Fans might remember Chris O’ Donnell as Batman’s sidekick Robin in Batman Forever (1995), but the 49-year-old has grown as an actor, ever since. After appearances in films like Mad Max (2016) and on TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Chris landed a role in NCIS: Los Angeles, as G Callen, the Lead Senior Special Agent and undercover operative attached to the NCIS Office of Special Projects. Over 200 episodes and nine seasons later, Chris is all set for Season 10. Excerpts from a chat with the actor:
How does it feel playing Callen for 10 seasons?
It has been amazing to kind of continue on with one character. It’s not a book that you can read, you know where it is headed and you’re playing the part as it evolves. It is happening in real-time and the scripts come in. Sometimes, there is no new character development and then all of a sudden, there will be a couple episodes where some life-changing events or information are presented to the character. As an actor, you get to deal with that. So, it has been amazing.
What was it like to shoot the underwater scenes in the Party Crashers episode?
I don’t mind the water. I actually like it. The only time I got uncomfortable is when we were doing the shark episode. I actually am terrified of sharks. We were way out there in Long Beach where, unfortunately, the water might be more polluted than the sharks probably want, so maybe there weren’t any sharks in there. But I needed a diver just to peek around before I jumped in. You’d have never seen someone get out of the water as quick as me. I mean, as soon as they said cut, I was out of that water!
Are you amazed by how much these characters have developed over 200 episodes?
We’ve shot over 200 episodes in and I feel like there is still so much more to explore — not just with Callen, but with so many of the other characters. And it’s a tribute and a testament to our writing staff that they’re not trying to back themselves into a corner with some crazy storyline that they can’t pull themselves out of it. It’s slow growth and then all of a sudden, they’ll kind of hit the gas on certain characters at certain times and develop things further. That sets up and you let that character enjoy the plateau, live life and go through cases at that level. Then, it continues on to evolve.
NCIS: Los Angeles, 10 pm every Tuesday on AXN