NCIS: Hawaii: Vanessa Lachey discusses her lead role on show
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Larry Teng will be returning to the North Pacific after spending four years on CBS’s action-packed Hawaii Five-0 revamp. He’ll now be helming the first episode of the newly announced spin-off, NCIS: Hawaii, and recently detailed his first experiences on the set of the upcoming series.
Production of the brand new member of the NCIS family, NCIS: Hawaii, is officially underway.
Filming is set to begin later this month, with an eye to get started on CBS in late 2021.
The third spin-off in the franchise, following the unexpected cancellation of NCIS: New Orleans, will follow the first female lead, Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant (played by Vanessa Lachey).
Lachey will be joined by a brand new ensemble cast of NCIS agents, though little is known about what sort of cases they’ll be investigating on the island state.
Recently speaking from the set of the new spin-off, Larry Teng chatted with the Daily Hawaii about the tone of the new series.
Long-time NCIS fans won’t be surprised by his first insight: “This is a love letter to the Navy.”
Although viewers have become deeply invested in the characters and week-by-week plot twists and cliffhangers, NCIS remains first and foremost a series about the US Navy.
However, since the series first began back in 2003, it’s no surprise that NCIS has undergone somewhat of an evolution over the years.
Now the franchise is making its first foray outside of North America, Teng and the rest of the production team are taking great lengths to ensure the island and people of Hawaii are properly represented.
He continued: “But it’s a love letter to Hawaii, too, you know, and I gotta make sure we protect that.
“And, you know, it’s one of the things we stress about every day.”
NCIS: Hawaii has already taken a step towards inclusivity by letting a female agent take the lead in the new spin-off.
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Moreover, following comments from some fans concerned by how Hawaii will be depicted by the upcoming series, Teng has assured them that the island’s diversity will be fully represented by the cast and crew.
In comparison, he looked back at his work on CBS’s previous Hawaii-based series, which starred Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan as the two leads.
He recalled: “Now that I’m back [in Hawaii], I feel like I have a responsibility to make sure that the community here, the people, the crew, that they’re all represented properly, you know?
“[Hawaii] just did 10 years of a cop show with two white leads here. You’re going into your fourth year of ‘Magnum’ with a Latino lead.”
“And now we’re coming in, we’ve got two Asian leads. I think it’s important that the crew can work on something that they kind of get behind.”
Now Hollywood is starting to take more strides towards equal representation on the big and small screen, NCIS fans can rest assured the new instalment in the crime-solving franchise will be doing the same.
As far as specific plot details are concerned, some character descriptions for Jane Tennant and her fellow agents have given some indication towards the layout of the new team.
In the meantime, fans will have to keep their eyes peeled for more updates and trailers as the first batch of episodes go into production in the coming weeks.
NCIS: Hawaii will premiere in 2021-2022 on CBS.
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