NCIS’s Gary Cole Makes Every Project He’s in Undoubtedly Better

The NCIS franchise stands as a titan in the realm of broadcast television, having debuted in 2003 and since then, spawning several successful spin-offs that have garnered their own dedicated fanbases. Despite discussions around its depictional accuracy, the franchise has undeniably excelled in portraying the challenges of law enforcement, thanks in large part to the compelling performances of its ensemble cast.

Icons such as Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Maria Bello, and Pauley Perette have all seen their careers flourish due to their roles in NCIS. Now, the franchise is poised to embark on a new chapter with Gary Cole stepping into the lead role as Supervisory Special Agent Alden Parker.

Cole, though perhaps an unexpected choice for the position, is a testament to the skill and depth character actors bring to their roles, having enriched countless films and series over the years.

The label “character actor” is often unfairly perceived as pejorative, yet Cole exemplifies how such actors can turn even the most limited screen time into memorable, scene-stealing performances. His career, which gained significant momentum in the 1990s through his collaborations with horror maestro Sam Raimi, showcases his ability to elevate every role he embodies.

From his portrayal of the criminal Vernon Bokovsky, which added a layer of tension to the narrative of Bill Paxton’s Hank Mitchell, to his role in Raimi’s underappreciated supernatural drama, The Gift, Cole has consistently proven that there are no minor roles, only monumental talents.

Cole’s versatility shines in ensembles, adapting seamlessly to the demands of each project. His turn as Reese Bobby in Adam McKay’s outlandish NASCAR comedy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, demonstrates his commitment to a project’s tone, matching the absurdity level with his own unique flair. Meanwhile, his performance in the 2007 spy thriller Breach showcases a more understated approach, proving pivotal in the narrative centered around the hunt for FBI mole Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper).

Gary Cole’s integration into the NCIS lineup signals promising developments for the series. With a legacy stretching over countless episodes, injecting new energy into the storyline is crucial to keep the series from becoming stagnant. Cole’s distinct acting style suggests that NCIS could veer in an exciting new direction, potentially captivating an audience that might have otherwise remained unengaged.