The recently canceled “NCIS: New Orleans” took the series to the South. And series star Lucas Black got to show off some of his heritage. As an Alabama native, Black was proud to get to play a “Southern Gentleman” on the show.
Black grew up in the small town of Decatur, Alabama. Getting his start as a child star, Black starred in several Southern-based films such as “Sling Blade” opposite Billy Bob Thorton and “Crazy in Alabama” as well. Like Black, his “NCIS: New Orleans” character Christopher Lasalle is also from Alabama. In a 2016 interview with CBS, Black discussed the role on the show.
“Well I grew up outdoors. Basically grew up at Lewis Smith Lake there in Winston County,” he told the outlet. “Hunting and fishing and camping. I’ve been blessed especially on this role too. I feel like my character, I get to portray a Southern Gentleman. And the Southern hospitality, we, in Alabama try to live up to.”
‘NCIS: New Orlean’ Star Leaves
But all good things must come to an end. In Season Six of the show, viewers were shocked when “NCIS: New Orleans” killed off Black’s character. Lasalle had been investigating his brother’s murder. But during the episode, he took a bullet himself. Black’s character later succumbed to the injury while in the hospital, ending his run on the show.
Fans felt heartbroken by the story’s development. “NCIS” as a franchise hasn’t been afraid to kill off characters to maximize the drama. But Black’s character had been the second lead on the show and been one of the most popular characters. Ultimately, it was Black’s decision to leave the show. He felt strained working under the pressures of a network job and wanted a more relaxed schedule.
“All throughout my career there was a concern because I would observe how the entertainment industry would destroy families, and destroy families,” Black said, according to Express. “The way it’s run, you’re traveling, it’s a very fast pace, lots of long hours, especially in television.”
Initially, Black confessed that he tried to move his family to New Orleans in an attempt to stay on the show. But the workweek caused him to neglect his duties as both a father and husband. Ultimately, Black said he cared more about his family than staying with the franchise. During the course of the series, Black starred as Christopher LaSalle in 125 episodes.
“It was time, it was time for me to leave. I felt like my job there was finished,” Black continued. “You can’t keep going at that pace, and I think, have a healthy marriage. It’s not sustainable; it’s inevitable that something bad’s gonna happen if you stay working at that pace.”