This week’s ‘NCIS: LA‘ (Tuesdays at 9/8c) packs quite a punch as LL Cool J‘s Sam Hannah mixes it up as an MMA fighter. How does the kick-ass Kensi Blye fit into the fun? Daniela Ruah shared a peek at what the CBS procedural has planned.
How has your life changed since joining a show that gets a bajillion viewers every week?
[Laughs] A bajillion viewers…. I’ve been able to be totally financially independent from my parents; that was a big change, I suppose. People don’t approach us on the street all that much, and when they do it’s pretty calm. So my life hasn’t changed in that sense.
What is the coolest thing you’ve gotten to do on the show so far?
Definitely the fight scenes, no doubt. Also, being close to explosions. We had an episode where a car blows up and Chris [O'Donnell] and I were pretty close to it! Those kinds of things are very exciting, because they obviously don’t happen every day in real life.
Did you go into this with any fight experience, save for slapping the occasional fresh guy in a bar?
I did kickboxing for a short while, and I have a big dance background… When it comes to kicks and being aware of the space around you and how to coordinate physical with someone else, that all helps. And also, I’ve trained with 87eleven, a place where stunt people go to train.
And what’s one thing you would love to do on the show but haven’t gotten a chance to yet?
Honestly, as the show goes on and we have more ad more experiences, I discover, “Wow, I never knew I wanted to do this until I just did it.” I don’t think I wake up going, “Hmm, I’d like to shoot a Desert Eagle.” [Pause] Actually, I do like to shoot Desert Eagles, but that’s a whole different story! [Laughs]
Why do I get the feeling that with this week’s episode, a lot of the ladies loitered around the set as LL Cool J played an MMA fighter?
Yeah, that was pretty awesome. And because of the fighting, I was totally jealous, I have to admit. There’s is nothing I would like more than to be inside that cage, fighting. We had real MMA fighters helping out, and they are very, very interesting people to talk to. Their facial traits are very specific to the fighting they’ve been doing for years and years. It’s going to be a very fun episode.
And what is Kensi up to during it all?
Ohhhhh…. I cannot ruin the surprise, but it’s definitely going to be an interesting episode. We meet a lot of new characters, there’s aggressive fighting. There’s a lot I can’t reveal, so let me just say, “Watch the episode.”
Being an ‘NCIS’ show, we have to talk a bit about romance. The fans seem split on Kensi hooking up with either Callen or Nate (Peter Cambor). Which way are you leaning?
You never know which way [series creator] Shane Brennan is going to go. At least for now, there’s a very fraternal relationship between Callen and Kensi and Nate and Kensi. But you never know. One day you might read a script and see that someone gives Kensi a side look. It’s totally unpredictable.
What do you like most about Kensi?
Her strength. And her mind. She’s very objective, with what she needs and wants. But at the same time, there’s a certain frailty to her. She has a messed-up background when it comes to her father, and she’s had to grow up substituting that father figure with being a strong woman.
Could you be friends with her?
Totally! We’re very similar, to be honest with you. If she were a real person, we would butt heads here and there, but we would definitely be friends.
I was watching the video of TV Guide Magazine’s photo shoot with you, where you alternately blow bubbles, run around with a water gun, and kick back on a swing in a very girly dress. Which of those personae is the real Daniela?
All of them. All of them. Sometimes I wake up and I feel like being more of a feminine lady, and other times I want to be a tomboy, jumping up and down in Daisy Duke shorts, being a bit more wild. I have all those sides to me, no doubt!
Watch a sneak peek from this week’s MMA-tastic ‘NCIS: LA’: