No longer un­der cover

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE BOX -

Wilmer Valder­rama has been on a roll ever since he burst onto the scene as Fez on That ’70s Show but things have really heated up in the past year.

The 37-year-old had a five-episode stint in Grey’s Anatomy as Kyle Diaz be­fore sign­ing on as a reg­u­lar on NCIS. Valder­rama plays Spe­cial Agent Nick Tor­res on sea­son 14 of the US crime drama in the wake of Michael Weatherly’s de­par­ture. Jen­nifer Es­pos­ito joined the cast as Spe­cial Agent Alex Quinn at the same time.

“I parachuted onto a run­away train ( NCIS) and it’s not stop­ping for any­one,” Valder­rama says. “It’s suc­cess­ful, peo­ple love it, and that to me is re­fresh­ing.”

Tor­res joins the NCIS team, headed by Leroy Gibbs (Mark Har­mon), after be­ing an un­der­cover op­er­a­tive for eight years.

“Tor­res is a lit­tle rough around the edges and doesn’t play well with oth­ers, and he’s kind of a lone wolf,” Valder­rama says.

“Nonethe­less, Gibbs sees an el­e­ment, and an as­set, and a re­source in hand that the team could use. And even­tu­ally he said let’s take our chance with this kid.

“We get to ex­pe­ri­ence … what it’s like to take some­body else’s per­sona, and live dou­ble lives, and even­tu­ally come back and have to be part of a team.

“You want to get it right the first time (be­cause) of the sac­ri­fices these men and women do. To speak to un­der­cover agents who are still in ser­vice … and they’re able to share what it is like to come home after two or three years of be­ing some­body else, and hav­ing to fit in, it is trau­matic.”


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