Chris O’Donnell has starred on NCIS: Los Angeles as special agent “G. Callen” for each of the procedural drama’s four seasons. Passionate about getting behind the lens, he recently directed an episode of the show, and ET gauged the cast’s reaction to his directing.
While a little friction between O’Donnell and his co-stars wouldn’t be entirely unexpected in his new role, the cast revealed that he was nothing but a pleasure to work with. If anything, his personal acting experience made it easier both for him and his co-stars in communicating orders.
“I’ve loved it,” said Daniela Ruah (“Kensi Blye”). “The expectation of Chris directing was very exciting, especially because as a cast I think we’re very open about giving each other ideas for scenes. …So, knowing the kind of notes that Chris has given me before not as a director were always great, I was kind of positively expecting him to be great.”
The episode marks the first time that O’Donnell has directed the show, which made for a unique experience for the cast. Renée Felice Smith (“Nell Jones”) credited his effective directing from the onset to his extensive acting experience.
“It’s kind of seamless, his rolling into directing,” she said. “…It just kind of makes sense for our show. He’s a great director because he’s very specific in what he wants and he talks to the actor. He’s an actor himself, so he knows how it feels. …It’s really been a great experience. I hope it happens more often.”
O’Donnell revealed that he was excited to be directing the show for the first time, saying, “I’m having a blast with it. I love it.”
While the NCIS: LA cast is tight-knit group, LL Cool J (“Sam Hanna”) assured that no pranks were played on O’Donnell and he wasn’t subjected to any hazing.
“I’m giving him all the love I can give him,” he said.
Check out the video to hear O’Donnell’s co-stars’ opinions on his directing gig as well as a sneak peek at tonight’s episode. NCIS: Los Angeles airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBS.