Getting the first lady of the United States of America to agree to film an episode of NCIS inside the White House was unprecedented at the time. But that’s exactly what happened when Michelle Obama made an appearance in Season 13, Episode 22 “Homefront” of the popular military crime show.
It must have been extremely nerve-racking for everyone involved. Imagine all of the security detail having to check every single piece of equipment and all of the cast and crew. The stakes were high for everyone involved. But despite all of the tension and stress, Michelle Obama was as cool as the other side of the pillow. According to NCIS producer Charles Floyd Johnson, the former first lady aced her first take and she looked great while doing so.
“Michelle Obama is just one of those people that when she walks into a room and it just lights up,” Johnson gushed in a 2020 Television Academy interview. “She is just amazing And she looked gorgeous.”
Johnson also couldn’t help but to brag about just how nice Obama was to everyone on set.
“She was so friendly to the crew,” he said proudly. “She made it so easy for us.”
As a matter of fact, it seems like Michelle Obama more than enjoyed her time filming an episode of NCIS. “Homefront” was filmed at the White House in November of 2016, just a couple of months before the Obama’s would be leaving office. So, Michelle decided to let everyone know that she would be coming into some free time if they ever wanted her for another episode.
“She said to everybody, ‘I’m available in January!'” Johnson recalled with a smile.
It Took Two Days to Shoot ‘NCIS’ at the White House
It’s hard to put into context all of the planning and detail that goes into filming an episode for TV. Now just imagine all of that planning and detail that must go into it when you are shooting a scene for an episode at one of the most secure places on Earth — the White House.
NCIS producer Charles Floyd Johnson helped fill in what exactly that looks like. He provided details both leading up to and during the actual shoot. Firstly, he says that he and the NCIS team were having weekly meetings with Obama’s staff. That was once she expressed that she was interested in coming on the show. Both sides needed hours upon hours to best plan the logistics in making such a thing work.
Johnson said that all in all it took two days for them to finish filming. The first day was all preparation and security checks. It was the second day that the crew was actually on set with the former first lady.
“It took us two days. So, we went to the White House one day and spent the whole day preparing. All the equipment had to be brought in before we got there. And with all of the security and everything it was just amazing.”