Daniela is this week’s guest on The Mother Daze! Mare sure to listen to it as she tells her gotta-hear-it-to-believe-it birth story with her daughter Sierra. Daniela gives us a glimpse in to what life is like for her family of four as they navigate film commitments, international travel, a multi-religion household and all that goes in to raising her Olsen babes.
NCIS: Los Angeles original cast member Daniela Ruah stepped behind the camera yet again to direct this Sunday’s episode, which is titled “Flesh & Blood” and airs at 10:30/9:30c on CBS.
In Ruah’s latest directorial effort, the NCIS team is called on to investigate when a woman is seen fleeing the scene of her husband’s murder. Elsewhere, Roberta Deeks returns to town to meet Marty and Kensi’s daughter Rosa, while Callen shares with Anna his most honest feelings about their pending nuptials.
TVLine spoke with Ruah about the special subject matter touched on in this episode, Kensi and Deeks’ recent disappearing act, next year’s three-way NCIS crossover and more.
TVLINE | This is, what, your time fifth or sixth time directing…?
This would be No. 5, but No. 6 is coming up this season, too. Episode 14.
TVLINE | What challenge did this episode present to you as a director?
What challenges me the most to this day, and I’m being very transparent, are probably the stunt sequences, because the logistics entail being very specific and very careful, especially when you have explosions, or people falling, or people getting shot at. It’s very important to be exceptionally well-prepared for those days and ready for any changes, like, “Oh, we scouted the location, but now that we’re here, wouldn’t it be cool to do this other thing.” Our stunt coordinator, Troy Brown, and our head of special effects, Donnie Frazee and his son [Terry], are so insanely good at their job. When you propose something when you’re prepping, like, “The guy throws the bag and shoots it, and it blows up in the air!,” he will build this entire contraption where he thinks of everything. He’s got this amazing workshop, and he’ll send you different versions of things to show you what would be the most effective. And then our stunt doubles, as well, just make us all look good.
TVLINE | Is there any distinct tone in this episode that maybe you haven’t gotten to explore before?
I don’t know if it’s a tone thing as much as an actual subject matter. We dealt with the subject of domestic violence this episode. Our [person of interest] — played by Marnee Carpenter (Clarice), who is an exceptional actress — is a victim of domestic violence on the part of her husband who’s in the military, which is why we end up getting involved. because he shows up dead. That allows Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) to connect with her through his own experience of domestic violence. His father was abusive to him and his mother, which then brings in Pamela Reed (as Roberta), who is always a wonderful addition to our show. Between [Eric and Pamela], there’s this beautiful balance of telling a tragic story, but then they’re able to sort of transfer into having a sense of humor. We also bring up parenting [in a scene] between Mama Deeks and Kensi, and we see her influence on that.
Chad Mazero wrote the episode, and there is such a high level of emotional intelligence that he’s really able to incorporate into his scripts. So, we have an emotional journey this episode, and we also go really big with the action.
TVLINE | Yeah, the scenes between Eric and the guest star, and then Eric and Pamela, are fantastic.
They’re amazing. Especially the ending scene where he’s like, “How did you handle it?” and Roberta makes a joke, but then he really wants to know….
TVLINE | What developments on the Callen/Anna wedding front can you preview?
So, Anna (Bar Paly) keeps trying to set a date for their wedding, and Callen (Chris O’Donnell) seems to be avoiding it at all costs. At first, as an audience, we’re with her, like, “What’s going on?” And then he finally reveals what the real issue is, which is Hetty’s not there and he’s still very attached to her. Callen is a skilled, intelligent, independent agent who’s gone rogue multiple times, but there’s just something about Hetty that keeps that umbilical cord tied, and the fact that she has disappeared makes it very difficult for him to live with not knowing everything about himself.
TVLINE | Beyond this week’s episode, what parenting challenges await Deeks and Kensi?
I don’t know what is in the writers’ minds in terms of that, but what I can say that I’d like to see is Kensi settling in a bit and being a little less nervous about, “Is everything OK? Am I doing enough?” As a parent myself, I definitely go through that. I had phases where, as Mama Deeks put it in the best way, “Are you worried every day you’re not doing enough, but then you wake up exhausted every day because you’re doing so much?”
TVLINE | That was a great line.
It’s a great line, obviously written by a parent. Chad has two little kids, and that’s exactly how it is. I can attest to that. So, it’s about finding the balance and also just understanding that Rosa (Promised Land‘s Natalia Del Riego) is a teenager who has a level of independence. She can be herself. She can communicate if something isn’t right. When you raise a child from birth, you get to know everything about them, their likes or dislikes, the milestone experiences that define who they are, but when you have a teenager in your life that you didn’t get to know from childbirth, it becomes more difficult, because that’s a full-fledged formed human being. So I’d like to see Kensi settle into parenting and be less nervous about stepping on eggshells, which is not even something that Rosa is demanding of her, right? Rosa is just grateful to be there and loves Kensi and Deeks.
TVLINE | I have a reader asking, “Where were Kensi and Deeks last episode?” Is the show no longer throwing us a line of dialogue to account for a character’s absence?
That’s a showrunner question and a writers question. What the audience probably doesn’t know is that every one of us [on the cast] is out of four episodes a season now. That is just a structural, logistical thing that our show is doing now. So, sometimes in the beginning, it’s like, “Oh, they had to take Rosa somewhere” as a justification, but that’s essentially why there are going to be episodes where some characters are just simply not there.
TVLINE | Will you be in January’s big, three-way NCIS crossover?
TVLINE | OK….
Evidently I cannot talk too much about the crossover, who’s going where, but yes, I believe we’re all in those episodes. Those crossovers are not episodes in which somebody [from the NCIS: LA cast] is out. You know how we were just talking about how we’re each out for four episodes a season? Those crossovers will not be one of those for anyone.
You can now listen to The Wayne Ayers Podcast interview with Daniela! She spoke about the show and directing, and answered some fan questions.
Daniela Ruah stepped behind the camera to direct her fifth episode of NCIS: Los Angeles with the November 6 “Flesh & Blood.”
Her approach to directing hasn’t changed since she did so for the first time in Season 12. “I think I’m just as obsessive with the details as I was in the beginning in the sense that I want to make sure I don’t miss anything,” she tells TV Insider. (The Directors Guild of America provides a workshop for first-time directors, then she evolved from there.) Something she’s learned is to “make sure you have an answer for people,” no matter which department might have a question, and she tries to avoid making the same mistakes twice.
“Every episode that passes I fall more and more in love with the craft and I’ll never leave acting because I’m too much of a show-off and I love being in front of the camera, but visually storytelling through a camera is definitely a passion that has been growing exponentially for me,” she shares.
Here, Ruah shares more about directing and previews “Flesh & Blood.”
Do you enjoy directing action or more emotional character driven scenes more?
Daniela Ruah: I like both. I love the intimate scenes, but I think that comes from my own experience as an actor and how fun it is to dive deep into your emotions and feelings and interpret a situation and play that. And then maybe the other actor gives you something a little bit different, and so you’re listening to them, so you shift what you thought you were gonna do and it’s an animal that finds its own shape in the room in the moment, especially in a show like ours where there’s very little rehearsal time.
But the action sequences are so fun and I tend to be pretty loud and excited when we get a good shot. I will say that the action sequences and bigger days like that are definitely still more challenging for me, I think just because I have to grow my skill set. Fortunately I’m surrounded by a really, really experienced crew and they always are very helpful with everything. Our special effects teams, the Frazee family, they’re unbelievable, and Troy Brown, our stunt coordinator — everybody is just so good at working together as a team and pulling off really hard days in very few hours. I want to do more action sequences just so I can learn more. It’s a lot to think about, a lot of logistics. You need to be very on it with your prep and when people are fighting and falling and blowing things up and shooting, safety is a huge concern always.
This episode you get both. Set up the case.
Because of the cold open — there’s blood on [the victim’s wife] and she’s trying to open the door and he’s dead on the floor with knife wounds — we presume that [she] killed him, but really his death has nothing to do with her at all. … Some episodes, the case is the focus and some episodes like mine, the characters are the focus, their personal journeys. We explore some really important issues here and we allow ourselves as well to get to know Deeks [Eric Christian Olsen] a little bit better and his life experiences, which he connects with Marnee Carpenter’s character and her experience with domestic violence.
It’s always so much fun when Roberta (Pamela Reed) is around, and we got some great scenes with her and Kensi, including one about parenting, which was sweet in a Mama Deeks way. What can Kensi learn from her about being a parent?
Both Kensi and Dani are going to learn things from Mama Deeks. It’s funny, the scene where I’m like, “I feel like I’m always missing something,” that doesn’t happen to me personally as much as my kids are much younger. I think when they become teenagers, they maybe open up to their friends, not always with you as much as you’d want them to — hopefully my kids will. But you do feel like you’re missing out on a little something here and there. And when she’s like, being a parent is like being pecked by something. And I’m like, I thought that was gonna be a more positive piece of advice. And she goes, “What are you talking about? It’s a slow death.” As horrible as that sounds, she means you have time, enjoy the time you have with your kid because it’s not short. Enjoy every day, enjoy every moment, learn from it and move on. She just decides to describe it as a slow death.
Pamela’s wonderful. I wish I could put in every single take that she does. And then the end of the episode, [part of the conversation between Deeks and his mother] was written [but then she added some] improv.
Speaking of parenting, I have to say how much I enjoyed the chaotic feel of Kensi, Deeks, and Rosa (Natalia Del Riego) getting ready in the morning early on in the episode.
I felt like being on a steady cam adds a little bit more movement and allows the camera operator to move around in a more flexible way than if he’s on a dolly or something like that. It’s representing the hecticness and people are coming out from different parts of the house and she’s tying her shoes and looking for a backpack and Kensi’s trying to shove food down her face quickly before she needs to go. And oddly enough, Deeks is the one, after he catches a bag, who just kind of stands there and is looking at everybody else running around like headless chickens, kind of cool as a cucumber.
And that phone call, oh my gosh. We were very particular about the car we chose for Pam, by the way. That was a very conscious choice to have the one with the wood on the sides, that like old school, soccer mom car.
It fit her so well.
Perfectly. And then with all her camping stuff and all her stuff behind her in the car. Those things become a little bit of background, but at the end of the day in prep, those are the kind of things that we put more thought into than you would think. What car would she drive? Now we’re establishing that car for future episodes. What kind of junk would she have around her? I remember specifically saying she wouldn’t have a loud speaker in that car because it’s an old car, so let’s get one of those phone holders and put it right in front of her on the windshield. Details like that that really sort of show what kind of a character she is.
What can you tease about the three-show crossover?
It’s been shot and it went really well. It was extremely fun. Some of the actors I already knew. For example, I’ve known Wilmer [Valderrama] for a few years now and it was so fun to catch up with him and show pictures of the kids and the spouses and all that. And then I got to meet the people, for example, from NCIS: Hawai’i. They came over, I hadn’t met any of them before, and it was just wonderful. Everybody was just happy to see each other and happy to be together.
I was happy to see that LA is involved because it’s mostly been single characters for your show.
Yeah. The thing is logistically, it’s kind of a nightmare for the producers of every show because you have a set of characters that are coming to our show or whatever we’re doing, [but] they have to maybe be on our show in the morning and then, for the regular NCIS, drive back to Santa Clarita to finish off the day up there. The coordination of schedules was a big, big deal for the producers and kudos to them for making it work.
What else is coming up for Kensi?
On a less emotional note, I got some really good fight scenes coming up.
I love when Kensi gets fight scenes!
I know, me too. It’s one of my favorite parts of playing Kensi is the fact that I get to do a bunch of fight sequences. I have an amazing stunt double Kim [Shannon Murphy], and she choreographs everything for me. She does all the really dangerous stuff, but she’s very kind to let me do large portions of the fight sequences. I’m not allowed to get flipped over on my back or be in the car in driving sequences.
And I’m directing Episode 14, so we’ll have another directed episode by me this season.
Is there anything you can share about more with Kessler (played by writer Frank Military)?
Not that I’ve heard of, but bringing back Kessler is definitely one of my hopes.
Those two in an interrogation in the boatshed would be amazing.
I think so, too. And Frank Military is a very good friend of mine, so it’s always fun when you already have that trust and comfortability with another person and to just see where it goes in the scenes.
O telefilme “Os Vivos, o Morto e o Peixe Frito”, baseado na obra de Ondjaki e realizado pela @danielaruah, estreia a 7 de dezembro, às 21h, na RTP1.
Este pertence a “Contado por Mulheres”, um projeto que reúne dez telefilmes baseados em contos, novelas e romances da literatura portuguesa dos séculos XX e XXI, e que foram adaptados por argumentistas e dez realizadoras.
O primeiro é apresentado a 16 de novembro, e todas as quartas-feiras estreia um novo.
Clique na imagem ou aqui para obter mais informações.
The telefilm “Os Vivos, o Morto e o Peixe Frito”, directed by @danielaruah, premieres on December 7, at 9pm, on RTP1.
It belongs to “Contado por Mulheres”, a project that brings together ten TV movies based on short stories, novels and novellas from 20th and 21st century Portuguese literature, which were adapted by screenwriters and ten female directors.
The first film will air on November 16th, and a new one premieres every Wednesday.
Tap on the picture or here to learn more.
Source: TV Insider.
NCIS: Los Angeles is officially back for its 14th season, and while there might have been a scare in the premiere about Hetty (Linda Hunt) — the body with an ID of one of her aliases’ was not hers — there are more of those to come (not involving her).
After all, the team will once again be dealing with a case that was left very open-ended from Season 9, and for Kensi (Daniela Ruah), the threat of Kessler (Frank Military) is very much ever-present. When will he make his move?
When TV Insider recently caught up with Ruah, who directed Episode 5, she teased what’s ahead there and more.
The serial killers from “The Monster” in Season 9 are coming back — that’s the most terrifying episode of the series.
Daniela Ruah: Yes! You can thank Frank Military for that, and Adam George Key, who wrote it with him.
I’m not surprised considering Frank Military is Kessler.
What can you say about their return?
Thus far the episode that we shot will once again finish with an open ending. So that’s pretty fascinating. Yeah, it’s kind of scary, but the conclusions we come to at the end are pretty terrifying. And I don’t want to say anymore because I really want people to watch. [Laughs]
Speaking of Kessler, I need something to happen with him because that threat’s just hanging over them.
I know, me too, trust me. I have no idea when he’s coming back. But I really hope he does. Frank Military created that character, which is so funny because Frank Military as a human is the lightest, most positive, kindest person you’ve ever met. And he really goes down the rabbit hole of creating these awful characters, dark characters. I hope that he comes back and plays him again because I think Frank was brilliant and it was such an interesting dynamic with Kensi.
So it sounds like you haven’t done anything with that yet, but do we see Kensi doing anything to protect her family in the meantime? Or is that kind of just falling to the background because of everything else?
It’s always there. We always know it’s there. But it has fallen ever so slightly to the background right now because there’s so much else going on.
Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and Anna’s (Bar Paly) wedding is coming up and chances are it will be as exciting as Kensi and Deeks’ was. So do you know anything about that?
What do you know about that?
I don’t know anything yet.
[Laughs] I don’t know anything either. I wish I did. I was trying to get a scoop from you. It is discussed in Episode 5. And Callen is concerned that Hetty is not present and this makes him hesitant, if you will.
I hope we get some good Kensi, Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), and Arkady (Vyto Ruginis) scenes leading up to it because those three together…
Oh my gosh, I love Arkady. He’s such a phenomenal actor and character. How often does the character like that get called back over and over and over again? He’s so wonderful.
Will we see him in the early part of the season, say in the episode you directed? Since you mentioned the wedding…
He’s talked about, but he will not be physically in the episode I directed.
Is there anything you got to do as a director you haven’t yet with that episode?
Here’s the interesting thing. It’s a network television show, which means that we have certain aesthetic parameters that we tend to stick to and the place where most directors are going to have a lot of fun with tends to be the cold open because it typically is different than the stuff we do throughout the episode. It’s usually not in the OPS Center, it’s usually not in the boat shed. It’s a new location. It’s might be at night. You can get super creative. And so every time it’s time to shoot the cold open of an episode, I think that’s where I have a lot of fun because it’s just a little bit more open-ended aesthetically on what you’re allowed to do.
A couple of seasons ago, when we had the sailor who was on an LSD trip — he took too much LSD, he was supposed to be micro-dosing — and it was written by Indira Wilson and the whole opening was him on a trip. And so he’s in the ship and he’s coming down and we have smoke and then we filmed it in a way where the camera sort of goes over him and ends upside down as he’s running away from camera. Little details like that from a directing standpoint are really fun to do. There’s probably not much of a reason in a regular episode or while we’re doing a case for the camera to be flipped upside down. So things that may not seem a very big deal to an audience member, to me as a director it’s like, oh, I got to play with the camera. I got to play with its direction. I got to play with what it’s looking at.
Will we see Sabatino (Erik Palladino) again this season?
We will see him this season, yes. We have not shot it yet, but I believe we will see him, so I’ve been told.
I like the way that his relationship with the team has gone over the years. It’s crazy the paths it’s taken.
I agree. And the fact that we met him working with Kensi in Afghanistan in Season 5 and that relationship developing, that banter. Erik Palladino, the actor who plays him, has chemistry with everybody. Put him in a scene with Callan and Sam [LL Cool J], put him in a scene with Kensi and Deeks, he’s gonna be funny and he’s gonna be good at action and he’s just a really good, fun actor to watch, and I love him as a human.
What else can you preview about the season for Kensi?
We’re only on Episode 8. I think it’s just so far struggling with the parenting aspect of it, having to deal with a mother-in-law [Pamela Reed’s Roberta] who she does love, but watching the dynamic between Deeks and Mama Deeks is very funny. They go a little bit into Deeks’ past, his father being an aggressive person towards his mom and him when they were little. We explore that a little bit in Episode 5.
So are we getting the “Deeks, M.” episode this season?
He’s the one person we’re missing. I don’t know when that’s happening, but it should happen, for sure.