Watch CBS News

'The Toughness Came From Living In New York': NCIS Star Cote de Pablo On Her Inspiration For Character Of Ziva

New York (CBS Local)- Fans of CBS' hit show NCIS got a shock at the end of last season when Ziva David, played by Cote de Pablo, returned after being thought to have died two seasons ago.

As the show ramps up to the premiere of its 17th season tonight, de Pablo sat down for an interview with CBSN New York to discuss the return of the character and what it means for Gibbs and the gang this season.

"She comes back to save Gibbs from a potential threat and it's a very big threat," said de Pablo."She has been undercover. She has not been in touch with her daughter which is a real source of pain for this character. She has not seen Tony DiNozzo, which is her big love. So I think we're going to be getting some of these questions answered certainly through Gibbs. And I think Ziva is going to have some of her questions also."

de Pablo, who says she is contracted for a five episode arc on this season, can't divulge much more but she did say that returning to play the character was a bit nerve-wracking at first.

"I had no idea if I was going to be able to do it again, you always have these doubts when you're disconnected from something for a long period of time," said de Pablo in an interview with CBSN New York's Cindy Hsu. "I remember going back to set being a little jittery, a little nervous. Then, as soon as I walked in with the quintessential Ziva jacket, the boots and all that stuff I just heard the crew clapping and I felt welcomed. I just felt, 'I'm home'."

Her character, Ziva David, is far from one to be nervous and over the years has been one of the toughest members of the NCIS team. So, where did de Pablo draw the inspiration for that toughness from?

"I think living in New York did it for me," said de Pablo laughing. "I still do my own stunts. It's not something you're particularly proud of as one gets older you're like, 'Am I being smart? What's going on here?' But, I think the toughness came from living in New York. Living in Brooklyn back when Brooklyn wasn't cool back in the day and having to be tough about a lot of situations. I think that informed the character a little bit."

Season 17 of NCIS debuts tonight, September 24th at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.