‘NCIS’: How Wilmer Valderrama Went from ‘That ’70s Show’ to Starring on the Hit Crime Drama

by Shelby Scott
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“NCIS” has quite a dynamic cast 19 seasons after its debut. And that’s despite the departure of headlining character Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon. Now, several years after making his “NCIS” debut, actor Wilmer Valderrama boasts an impressive six seasons on the show. However, prior to coming to the CBS show, Outsiders might remember Valderrama starring in an entirely different series more than two decades ago.

In regard to Valderrama’s dramatic shift from comedy to drama, Looper addressed the star’s beginnings on “That ’70s Show”. They also touched on his current work on “NCIS.”

The feature on the actor came as fans of the comedic series prepare for the show’s spinoff, “That ’90s Show.”

As “NCIS” fans know, there’s a stark contrast between the character Valderrama plays on “NCIS” versus his role on “That ’70s Show.”

Valderrama truly kicked off his acting career in his teens with “That ’70s Show.”

According to the outlet, Valderrama had roles in various shows and films. Interestingly, he voiced the character of Manny on Disney’s “Handy Manny” from 2006 to 2012. He also hosted MTV‘s “Yo Momma” in the mid 00’s

Later, he starred in several different television series and multiple Indie dramas. Valderrama finally joined “NCIS” in 2016 during the show’s 14th season.

‘NCIS’ Gains an All-New Agent

Wilmer Valderrama arrived on the set of “NCIS” at a pivotal moment. His character, Nick Torres, debuted in the 14th season following the heartbreaking departure of “NCIS” heartthrob, Anthony DiNozzo actor Michael Weatherly.

Following the leave of such a crucial character, Valderrama had some pretty big “NCIS” Italian leather shoes to fill. Nevertheless, we’ve slowly gotten to know and adapt to the much more secretive character.

In comparison to Agent Anthony DiNozzo, known for sharing his personal exploits and passions, Nick Torres differed greatly. He is and was a much more secretive character, a trait fans were forced to adjust to. As to the character’s back story, Torres joined Gibbs’ NCIS team after his cover was blown on an undercover case. Looper states Torres spent most of his career as an undercover agent, a major contributor to his secretive personality.

Additionally, we also know Torres to be incredibly competitive and fierce, something that DiNozzo did not always boast. Nevertheless, he seemed to get the job done.

Regardless, now a decent way through this year’s newest season of “NCIS,” Torres serves as a pivotal and dynamic character alongside lead special agent, Tim McGee and new “NCIS” addition Katrina Law playing Jessica Knight.

This season, “NCIS” showrunners have put a lot of focus on Torres’s struggles following Gibbs’ departure. We especially see the true depth of the relationship he formed with the senior agent, mostly as it appears the character almost mourns the elder man as if he passed away.

Now, as we work with a brand new “NCIS” team throughout the remainder of this season, it will be interesting to see whether viewers will receive further background and depth surrounding the character of Nick Torres.

Outsider.com