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.
Source: TV Fanatic.
Daniela Ruah has enjoyed playing Kensi Blye, the most enduring female agent in the popular NCIS franchise.
NCIS: Los Angeles returns for its 14th season at 10 p.m. Sunday on CBS, and Ruah has been there from the beginning, as have LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell as partners Sam Hanna and G Callen.
In this exclusive interview with TV Fanatic, when she calls from her home base of, not surprisingly, Los Angeles, Ruah admits she feels a kinship to Kensi.
“That’s like asking what is your favorite part about playing yourself because that’s how close I am to Kensi at this point,” she says. “She is me, except I don’t catch bad guys for a living.”
Try harder, Daniela.
The floodgates open: “I love her spontaneity. I love her sense of humor. I love her relationships with all the other characters, especially her relationship with her husband, Deeks. I love how much of a well-rounded human being Kensi is. I love how she’s matured and undergone life experiences in front of an audience.”
The NCIS: Los Angeles writers have taken Kensi on quite a journey, Ruah explains.
“She started off being kind of a loner,” she says. “I can do it myself. I’m independent. I lived on the streets, and I can fend for myself. Then she found someone she could truly share her fears and concerns, and worries with, someone who makes her laugh and brings her joy.
“At first, she didn’t want to be a parent because all she knows is this job, and she’s fearful of not being in this job because of being a parent. Then she runs into infertility when she decides she does want to be a mom, a struggle that is so true and so difficult for many would-be parents. Then she found a solution to that.
“I figure she’s about the same age as me. So she started around age 25 and is now turning 39. A lot can happen in that period of time.”
In the new season, Kensi faces perhaps her biggest challenge, as she and Deeks serve as foster parents to Rosa, who she rescued from Guatemala on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 8.
Ruah explains that Kensi has no blueprint for being a parent, as her beloved father died young, and her mother wasn’t present for her. As a result, Kensi puts too much pressure on herself.
“I love how insecure she is as a brand-new foster mom,” she says. “She loves so much and cares so much that she just wants to get it right and sort of ends up overthinking and being nervous about everything. She tries to be the perfect foster parent. One, nobody’s perfect, and two, you’re more likely to fail if you try to be perfect.”
Some would argue that Kensi has always had to be the responsible one in her relationship with Deeks. But Ruah refused to see Deeks as childish.
“I don’t agree with that,” she rebutted. “In spite of Deeks being a total goofball and he’s funny, at the end of the day when you watch Deeks turn on his mature, intelligent self, he can hold the room. When he wants to put on his lawyer hat for the suspect, or he wants to dive deep emotionally with something, we’ve seen him do that.
“He is no child, even though he makes some silly moves and says some silly things,” she added. “At the end of the day, he knows exactly what he’s doing. Also, I don’t think Kensi would fall in love with a man-child.”
One of the series’ many hanging storylines is David Kessler, who began stalking Kensi on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 12 Episode 5. He’s been mentioned once in passing since then. Ruah is game to tie up that storyline.
“I’d love to see Kensi stepping out of character and making more erratic decisions,” she says. “She’s become more logical through the years. Earlier, she was more likely to be a loose cannon and go off and do what she needed to do. I’d love to see her being driven by instinct rather than being driven by logic.”
Other teammates also have lingering storylines from NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13.
Sam is caring for his curmudgeonly father, Raymond, who is slowly developing dementia.
Callen is preparing to marry Anna. Hetty’s absence will weigh heavily on him, and that will cause tension between them.
Roundtree is still dealing with the fallout of mistakenly being stopped by racist police on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 15.
After years with motherly Hetty, Ruah says the squad has adjusted to Kilbride’s management style, even if some viewers haven’t. Pointing to an episode she directed, “Live Free or Die Standing” (NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 Episode 19), she says that Kilbride will do what needs to be done.
“Even though Kilbride is his brusque self, he’s still coming from the Hetty generations-of-experience way of doing things,” she added. “He’s by the book until he can’t be because he’s also the guy who’s going to do the right thing. He’s a good guy.”
Ruah has been working more as a director. She has directed her show for three seasons, directing two episodes this season. She also has directed in her home company of Portugal.
Much of the core group of lead actors have been together for the entire run of NCIS: Los Angeles.
“We’ve become a family that’s been cemented throughout the years,” Ruah says. “Us being together for so long as a cast has brought people comfort. Being in people’s homes every week for 14 years is a big deal.
“A lot of people have said, ‘This is a show we sit down as a family to watch every Sunday.’ That brings me so much joy.”
Daniela Ruah teases the opening episode of season 14 with Kensi and Deeks as foster parents to Rosa and a body that matches Hetty’s description found in Syria.
“The personal side has always been very present in the show,” Ruah tells Parade.com in this exclusive interview. “That’s what differentiates us from a lot of other procedurals. And if you think about it, after 14 years, we have literally matured and aged in front of an audience, and so they knew the more immature, younger side of us. Both as actors, but also as characters. And they’ve seen us making changes and pivot in different situations to become the people they are today. I think that’s a large part of the beating heart of our show.”
Speaking of hearts, one well-known quote on becoming a parent is that your heart then walks around in the world outside of your body. Such is now the case for Kensi and Deeks, who when they drop Rosa off to school in the series premiere, are way more nervous than she is, and as they try to reassure her, only ramp up her anxiety.
“I have no experience raising a teenager because my children are still quite young, but I also know that I’m getting to know my kids and their personalities from birth,” Ruah says by way of explaining her character’s parenting skills. “And then once they become teenagers, I will know exactly who they are and what they’re capable of and what they need help with.”
But for Kensi and Deeks, they’re just getting to know Rosa, who as mentioned, Kensi shared a super intense experience with while in Mexico as they escaped from some very bad guys, and now she’s their foster daughter.
“So, they’re having to get to know an older child and trying to be the best parents they can,” Ruah continues. “I think anyone who’s a parent knows you put way too much pressure on yourself to do everything perfectly when all they want is somebody to watch over them and keep them safe.”
Also, in the season premiere, Callen and Kilbride (Gerald McRaney) get troubling news about a body found in Syria, the description of which matches Hetty (Linda Hunt) and they await news as to whether the body is actually Hetty or someone who resembles her.
“I think Scott keeps that in his own mind pretty tightly wrapped,” Ruah says when asked about the return of Hetty. “I think what I am allowed to say is that a body is found in Syria, somewhere around Hetty’s last location, and we have to try and explore and find out what that’s all about. But I don’t have a future to be able to tease to you because I don’t know.”
But what she does know is that in addition to the importance of the characters, the cases matter, too.
“That’s what drives the episodes if you will, but there’s no doubt that the beating heart of the show is the personal side of the show,” she adds.
Also in the premiere episode, we see Kensi meet a woman who has just lost her father. That’s happened before, but now she is a mother. Was there a moment where she stopped to think that maybe she needs to be more cautious because Rosa could end up being given the same news as she was giving this woman?
That’s really interesting. I don’t believe that was written in, but I think that just goes to show that we all watch something and maybe put in a little bit of our own experiences and interpretation. I love that you identified that because you truly are understanding Kensi’s current experience. But, obviously, we know that Kensi’s father also passed away, so she also has empathy for somebody who loses somebody very important to them, in this case, a father.
So, I think, Kensi feels empathy on a lot of different levels, and that tends to be who Kensi is, you know what I mean? I agree with you that the maternal side has kicked in. I don’t think she was maternal until she found Rosa. I can identify with that myself, I don’t think I was maternal until I had my own children, and I know plenty of women who have a maternal side to them even before they have their own children, so it’s a journey.
Last time we talked, we talked about how important it was for NCIS: Los Angeles to deal with Kensi’s fertility issues. Now that she and Deeks are fostering a child, will that continue? Do they still want to try for a baby? Or now having Rosa, is that changing their minds?
I think having Rosa has filled the parent hole in their heart. I think that Kensi came to the conclusion that she’s just not meant to bear children of her own, and that’s a very true realization for lots of women. On the other hand, there are women that try 15-20 times and finally get the much-desired baby. But it also took a huge toll on her body. It was hard for her to work; it was hard for her to function. I think that they’ve made the decision that Rosa will fill that gap in love that they were feeling.
How many episodes will you be directing this season? And what satisfaction do you get being behind the camera that you don’t in front of it?
That’s a really interesting question. I’m doing two this year. I’ll be doing episodes five and 14, unless people get shuffled around because that can happen, too. But I’m doing two this year. You know, I think, ownership. In a weird way, I’m very proud of taking ownership over good things that happen but also mistakes that happen. I’m quite fresh; it’s only been about three years at this point. This year I’ll be doing my sixth directed episode, so I have so much more to learn. But I think I thrive off of learning something new and I just really feed off of the excitement of, “This is new.”
I feel like I’m in film school but it’s with people that I’ve known for years, and it’s people that I trust and who put trust in me. And so, therefore, I owe them the message that you trust me and you should trust me. It’s just exciting that it’s new and it’s a different angle of telling a story because my perspective has to be that of all characters and has to be that of how will this cut together so that it will make sense. And how can I make something feel powerful? How can I take a really good script and elevate it visually?
And how to take full advantage of the strength of my actors. In this case my colleagues, the regular cast of the show. They all have such incredible strengths that are so different from each other, how can we take advantage of that? As an actor, you’re functioning on one level of a building where you only see what’s there. And then when you’re put in a writing or in a directing position, or producing or whatever it is, in my case, directing, it’s like somebody allows you to step further up the ladder and just have a bigger visual of the geography of an episode.
It’s like you have to see the full map, you can’t just look at one thing, this ocean or that country. You have to see the full map because you’re telling the story that’s on the map, and it has to make sense and be cohesive throughout. How one scene opens, where did we come from before this, the energy that goes from this scene into the next scene. Is there a particular transition I’d like to do that helps to tell the story or move the story along?
It’s really exciting to go to the drawing board and storyboard some scenes or a shot list or whatever it is. Both of our first ADs on our show also direct, and just to sit and brainstorm with them and be like, “I was thinking this, this, this, and this. Do you think we’ll have time in our day to do this?” “Well, you will, but you might have to…” There’s so many logistics. You can tell how talkative I just became.
How excited you are, yeah.
I am. And I think that I would be this chatty if I was playing a brand-new character that I had not been playing for 14 years. I love change. I love learning something new. Yeah, it all feels very, very exciting and I’m excited at the possibility of directing other things outside of this show just because it would be a new challenge. I wouldn’t know the people, I wouldn’t know the team, and to do that as well.
Do you find Kensi fresh enough, and the stories fresh enough, that you would keep going to say, Season 20, like regular NCIS? If CBS keeps picking you up.
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
You’ve been talking about new things, so you would want to stay?
Kensi is a human being who is constantly developing and growing and learning from whatever she’s living, so, of course, it’s exciting to do that. When I say excitement on something new, when you call “Action,” I become Kensi, when you call “Cut,” I’m back to Dani, and it’s a seamless transition because I’ve been doing that with that character for so long. I would have to stay 10 times more focused if I was playing a brand-new character. And that’s the kind of excitement that I’m talking about.
This may sound awful at first but listen to the whole thing. I was going to say I love being married. This will make sense, I promise you. I love being married as Daniela to David. What we do as a family, how we evolve as a couple, all of that is amazing to me. But I also loved the butterflies in the tummy when I first started dating Dave, when it was new, and we were getting to know each other.
And it’s the same thing as a character. I’ve been married to Kensi for 14 years, but I still remember the excitement when I first started playing her. That’s what I mean. So, it has nothing to do with whether I keep playing her or not, it’s just that’s what I mean when I talk about excitement and a character.
Speaking about excitement of new characters, of course we miss Nell (Renée Felice Smith) and Beale (Barrett Foa), but now we have Roundtree (Castille) and Namazi (Rahimi) and they bring a totally different energy. How does their addition open up the show for new story ideas?
First of all, I want to say that I absolutely adore both of them as human beings, and I love them as actors. I’m speaking more from a directing perspective now, but I love working with them. They’re so open to experimenting and they ask such great questions like, “Do you think my character would do this or that?” There are things that only they have an answer to, and I can only guide them there.
Obviously, their being new characters, it means that there’s lots of life stories to explore that we haven’t done. So right there, of course, it gives you plenty of space for new storylines. And then exploring the relationship between them. Are they best friends? Are they like brother and sister? Would it be a flirty thing at some point? I have no idea. They haven’t explored either way. Obviously, right now they’re very close. They’re such great additions to the show.
It looks as if COVID protocols are still affecting the show. We haven’t seen any group shots in ops, so like maybe no more than two people can be in there and group shots are mostly outdoors?
I want to say that we have moved a little bit away from that. We are way more back to normal. There’s definitely op scenes. Maybe not in the first episode, but there’s definitely op scenes where there’s quite a few of us in there. So, that has shifted for sure.
I think the COVID protocols are still very much felt in terms of the actual production aspect of it. We were reduced to 10-hour days to avoid people being together more time than that. And they realized that we were capable of finishing our days in 10 hours and so we’ve stuck to it now.
So, we have 10-hour days. Nice as an actress because it’s like, “Yay, the day’s done, I get to go home.” But when you are, again on the production side, or on the directing side, or writing side, it’s like you have to adapt all of your ideas to not having much time in a day to get them done. So, it definitely is more anxiety inducing, but hey, it’s the most amazing school for efficiency that I’ve ever been to. I mean, wherever I go after this I’ll be more efficient than I ever was.
During an exclusive interview with Looper, Ruah opened up about working with a “GOAT” like LL Cool J, what her off-screen relationship is like with co-star Olsen, and what to expect from Season 14.
Season 13 ended with a party for Rosa. What can we expect to see from Kensi and Deeks as parents this coming season?
Definitely a very nervous Kensi. She’s behaving like a first-time mom, except it’s not a baby, it’s a teenager. It’s that concern of keeping the kid safe and keeping the kid happy and making sure she’s doing the right thing, making sure that she feels accepted. If she ever wants to call family, she’s more than welcome to. Rosa is not making her step on eggshells; she’s making herself step on eggshells because she’s so worried about doing something wrong, which most mothers probably feel, especially in the beginning when they become parents. But in that case, you get to raise your kids since they are babies.
I’m raising my children, so I know who they are. I know their likes and dislikes. I know how to discipline them in a way that works for them and for me. But when you start off with a teenager, that’s a whole other learning curve. That’s a full human with life experiences that you were not a part of, and you want to make sure that they are happy and comfortable within their new experiences with you. Kensi is feeling pretty insecure and trying to do her best, and probably overdoing it half the time.
[In the Season 14 premiere there’s a scene] where they’re [talking to Rosa about] bullying and she’s like, “You think I’m going to be bullied?” It’s like, “No, you’re not going to be bullied.” They’re trying to protect her when it’s like, just let her be a person, and help her when she needs help, and give her the space to grow.
What else can you tell us about Season 14, both in terms of overall storylines and your character’s arc in particular?
Well, just a disclaimer: We’ve only shot eight episodes so far, so we haven’t even done half of a season yet, so there’s a lot more to explore than what I’m going to tell you. But we know that Callen and Anna are set to get married. We have no idea when that’s going to happen, but that’s the plan. Callen proposed to Anna last season.
Hetty is still missing, and that is definitely on Callen’s mind more than anyone else’s because of his relationship with her. That then affects how he sees getting married. We explore that in Episode 5, the episode that I directed, so that’s why it’s fresh in my mind.
For Kensi and Deeks, it’s definitely the parenting thing and doing their job and making sure everybody’s safe. Pamela [Reed] is going to make an appearance [as Roberta Deeks] this season, which I’m excited about because of her dynamic with Deeks and Kensi, and now there is Rosa. Mama Deeks meets Rosa for the first time, and they totally hit it off. That episode is really fun.
What else? Sam is taking care of his father, who is slowly deteriorating with dementia, and his children are around as well. With Roundtree and Fatima, there’s still a little bit of residual sentiment on Roundtree’s end from what happened last season regarding police brutality with him and his sister. I’m trying to think of what else …
In terms of bad guys, might David Kessler rear his ugly head again this season? If so, how do you think Kensi will react now that she’s a foster mom?
I don’t know if Kessler is going to make an appearance this season. I haven’t heard anything about it. But if he were to, I have no doubt she would have a different reaction. It’s like when I jump on a plane, I’m not concerned, but if my mom or [husband] Dave and the kids jump on a plane, I’m like, “Call me when you take off and as soon as you get there.” When it’s not you, you’re so much more worried. If Kessler were to make an appearance, knowing that the bad guy would very easily go after Rosa to get to Kensi, it definitely becomes an overload of preoccupation.
Speaking of Kessler — who was played by and written by Frank Military — the awful criminal who sews people’s body parts together will be back this season. We’ll be re-exploring that. The last time we saw it was in Season 9, if I’m not mistaken.
That’s something to look forward to … kind of.
Yes. I know, right? It’s odd. I look forward to watching people be sewn into various pieces. Hopefully, we catch the bad guy.
I know you can’t tell me much about what’s going on with Hetty without spoilers, so let me ask this: What’s it been like working with Linda Hunt?
I know basically what you probably know, which is there was a body found in Syria in the same place as her last location, and that’s all we know …
I don’t have enough words to describe how wonderful [Linda] is as a person and what an honor it is to work with somebody of that skill level, who’s able to shatter the ground with her gravitas, even when she’s being quiet and listening to you. She’s a wonderful human and actress, and we’re very lucky that she joined the show. We’re very lucky to work with her. She’s lovely.
What’s it like working with Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J? I’m sure you don’t call him LL Cool J.
No, we call him Todd.
Are there any good stories with either of them from the set you can share?
After all these years and so much time spent together — going through boyfriend breakups, meeting my husband, getting married, having children, having them around throughout the most important parts of my life — they’re like brothers at this point. I go to them for advice and to share stories, and I want to support them in what they’re doing. They’re supportive with what I’m doing. It’s quite literally a family.
But there’s one thing that stood out to me from your question that happened with Todd in particular … Todd is a go-getter. We all know this. He’s consistently reinventing himself. He is literally the GOAT. But he also appreciates those traits in other people. He is competitive with himself, but I’ve never felt him being competitive with any of us in a negative sense.
I was directing [an episode] a few weeks ago, and there was one particular day that felt almost impossible to finish. We had very limited time to shoot, and there was a ton of action. There was a company move, which means you move the entire crew and machinery to a different location. It felt like an impossible day to complete.
While they were setting up cameras, he was on his chair, and I kneeled down next to him and said, “Are you good? Any questions?” He was like, “Nope, I’m good. I got it.” I sighed and was like, “Dude, I don’t know how we’re going to finish this day.” I felt worried — and this was still the morning, so it was the beginning of it. He goes, “You underestimate your will to want to finish.” I was like, “You’re right. I am going to finish this day, dang it!”
He looked at me and he saw it. He was like, “You’re underestimating yourself. You know you’re capable of doing this. You’ve done it before, now go do it.” That was the gentle kick in the pants I needed in that moment to be like, “Let’s go. We got this.” That’s why we’re such a great team overall.
As a director, I’m supposed to be driving that train and being the positive one, like, “It’s going to be great. Let’s go, guys.” But because I have that relationship with Todd, it was okay to show a little bit of the crack in my armor that day. Because he is a natural leader, he was like, “You got this. Go.” It worked, and we finished the day.
I have to ask about Eric Christian Olsen. You have such a good on-screen relationship, but what’s it like when the cameras stop rolling? Are there any funny behind-the-scenes moments with him?
Gosh, there are too many to even remember at this point, because we’re family. It’s not just when the cameras aren’t rolling. It’s Sunday beach days with the kids and birthdays and Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know we’re married on the show, so I’m sorry to the people [reading] this, but he’s my brother. He’s like an older brother, and that’s the kind of dynamic we have. He’s very funny as a human. I’ve learned a lot about comedy from him, comedic timing. I can’t remember any particular moments. There are lots — tons.
Are there any type of scenes or lines that you see in the script and you know what’s coming from him on the other end, and you think to yourself, “This is going to be such a fun scene to film”?
That’s happened lots of times. For one, with most scenes when I’m running them at home and learning my lines, I already hear Eric’s voice reading his part, and Todd and Chris reading their parts. You know what they’re probably going to do with those scenes. But some clip came up on YouTube the other day, and it was an old scene that Eric and I did when Kensi is making fun of him for having been a stripper or an exotic dancer. I don’t remember what season this was from, but I do remember that I watched it and was like, “That would’ve been a scene that I would’ve read on paper and been like, ‘I know what this is going to be like. This is going to be super-fast, almost overlapping each other.'”
Even with little improvs and stuff like that, we know each other’s energy. That chemistry has been present for so long, we could almost predict what the other one might do and allow ourselves to go with it and ride that wave. After 14 seasons, it’s like a thousand-page novel, and there’s a lot that goes on in a thousand pages.
What do you think fans might be surprised to learn about Kensi?
That’s an interesting question, because they’ve seen her be birthed as a character and mature and age and grow. I don’t know. We don’t know anything about Kessler [returning] yet, but I have it in my mind how I would love for her to step out of character to handle that situation. That’s not something that I know is happening — I’m just venturing into La La Land here.
[Fans have] known Kensi since I’ve known Kensi, and they’ve seen every part of her experience, negative and positive. They’ve seen every moment she’s gone rogue and every moment she’s been by the book and every moment she’s supported and every moment she’s been supported. I don’t know what they would be surprised by. But what Kensi does, along with all the other characters on the show, is bring people comfort because they do know her. They know what to expect, and they know that 99% of the time, the good guy’s going to end on top.
Source: Smashing Interviews
Daniela Ruah was born in Boston to Portuguese-born parents and lived in the US until she was five. She attended St. Julian’s School in Portugal where she grew up, landing her first acting role at the age of 16. Two years later, Ruah moved to London and received a BA in Performing Arts at the London Metropolitan University, having finished with first class honors.
Ruah has played the same character (Kensi Blye) in three different series: NCIS (2003), NCIS: Los Angeles (2009) and Hawaii Five-0 (2010). She is currently shooting season 14 of NCIS: Los Angeles, which premieres on October 9, 2022. The series also stars Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, Eric Christian Olsen and Gerald McRaney.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Daniela, let’s talk about the new season of NCIS: Los Angeles. We have Kensi and Deeks fostering Rosa. What kind of parents will they be in this situation?
Daniela Ruah: I think they’re still trying to find their voices as parents and their position as parents as well. I think any first-time parent, including myself, could say you feel pretty insecure in the beginning when you have a baby, like am I feeding it too much? Am I not feeding it enough? But you really get to know that child as they age with you, what food they like and don’t like, what toy they like, what makes them tick.
In this situation, we’ve fostered a teenager, so she’s a full-fledged human with previous experiences, some positive, some negative that we have not been privy to. So they’re just trying to get to know her, but they already love her, and they already want to care for her. Kensi obviously met her under very distressful circumstances, which was trying to pull her out of Mexico where she was under threat. So there’s that added layer of how Kensi got to know her at first. She was her savior essentially, and Rosa was her savior in return because she’s filled this huge gap in her soul of wanting to be a mom even though she spent so many years figuring out that she wanted to be a mom in the first place.
I think Kensi, in particular, is overly worried and maybe overprotective where she should take a step back. I think we’ve all been through something like that in different circumstances. But it has been much more stressful. So I think she’ll find a way to just take a breath and relax. It’s going to be okay.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: What can you say about finding Hetty?
Daniela Ruah: It’s a mystery to me as it is to you. I personally have no idea what Scott Gemmill, the showrunner, is thinking for that scenario. The last thing we know is that a body was found in Syria around the last place Hetty was seen, and that’s all I know. I do know that this is a hovering concern over everyone but to Callen in particular because of the relationship that they have. He is set to marry Anna, and he proposed in the finale of last season. But there’s a part of him who needs Hetty, and she’s not there. I think that causes some friction between Callen and Anna, and that’ll be interesting to explore as well.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: What it like working with storied actor Gerald McRaney?
Daniela Ruah: I would say he’s one of my favorite people. It was an honor for him to join us on occasion just because of his experience and how much we have to learn from him on so many different fronts. But now that he’s joined us as a regular, I’ve actually sat with him so often just hearing his stories and sharing. I mean, he’s so in love with his wife, Delta, and he’s so passionate about many things. He’s so experienced in the job but also in life in general. He really leads with love and respect for what’s around him, and it shows.
I feel very comfortable around Mac. I really like working with him. The first time I directed on the show, I was like, “Mac, I’m a little hesitant about giving someone like you any notes whatsoever other than step left or step right.” He’s like, “Are you kidding me? I want to know what you’re thinking and what your process is. This is something we do together.” He just put me at ease to be able to experiment with him, and it’s been so wonderful to do that. He doesn’t have an ego like, “I’m an experienced actor. You’re an inexperienced director. Therefore, don’t tell me what to do.” That is so far from what Mac is.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Didn’t you and Mac work on the film Red Tails a few years ago?
Daniela Ruah: Was Mac in Red Tails? If he was, he wasn’t with me (laughs). I would be incredibly embarrassed if Mac had been in that movie, and he and I never talked about it. Now, I’ve got to look it up. I honestly … are you sure? Oh, God! Here it is (laughs). We have a lot to talk about. Thank you! I don’t know if he knows I was in Red Tails! Wow! I’m both embarrassed but really excited now and will bring this up with him.
I was 24 when I shot that, and it was isolated from everybody else in the movie because my scenes were only with David Oyelowo. I was never with Gerald, never with anybody out of the nucleus of the pilots. Then the movie got made, and we saw the movie maybe four or five years after we did the movie. We shot it way before it actually came out. But that’s crazy! I have to ask him if he even knows I was in it.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: In case there are some viewers left on the planet who are not aware, you are married to David Olsen, the older brother of Eric Christian Olsen who plays your husband on the show, Marty Deeks. So Eric introduced you to David?
Daniela Ruah: So let’s see. Eric joined us right at the end of season one, I believe. Then, yeah. He brought up David and mentioned how we’d be good together and that I should meet him and Sarah, Eric’s now wife (girlfriend then), also said “You’ve got to meet Dave.” Then we did meet and turns out, it worked. Two children later, we’re here (laughs).
Smashing Interviews Magazine: You and Eric have great onscreen chemistry. Is that because you two are actually family?
Daniela Ruah: I mean, I’d like to think we had chemistry before I met Dave, and that’s why it worked so nicely. Yeah. I think we’ve always had chemistry. I think we just work well together. We understand each other’s sense of humor and sort of play off of it and bounce off of it, and it’s really fun. Becoming family was just an added bonus to that.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: You’re directing two episodes this season?
Daniela Ruah: Yeah, episode five, “Flesh and Blood” and I am on the roster for episode 14, but sometimes, we get shuffled around.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Is it difficult when you are acting and directing?
Daniela Ruah: It depends on the scenes. I prefer to be not in the episodes that I direct. I’m still learning so much that while being Kensi is second nature at this point for me, you know, I call action and hurry and say cut, and I’m back to myself. I don’t have to think about that transition. I don’t have to think about her voice, how she banters when she’s upset or whatever it is. All that is second nature at this point.
Directing is obviously not second nature. I’ve only been doing it for three years, and it’s such a hefty responsibility when you’re sitting in the director’s chair. There’s the responsibility of telling a cohesive story, of visually elevating an already great script and making sure that the transitions from scene to scene makes sense or that they bring rhythm to what you’re watching on TV. There’s the ending aspect to it. We only have 10 hours a day in seven business days to shoot an episode. So how can I be efficient? You’ve got to cut it in your head before you shoot it so you know exactly what you need and if you have time, get a couple of bonus things to complement that cut in your head. Anyway, my point being is I’m running a million miles an hour when I’m directing. I think you can see that my speech just changed just by talking about it. That’s because everything just starts moving faster. It’s so that, plus the added responsibility of behaving like another human even though that’s second nature.
It’s a lot, but I have to do it. It’s part of the job and actually really good to be thrown in to the deep end of directing a show that’s very efficient, a show that moves fast, a show that every genre involved, action, drama, comedy, all that stuff rolled up in one. Am I going to have to learn to swim in the deep end? Yeah. But that just makes me even that more efficient and functional in any other directing job that may come my way.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Will there be a crossover event this season?
Daniela Ruah: I hope so. That would be pretty fun. I always loved the idea of crossovers. I believe the other shows just did something together.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: It was the first ever special Law & Order premiere with the three NBC dramas.
Daniela Ruah: It was Law & Order. There you go. I also remember when Pauley Perrette came over to our show, and the fact we were launched on the original NCIS, I think the audience that enjoys the shows would love to see our characters interact. So I hope so.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Were both your parents physicians, Daniela?
Daniela Ruah: My mother is an audiologist, so she worked with people on hearing aids and such things. So I don’t think that audiologists are considered physicians, but it’s definitely the medical field. My dad’s a surgeon. Both grandpas were, and my grandmother was a nurse.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: And yet you decided to pursue a career in acting.
Daniela Ruah: I asked my dad once if he wished that I’d gone into medicine and shared an office with him the way he shared one with my grandpa. His response was, “God, no! You have no idea what a dog’s life this is.” (laughs) So I don’t think anyone was disappointed. At the same time, I grew up sitting with my grandpa watching CSI and Law & Order and all these procedurals that he was always a big fan of. His bookshelves at home were just filled with procedural books. But they were super supportive when I wanted to act. Then I was like, “Hey, I’m going to be doing a procedural.” It felt full circle if anything. I was just fun, you know.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: You started out in soap operas?
Daniela Ruah: Yes. Soap operas in Portugal when I was 16 years old. I was working full time at the same time I was completing high school. That was a challenge, but it got done. Then I took three years off from acting to complete college and get my BA in Performing Arts, and I didn’t want any undue influence to distract me from my studies there because I remembered how hard it was in high school to do both basically in my time. It may have changed.
But in my time, when I was a teenager, the schooling support system was not there. So it was like, “Just do your homework and whatever gaps you have, good luck.” There was no you have a minor on set, you can only work so many hours a day, and there’s a tutor that does schoolwork with them. There was a very different support system. It may have changed now in Portugal, but that’s the way it was in my time (laughs). I can go back and say that now, “In my time, it was different.” It was more of a struggle, but again, out of struggles, out of pressure come diamonds. So I felt pretty invincible once I was done with both high school and work at the same time.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Did you actually appear in just one episode of Guiding Light?
Daniela Ruah: (laughs) I would like to be specific with you. It was one scene in one episode (laughs). I played one of the lead character’s trainers, and I think my lines were something like, “You can jump off the treadmill now.” I don’t remember the rest. It was so minor. It was just basically three lines of an inconsequential scene. But the casting director from Guiding Light was the one who introduced me to my agent who I am still with 15 years later. So good things come.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Then came NCIS, which was your big break.
Daniela Ruah: I don’t remember the gap of time but, yes. It must’ve been within a couple of years.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: You auditioned for the role of Kensi?
Daniela Ruah: Yes. I auditioned when I was still living in New York. Then the callback was in LA, so they flew me out for the studio audition, then the network audition, and the rest is history.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: What’s the best part about playing Kensi?
Daniela Ruah: The best part of playing her is the fact that she’s a flawed human being like anyone is, and she grows from her mistakes. She’s intelligent. She’s fiercely independent, but after all these years, I think she’s grown to understand that it’s okay to emotionally depend on someone else. Her own traumas of losing her dad, not having a present mom, running away from home as a teenager, living on the street for a while, gave her a sense of no one’s going to give anything to you. You’ve got to go for it yourself and depend on yourself.
After meeting Deeks, she evolves into the fact that it’s okay to emotionally depend on someone else. Not everybody’s going to leave you. So, yeah. There’s so much I love about her. At this point, I am her, and she is me getting bad guys and handcuffing people and shooting people (laughs). Taking the professional side away from her profession, we’re very similar human beings at this point. It would be difficult to play the same character for 14 years and not have something in common.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: And you’re happy playing her for as long as it lasts?
Daniela Ruah: Of course! I am so happy. I love the team we have. I love the cast. I love the crew. We’re a family at this point. You break bread with your cast and crew. Crew members were at my wedding. They were there when I met my husband, and they were there when I was pregnant with my kids in season five and eight. They were sending me messages when I had the kids. We’re all very, very close.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Are your kids used to the fact that mom and dad are on television?
Daniela Ruah: Oh, yeah. They don’t care. What they care about is when I come home and show them a video and say,” Look at this cool stuff that daddy did today,” or “Look at this fight mom had to do today. It’s so cool. Look at what my stunt double did.” I do some of my stunts but definitely not all of them. I have very, very talented women who step in for me. But the kids love seeing that.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: What’s your favorite thing to do as a family?
Daniela Ruah: Our family is really a tight nucleus. I’m not talking about grandparents and stuff in this instance but the four of us. We all go to both kids’ soccer practices. We all go to someone’s game. We’re always moving in a family pack. I think that’s such an important thing. Fortunately, both David and I have the flexibility to make those games. Occasionally, we’ll say, “Hey, I’m working late and can’t make it.” But our show is pretty predictable in terms of its schedule at this point. So we try and plan things.
We love going to a new restaurant and trying new foods or experimenting in the kitchen with cooking. My husband is an amazing cook, and River loves it, too. I always ask them what they want for lunch because I always pack their lunches and snacks. Sierra was like, “Oh, I want that white sauce that River makes.” I said, “So you want pasta with River’s white sauce?” It’s butter, milk, a little flour, and he adds some cheese in there. I said, “Okay.” Sure enough, that morning I’m boiling the pasta, and River is making the sauce for him and his sister for lunch. We have movie nights. We do almost everything all together, and we really enjoy it.
I want the kids to feel like this is a safe port. Go out. Enjoy. As you get older, have your friends and see what life has to offer, but you know this safe port is here for whenever you want to come back.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Anything you want to add about the new season?
Daniela Ruah: It’s going to be a good one. We have some recurring situations like the horrible bad guy who sews body parts together. So we revisit that. We explore obviously the personal side of these characters, which, I think, is the beating heart of the show. I think it’s going to be more of what people love to watch so far.