‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star Chris O’Donnell Described ‘Pressures’ of Filming Season 12 in 2020

by Anna Dunn

Just like any show that filmed last year, NCIS: Los Angeles had to film in unprecedented conditions. NCIS: Los Angeles had to be altered and filmed off schedule to follow strict distancing guidelines.

Hetty actress Linda Hunt also couldn’t join in on the fun of the season, opting to film any scenes remotely as she was older than the rest of the cast, and therefore more at risk.

G. Callen actor Chris O’Donnell spoke with CBS Miami earlier this year and talked about what it was like to film under pandemic restrictions.

“I think first of all, we were all just grateful to be back working. The pressures that the pandemic has put on everyone has been really tough. I think everyone was grateful to be on the set and working and seeing familiar faces,” he said. For many, returning to work felt incredible, even with the added pressure to stay safe.

But the NCIS: Los Angeles cast and crew had to be very careful and took those precautions seriously.

“We had to take a lot of precautions. We were tested five days a week. They really split up the crew and the cast. There are certain crew members I haven’t even run into this year,” he said. This year’s filming still operates under strict precautions, but they are lessened enough that Hetty actress Linda Hunt will return to set.

Chris O’Donnell Opened up about His Friendship With LL Cool J

NCIS: Los Angeles has worked so well in part because Chris O’Donnell and Ll Cool J have brought incredible chemistry with their characters G. Callen and Sam Hannah. While the two are very different people, they bonded incredibly quickly and are able to bring that relationship to their characters.

“We, in general, Todd (LL Cool J) and I have a lot of fun with each other. We BS with each and give each other a hard time but at the same time, there’s a real mutual respect,” he said in an interview with Daily Actor.

“We’ve got different upbringings and come from different cities but we both have been in this business a long time and have an appreciation for hard work and knowing when we’ve got to work and when we can have fun,” he said. “[We] both have big families and, I don’t know, I think we just, we like to give each other a hard time, and there’s something about that kind of rubs off on the characters.”

It’s clearly worked well because NCIS: Los Angeles has now been on air for 13 seasons. Season 13 is currently in production, and the pilot episode of the season has officially wrapped. You can catch season 13 pretty soon, too. The show will return on Sunday, October 10th.