He’s known for his key role as Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo on NCIS, but Michael Weatherly admits his television career had a rough start prior to become a castmate of the hit series.
In a 2012 interview with Assignment X, the former NCIS star reveals the struggles he faced at the beginning of his acting career.
“I auditioned for a lot of stuff I didn’t get and then I ended up on a show called Significant Others, which was from the makers of Party of Five.” Weatherly states his first thoughts were “this is definitely -“ but it was quickly axed.
Michael says he was hired to be Christina Applegate’s ex-husband on her series Jesse but was only recurring and was eventually not brought back. “They kept talking to my character on the phone. Which meant that they’d rather talk to me on the phone than actually hire me,” the NCIS alum recalls.
Michael says that was around the time when James Cameron came around with Dark Angel. “I thought, ‘Here we go. This is epic and it is going to be the biggest show in the history of entertainment. This is the greatest filmmaker, the greatest…” The show was canceled after two seasons.
Weatherly managed to take on a couple of jobs. He was eventually booked NCIS after paying Robert Wagner in The Mystery of Natalie Wood. His approach to the show was pretty optimistic. “I thought, ‘You know what? None of these things go, so it’s fun. I’m resigned to the idea…’” He then compares acting to relationships. “That was sort of like the acting job, was like short-term,” he explains. “And now I feel like I’m in a marriage.”
Michael Weatherly Talks Time on NCIS Set
Also during the interview, Weatherly describes NCIS as interesting. He also says that the show is obviously not “wholesome” due to the gruesome aspects, but it’s interesting for something that he says is “square.”
Weatherly also admits that NCIS is anything but ordinary. He doesn’t believe anyone could have seen the show becoming long-term. He admits when Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, and himself walked out together, it was a moment as being sort of “organically.”
Weatherly then remembers when it all clicked and how his co-star Mark Harmon made everything come together. “The glue of the show happened with Mark Harmon from that moment stepping forward. Saying his words about, ‘We are going to give you a show that’s the best show we can deliver, and that’s our promise to you.’”
NCIS premiered in September 2003 and now has a total of 18 seasons and 414 episodes. The show currently stars Mark Harmon, Wilmer Valderrama, David McCallum, and Sean Murray. The show is set to return for its 19th season this fall.