‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Meet the Actor Who Plays Gary DeMayo

by Maggie Schneider
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“NCIS: Los Angeles” introduces the character Gary DeMayo, played by Charles Malik Whitfield. Get to know the newest addition to the cast.

Last night’s episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles” introduces a new actor to the cast. Charles Malik Whitfield plays Gary DeMayo, the man who holds bus riders hostage in episode six of Season 13.

Fans of “Chicago Med” know Whitfield for playing Ben Campbell, a reoccurring character on the series. The 49-year old actor also plays Reverend L.C. Pryce on “Empire,” and appears on episodes of “American Horror Story,” “Supernatural,” and “CSI: NY.”

“I’m always looking for material that allows me to look at new horizons, with relationships that are important to me,” Whitfield shares with Christian Cinema. “I appreciate the commitment of the storytellers to the people around them because you want to help people succeed when they have integrity and dreams for what can happen.”

Whitfield is a critically-acclaimed actor. His nomination for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie or Mini-Series was for his performance as Otis Williams in the 1998 mini-series “The Temptations.” The actor still learns lessons from the singer himself.

“He was just very, very shorthanded, thoughtful and compassionate about how in which he was selective on being detailed about certain things, which told me everything about him,” Whitfield says to Twenty4Seven Magazine.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” is not the actor’s first dramatic role and it will not be his last. With 10 million viewers watching last night’s episode, fans are curious if Whitfield will stick around.

Who is Gary DeMayo?

Gary DeMayo is a character with layers. Yes, he leads a hostage situation and shoots a police officer aboard a city bus. However, behind his actions are familial reasons. DeMayo is mourning his daughter Kara’s suicide. Kara was a “disgraced Marine” charged with multiple war crimes. Her father is in disbelief about these charges, as well as her death. This causes DeMayo’s reckless plan to seek the truth and hopefully, clear his daughter’s name.

The pain in DeMayo’s eyes leaves fans feeling sympathetic towards his character. Although his actions are unjustified, Whitfield portrays DeMayo as a grieving human rather than a villain. Once he finally releases the hostages from the bus, DeMayo plans to take his own life. Rountree tries to dissuade Gary from his decision when he spots a large bomb on the bus.

“I had my chance. I took it and I was wrong,” DeMayo says. “Just get everybody back to a safe distance.”

This newest episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles” balances a serious message with its usual heavy dose of action. Gary DeMayo reminds us of veterans’ struggles, as well as the struggles of their families. It also reminds us of the fragility of life.

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