Weatherly Had Reservations About Portraying a Authentic Italian Detective on “NCIS”

Michael Weatherly initially had reservations about joining “NCIS,” as he revealed in an interview with The Futon Critic, partly due to concerns about the show being a spin-off of “JAG.” He recounted his initial reluctance, which dissolved after a dinner meeting with Don Bellisario in Australia. Weatherly was charmed by Bellisario’s compelling storytelling and magnetic personality, which significantly swayed his decision.

An avid admirer of Bellisario’s earlier work, especially “Magnum P.I.,” Weatherly initially sought to indulge in fanboy queries. However, as the conversation unfolded, he found himself intrigued by the concept of “NCIS.” Despite his enthusiasm, Weatherly was puzzled by the character he was slated to play: Anthony DiNozzo, an Italian-American homicide detective from Baltimore, characterized by his street-wise demeanor and edgy approach.

Weatherly, self-described as more of a WASP with a boarding school background, doubted his fit for the role of a gritty detective, humorously comparing his life experiences more with sneaking around dormitories than navigating the streets of Baltimore.

Weatherly’s skepticism extended to the feasibility of the show’s success and his casting as DiNozzo, estimating his chances of securing the role as uncertain. Despite his initial doubts and the character’s stark contrast to his personal background, the series not only went forward but also became a significant part of Weatherly’s career, with him playing a pivotal role in “NCIS” until Season 13.