Make sure you’ve got a cool drink or A/C running, because former NCIS: Los Angeles star Renée Felice Smith is bringing the heat this summer.
The woman behind Nell Jones has been a major player on NCIS: Los Angeles for over a decade. From 2010 to 2021, Smith appeared in 253 episodes. However, at the end of Season 12, it was revealed that Smith will not be returning for Season 13. Alongside Smith, Eric Beale actor Barrett Foa is also departing from the program.
With the season finale now behind the actor, she is enjoying her summer. But she isn’t alone. Nope, the NCIS: Los Angeles alum has her best friend to enjoy a “hot girl summer” with.
The photo is of her dog, Mabel. In summer style, the English Mastiff is rocking a pair of sunglasses and boasts an adorable smile.
“hot girl summer is right,” Smith wrote. She also adds the hashtag, #mabeltheenglishmastiffrescue, which features several photos of her adorable pup.
As far as the hashtag and Smith’s activity goes, she’s been loving life with Mabel since at least 2015. The former NCIS: Los Angeles actor is fairly active on Instagram, and Mabel makes plenty of delightful appearances.
Renée Felice Smith Speaks Out on Leaving NCIS: Los Angeles
It should come as no surprise that the decision to leave one of the most popular shows in television was a tough one for Smith. However, it is one that she considered deeply and thought about it at-length.
In an interview with TVLine, the Nell Jones actor gave a bit of context to her departure.
“I mean, I think that I’ve been ready for my next chapter for a while now,” Smith said. “In whatever form it will take. But it’s surely to be centered around storytelling. I hesitate to be part of the ‘cliché actress’ calling herself a storyteller, but I really am one. I’m a writer. I’m a director. We are developing television currently. We have another indie in the works. I want to tell compelling stories, poignant stories that offer an escape and chance of reflection for the viewer, so that’s where my focus is.”
Smith made it clear: she’s got big things planned. However, her exit wasn’t one that fell flat or limp. Nell Jones was a vital part of the season with Hetty’s absence. It’s “bittersweet” for Smith to leave, but she can say her character went out triumphantly.
“I absolutely loved Nell’s journey this season,” Smith said. “She really got to stand in her power. She really found her voice, and as a young woman it was empowering to play that side of the scene. Nell, I think, is a natural leader, and I really do think her strength as a leader is her vulnerability. I think that Nell has empathy for all players involved in the story. She can see multiple sides of the story. She’s a person that’s not only intelligent but she has emotional intelligence, and that has been such a gift for me as an actor to play. I’ve just loved her evolution, really.”