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Vanessa Lachey Says NCIS: Hawaii Is 'Evolving The Franchise'

(CBS) - NCIS welcomed a new comer last week as NCIS: Hawii made its series debut on CBS. The latest iteration of the NCIS universe, Hawaii stars Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant, the first female agent in charge of the NCIS Pearl.

CBS' Matt Weiss caught up with Lachey to discuss her path to the show, what Hawaii hopes to accomplish and tonight's BOOM-ing new episode.

MW- Hello Vanessa! Congrats on last week's premiere. Now that we're off and running how does it feel not only be a part of this show but being the head of the whole team?

VL- It's an honor and I don't take lightly. I'm excited, this is an evolving franchise and to be a part of it so incredible. They said they had trouble finding Jane Tennant during casting and I was actually on another CBS show, a comedy believe it or not. So talk about reversing the roles we got word on March 31st that comedy wasn't moving forward and I ended up getting super sad and confused.

Then I heard about NCIS: Hawaii and booked the job by mid April. I was surprised and my career took a complete left turn but I'm so glad things went the way they did. Now here we are and I'm living in Hawaii.

MW- Not the worst place to have your life turned upside down.

VL- Yeah, exactly. Maybe it's just finally turned right side up!

MW- [Laughs] There you go! So we're one episode in with very positive reviews which I'm sure it's great to hear. For myself this definitely feels like NCIS, but it's fresh at the same time.

VL- Thank you! Yeah, it's evolving the franchise to show more of a personal life and the vulnerabilities of the family and the characters. We try to stay true to what NCIS is but we also want to add some layers that set it apart.

MW- As Jane Tennant you are the first female agent to be in charge of NCIS Pearl. What does that mean to you to play a character like Jane and what are some of your favorite qualities about her?

VL- Oh gosh, well it's an honor to play her. There are female in NCIS out there so I love this, you know starting to make it the norm.

For qualities that I love, I love that she doesn't take no for an answer. She will continue to strive for what she wants in a male dominated profession and at the same time, do it with grace. She's a great mom too. She always, always has her kids in the front of her mind even when she's at work.

She's leading 44 special agents but she's always thinking about her kids and always puts them first. She has a love of country and she honors her country.

At the same time at the end of the day, she's a vulnerable woman who just wants to love. There's a lot about her I love and that's why I fell in love with this character. When I got the job I completely broke down because I said to myself, I can do this, I am her, I believe in her, I know what she stands for. I felt like this is me.

MW- Now we have episode two coming out tonight and I love the title. Episode two is simply called "Boom."

VL- There are a lot of explosives, a lot. It's going to keep you on your toes and the edge of your seat. We also introduced a new character, his name is Boom Boom. He's my explosive guy and I think you'll really dig him as well.

We really knocked it out of the park with these episodes, we're coming out of the gate strong. I hope everyone feels that way as well!

MW- Well we're all excited to see what happens tonight and the rest of series moving forward. Congratulations again on the role and thank you so much for the time Vanessa!

VL- Thank you, Matt!

Tune in for NCIS: Hawaii Mondays at 10:00PM ET/PT on CBS or streaming live and on demand with Paramount+. Check your local listings for more information.

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