LOS ANGELES – Portuguese-American actress Daniela Ruah made her directing debut in the 11th episode of the current season of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” whose filming wrapped up this past Tuesday in the U.S. city most affected by the pandemic.
It’s a “totally different challenge,” confessed the actress, who plays Special Agent Kensi Blye in the CBS action police procedural television series, underlining the restrictions imposed because of the public health crisis.
“We are limited in what we can do,” she said. “So it’s up to the director to use the camera in a creative way to recreate a rich aesthetic when we have much less to work with.”
Ruah said the scripts had to be adapted to the covid-19 reality, and the number of people in each scene is much smaller than before. There are no longer any scenes in which the entire cast is present.
“I had to go back a little bit to see the style we had before,” said Ruah about the preparation work for the episode. “We used to have hundreds of extras and a full scene, visually rich, that’s something we can’t do now,” she stressed. “It’s an aesthetic that we have to pretend it exists without showing it.”
Although challenging, Ruah said these limits can actually be useful for a beginner. “Doing it for the first time is interesting, because I have many parameters to work with, which helps me,” she said.
The shooting of episode 11 of season 12 took place over seven days in Los Angeles. It will air on Feb. 21.
“I feel really excited and I’m loving it,” said Ruah, adding that directors Yangzom Brauen and Tawnia McKiernan were her mentors in this process.
Although she said she wouldn’t trade one career for the other, she would like to continue exploring the creative path of directing, both in the United States and Portugal.
“It’s a passion I’ve had for a long time, but I never gave it a try out of fear,” she said, explaining that she never trusted enough her ability to take this step.
However, something changed in recent years and she felt prepared to move forward and catch the wave of open-mindedness that has taken place in Hollywood.
“There was a lot of the image of a white man behind the cameras and leading an entire team, and today we have a very different view,” she said. “We have a series of films – both commercial and independent – that are being made, produced and written by women or people of different backgrounds, and I think that brings a lot of richness.”
Despite being recorded in the middle of a pandemic, season 12 does not include the new coronavirus in the plot.
“The series takes place in the post-pandemic – because we realized we are like comfort food,” explained Daniela Ruah.
“If someone wants to disconnect himself from the world and see something entertaining, they don’t want to be disconnecting themselves from the news and then watch fictional characters wearing masks and dealing with the pandemic on TV,” she said.
This idea of “comfort food” is, according to the actress, one of the secrets for the longevity and success of this series, which has been airing since 2009.
“It’s comfort food because the good ones always win in the end. It’s rare that we don’t win in the end, and people feel comfort in that, especially living the pandemic in a social, political and economic era,” she said. “Inside the hurricane that is normal life. We bring comfort by saying: ‘The good guys will win in the end, don’t worry.’”
Who is Daniela Ruah?
Daniela Ruah, 37, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Portuguese parents. She moved to Portugal at age 5.
Her first acting role came at 16, when she played Sara on the Portuguese soap opera “Jardins Proíbidos.” After that, she took on a few other acting projects while she finished high school.
At age 18, she moved to London to study Performing Arts at the London Metropolitan University.
In 2007, she moved to New York to further her studies at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
She stars as Special Agent Kensi Blye in NCIS: Los Angeles since 2009.
In 2018, Ruah co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest that took place in Lisbon that year.
Next week, she will be co-hosting with NFL commentator Boomer Esiason CBS’ annual Super Bowl Greatest Commercials special, which is set to air Feb. 3 at 8 p.m.
Fisrt of all I understand the limits that are in place for filming most of the TV shows this season. Some execptions are Blue Bloods (Family dinner is still every Sunday) and Bull (with masks and social distancing).
That being said
Quote from the interview:
“We used to have hundreds of extras and a full scene, visually rich, that’s something we can’t do now,” she stressed. “It’s an aesthetic that we have to pretend it exists without showing it.”
It is not working and won’t work with NCIS Los Angeles. Season 12 Episode 9: This time the big shoot out that Kensi and Sabatino are in is against Jimmy Fang and no other gunmen! Pretend the aesthetic exists?
Sorry Daniela, I cannot by into this.February 7, 21 • 4:00 pm