no different. When you’ve decided that your whole life is going to be as an actor, when you get opportunities to do a wonderful thing, like ‘The Great Escape,’ it’s just a colossal pleasure that you look forward to with great anticipation.”

‘NCIS’ Star Recalled Being In Star-Studded Movie with Donald Pleasence

The “NCIS” star talked about preparing to play Lt. Commander Eric Ashley-Pitt, whose nickname was “Dispersal,” in the 1963 flick.

“You have to learn all about the character…all of the things necessary,” he said. “It’s not about just turning up and saying the words. And the whole thing was such a beautiful experience.”

McCallum, who will return to “NCIS” this fall, also said he knew fellow “The Great Escape” co-star Donald Pleasence.

“We had been very good friends for some time,” McCallum said. “And you can imagine how it was for the young actors. Being able to work with all of those people. I’m not usually star-struck. I’m fascinated by the number of people I’ve met working in this profession over the years. That film was a great beginning.”

McCallum’s Current Show Will Move to New Night on Mondays

Indeed it was for David McCallum, who would also go on and play Russian spy Illya Kuryakin in the 1960s smash-hit TV series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” These days, playing Mallard on “NCIS” is definitely not the same as when he was Kuryakin on that TV series.

“NCIS” will start its 19th season on a new night and time in the fall. Catch the show on Monday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central, on CBS. It will be on as a lead-in for the newest spin-off, “NCIS: Hawai’i,” that will star Vanessa Lachey in the lead role.

Mark Harmon will return, though, to “NCIS” in its lead role as Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Two new full-time actors join the show this fall. Katrina Law, who played Special Agent Jessica Knight in a guest-starring role last season, comes on board. Gary Cole also joins “NCIS” as FBI Special Agent Alden Park.

Outsider.com