Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch - BY COLIN VICK­ERY

COTE de Pablo plays one of the strong­est women on TV — spe­cial agent Ziva David on NCIS.

David is a for­mer Is­raeli sol­dier and Mos­sad agent. She talks tough. She acts tough.

That makes her the per­fect foil for US Navy Ma­jor Case Re­sponse Team boss Leroy Gibbs (Mark Har­mon).

Chilean-born de Pablo joined NCIS in 2005.

Ziva David is fear­some. Where did you get your in­spi­ra­tion for her?

I had a boyfriend for a long time that was Jewish. His mother’s fam­ily was from Is­rael. She was an in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter — in­tense, in­cred­i­bly pas­sion­ate, and at times could lash out. I re­mem­ber she made a real im­pres­sion on me at a very young age. I ac­tu­ally sort of avoided her for a long time. I thought she was like a chem­i­cal com­bus­tion wait­ing to hap­pen. I based Ziva on her — at all times she’s on edge. She’s ei­ther en­chant­ing or ready to poi­son you.

You have played Ziva for more than seven years. Howhas she changed over that time?

The char­ac­ter has been a lit­tle bit toned down. I have al­ways said I miss el­e­ments of that abruptly pas­sion­ate thing that Ziva had at the be­gin­ning.

Ziva is very com­fort­able in the pre­dom­i­nantly male NCIS en­vi­ron­ment. Are you the same?

I was a cute lit­tle tomboy who would hang out with the boys (when I was younger). Some of the boys would have crushes on me but I would al­ways only look at them as friends. Now if you giveme a week­end, five girl­friends, and put me in a pool with a glass of wine in my hand I’m the hap­pi­est per­son in the world. Be­cause I am sur­rounded by men all the time (on NCIS) I crave women’s en­ergy and I look for it more than ever in my life.

There is a warmth and hu­mour to It is a world away from the gloomy fran­chise.

NCIS. NCIS sea­son 9 is now avail­able on DVD.


CSI We com­pare it to The A-Team. We are deal­ing with heavy duty stuff butwe also have to be able to find a mo­ment to laugh. I think peo­ple tune in to see the char­ac­ters in­ter­act, not to see the crime solved. You’ve (au­di­ence) got to be in­vested in these peo­ple.

Howwell do you get on with Mark Har­mon and the rest of the cast?

We all have our good days and our bad days. We’ve seen each other grow up and go through ma­jor life changes. We’re there for each other.

You re­cently signed an­other two-year deal to continue on

How long do you see your­self stay­ing on the show?

I’d love to go to the very end with them. We’re all still ex­cited about these sto­ries.

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