Emily Wickersham Had Never Done This One Thing Before NCIS
Actor Emily Wickersham landed her first big TV gig as Special Agent Ellie Bishop on “NCIS” Season 11 after series regular Cote de Pablo, who played the fan-favorite Special Agent Ziva Davis for eight seasons, decided to exit the crime show. When Wickersham gracefully joined the star-studded cast of the long-running series, she told TV Guide that she had some “big shoes to fill” following de Pablo’s departure. While Wickersham has also added films “Gone” and “I Am Number Four” to her impressive resume, per IMDb, “NCIS” is her most notable role to date, as she starred on the cast for seven seasons.
But filming 172 episodes throughout eight years didn’t come as easy as fans might think. After filming numerous storylines and investigations that will forever be a part of “television history,” Wickersham announced that she was leaving “NCIS” after Season 18 in a heartfelt Instagram post. Although Wickersham told the New York Post in 2014 that her transition to play Agent Davis was easier than expected, it was her training from “real NCIS agents” that helped her acting look so realistic. In fact, Wickersham was trained to do one thing she had never done before to prepare for her big role.
Emily Wickersham learned to shoot a gun on NCIS
In 2014, Emily Wickersham told CBS Watch Magazine that before being cast for her “NCIS” role she “never held a gun in [her] life,” which made her training “hardcore.” Even though the actor clarified she knew using powerful weapons came with the territory of starring on a crime drama, there was always fear instilled in her that the gun was somehow going to “turn around and shoot” her. But the “NCIS” casting team quickly got her training from some of the best, who helped her feel “comfortable with a gun in [her] hand” when she joined veteran actors like Sean Murray on-set a year prior, per TV Fanatic.
Wickersham said to further learn how to use a gun for her role, she underwent shooting training with a “tech advisor,” who happened to be a real former NCIS agent. But because her character Ellie Bishop is a special agent, Wickersham explained that she wanted to learn properly because “that’s an important part of the character.” Wickersham admits using a weapon was initially “the scariest thing” but she wanted to “come across” like the a true investigator, so she moved forward. It appears her training was a victory, as she successfully starred as Agent Bishop for eight years on one of the most-watched dramas in the world.
How Emily Wickersham’s NCIS character changed the way she thinks about c*-*-me
Running for a memorable 19 Seasons, “NCIS” has continued to be one of the most-watched scripted series on television, notes Variety. Fans around the world have fallen in love with their favorite mainstream actors going undercover for countless investigations. Over the course of her seven-season run on “NCIS,” Emily Wickersham took her role as Special Agent Ellie Bishop very seriously.
Prior to landing her “NCIS” gig, Wickersham had no experience in the crimefighting department but admitted to Entertainment Inquirer in May 2021 that she’s developed an “inclination” for it after acting out so many technical forensic scenes. Wickersham told the outlet she will often see a crime scene while driving around Los Angeles and has the natural urge to get out of her vehicle and ask questions about what’s going on in a way she “wouldn’t have before joining ‘NCIS.'”
Although Wickersham has proven she now knows how to shoot a gun properly from her time on “NCIS,” she told TV Fanatic in 2015 that after her shooting training was complete she’s had “very little free time” while filming the show, cutting down on her time to practice her new skills. Since she parted ways from her special agent character after “NCIS” Season 18, we hope Wickersham will get to show off her acquired investigation skills in future roles.