Daniela Ruah holds her own against the boys on NCIS: Los Angeles
Best known for her role as Kensi Blye, Daniela Ruah still holds forth on NCIS: Los Angeles as the only female agent. Romantically linked to fellow agent Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), her character is skilled at going undercover, and we mean that literally too, as she’s not afraid of using her sexuality to get results. Now in its seventh season, Ruah tells us more about working with Olsen, Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J.
What is it like being the only girl in action?
Not only am I the only girl in the action but I’m also fighting alongside three very tough men—LL Cool J in particular. So it’s challenging. I want to stay as true as possible to a woman fighting much bigger men, so I work as hard as I can. I do as much training as I can with our stunt coordinators and I work on the choreographies to be believable.
More on the on-screen relationship with Olsen, who is actually your husband’s brother.
We have a great dynamic. I think from the beginning we’ve been playing this dynamic, not playing chemistry. You either have chemistry with somebody or you don’t. But we’ve been playing this relationship for so many years now that it becomes really fun to be able to improvise. We know what each other’s buttons are. Eric (Olsen) is very good at improvising. Me, not so much. But he knows what irritates me and he knows what makes me laugh—both on and off camera. So, it’s fun and it’s exploratory.
Does the show being based in Los Angeles limit the scope?
I don’t think it’s limiting. I think Los Angeles is one of the staple characters of the show. LA is the backdrop—it’s sunny, it’s beachy and it’s sexy. And if you take that away then, you change the aesthetic of the show.
What was it like having Michael Weatherly over from NCIS?
That was one of the most amusing episodes I have ever been a part of because at that point you just become a spectator. You just take the leashes off these two (Weatherly and Olsen) and let them go at it. It’s so funny because they’re both brilliant at improvising. And they fed off of each other.
Are you going to up the risque factor?
I’m not sure if you can consider this sexy. But Kensi and Deeks go in undercover as people who want to enter a cult. And at some point, Kensi gets drugged and wakes up in a bed surrounded by men and women—in lingerie and unable to move. So it’s more dark than sexy.
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