NCIS: Los Angeles will not be sometimes recognized for wading into This Is Us territory. In spite of everything, it is a massively profitable procedural drama concerning the high-stakes world of a division of NCIS (Naval Prison Investigative Service) that captures harmful criminals who pose a menace to United States safety. In different phrases, storylines about adoption, appearing, or weight reduction sometimes aren’t a part of the narrative—and that is completely superb. It is a hour of escape every week right into a world that the majority People do not expertise. Nonetheless, all through the present’s eight-year run, the sequence—at its core—is about 4 unlikely particular brokers who actually are the epitome of affection and household. From the bromance of Sam and Callen to the romance that’s Densi, the present has succeeded due to the characters and the actors who play them.
However now, NCIS: Los Angeles is getting consideration for one thing else. The writers are going deeper than ever earlier than with Particular Agent Kensi Blye (performed by Daniela Ruah), who suffered a life-altering damage initially of the season. Since then, we have seen her battle with the psychological and emotional repercussions, which have performed out over your entire season—not simply in a really particular episode.
“It is actually an exquisite factor that they’re taking the time to focus on a personality as robust as Kensi,” co-star Eric Christian Olsen (Deeks) stated on a current set go to. “She’s coping with issues that on paper are nearly insurmountable. Watching such a powerful character navigate that—and never enjoying the one dimensional, like I’m going to be higher in a single or two episodes—[is crucial],” Olsen defined. “Arms down, it is one of the best work Dani has ever finished on the present. [This story with Deeks and Kensi has] been a few of my favourite moments on the present ever.”
In final night time’s episode (on January eight), viewers noticed Kensi sit down with the workforce psychologist and are available to grips with some robust questions—primarily, whether or not she’ll ever be capable of return to work and be 100%. As Kensi pleaded for her job—and her future—the battle of somebody who relates a lot of her self-worth to her profession grew to become all of the extra poignant and uncooked.
“This is without doubt one of the most intense and rewarding arcs I’ve performed on this present,” Ruah stated throughout a break from filming. “She is me; I’m her. I actually like [being able to show] feelings that I don’t usually really feel.”
Ruah is not the one one. Thousands and thousands of viewers additionally really feel a private connection to the character, as evidenced by the “Densi” fandom and Blye’s way of living. So, what’s subsequent for his or her beloved particular agent? And what was it like for Ruah to tackle this story? Right here, she reveals all.
Glamour: What was your first thought while you heard concerning the story?
Daniela Ruah: The unique story was nearly extra dire. It had extra everlasting repercussions—bodily—for Kensi. A lot in order that it nearly took me a second to simply accept it as a result of regardless that I’m not Kensi, I am Kensi. She’s an extension of me. What was deliberate initially was such an aggressive factor to take care of that many individuals take care of, however it could have been a special journey. The end result would have been very totally different for Kensi’s future.
Glamour: What occurred?
Daniela: I do not suppose I can say, however [the story] switched for logistical causes. It grew to become she could be injured in a helicopter crash, and it could injury her vertebrae and would endure from one thing known as Brown-Séquard syndrome. [Ed word: It is when injury is in the direction of one aspect of the spinal wire. This leads to lack of motion to the injured aspect, however ache and temperature sensation could also be preserved.] It’s an incomplete spinal wire damage. Inside 4 to 6 months, lots of people recuperate absolutely—however the foundation of that is [that] Kensi’s job is her life. When that’s compromised in any approach, form, or kind, that’s a really tough factor for her to deal with. The concern of not coming again is sort of what led her emotional state all through the entire thing. She’s indignant and upset; having spoke with individuals who had related sorts of experiences, it’s widespread to be superb at some point after which the following second be weeping and crying. It takes time to recuperate psychologically, emotionally, and bodily from this. It’s an enormous problem.
Glamour: As terrible as this damage is, what you about enjoying this specific journey?
Daniela: Issues are often fast and snappy on this present. We save the world in 24 hours. That is a kind of storylines the place the arc takes up a lot of the season, if not all the season. It’s one thing that can preserve arising in bits and items even when it begins fading away. We truly shot all of those scenes in a single week. In seven or eight days was all my stuff lasting over 10 episodes. It was nice as a result of I by no means needed to let go of the emotional aspect of issues, and the narrative flows significantly better as a result of I’m not having to interrupt it up with scenes of motion and banter. The nice factor was our present showrunner, Scott Gemmill, truly allowed us to chime in to what’s taking place. The scene you see the place Deeks is sleeping on the sofa and Kensi wakes up and says, “I don’t need to be right here anymore,” was written on the day that we shot it. We wished a scene the place they had been joyful and good and OK collectively and he or she’s not taking [her anger] out on Deeks on a regular basis.
Glamour: How did you personally course of all of this?
Daniela: The emotional aspect was one thing I had to determine. I needed to think about if I used to be on this state of affairs, how would I react? How would I really feel? I used to be fortunate that I obtained to speak to somebody that suffered from the Brown-Séquard syndrome. That was actually attention-grabbing.
Glamour: Kensi realizes she wants assist mentally, not simply bodily. That is an enormous step ahead in anybody’s restoration.
Daniela: The place the place we’re is strictly that. She needs again on the workforce and is shutting Deeks out just a little bit. She’s isolating herself; she finally does turn into in a position to bodily return to her job, however the psychological aspect isn’t fairly there but. I need individuals to comprehend it’s OK to achieve out for assist. It’s OK to acknowledge inside your self that you simply need assistance. That acknowledgment is a large step ahead as a result of then you’re open to therapy and open to speaking. I all the time imagine the extra you speak about one thing, the extra it loses its energy inside you, which is why individuals go to remedy and let all of it out. I typically speak about one thing a lot till it desensitizes me and doesn’t have energy over me, no matter that state of affairs could also be. I would really like individuals to remove that it’s OK to be damaged, regardless that you’re a powerful particular person, and it’s OK to acknowledge that inside your self. It’s OK to ask for assist. That’s the one approach that you simply’ll actually heal your self—should you ask for assist—as a result of typically we will’t do issues on our personal, and that’s OK.
Glamour: You deliver up one thing attention-grabbing. We see loads of the “robust feminine character” in motion pictures and TV currently, which is nice and empowering, however characters do not need to simply be robust to be attention-grabbing. That is why seeing Kensi—who’s a powerful character—undergo this journey is so necessary. Typically, we discover essentially the most power after we’re essentially the most weak.
Daniela: It’s a really attention-grabbing level that you simply deliver up. Once I first got here on the present, initially, it was simply me and Hetty earlier than Renee (Nell Jones) joined the present. I used to be the one one—and nonetheless am—on the sector with the boys. So, whether or not it was proper or mistaken, my thought course of on the time was, “You’re enjoying with the large boys. Be one.” That will not be one of the best factor anymore. What you stated makes whole sense to me since you don’t need to be “one of many boys” to play with the boys. It’s OK to be who you’re, which is a girl who is powerful, however possibly who has extra fluctuating feelings than the boys do. That’s OK. The distinction is, all through historical past, we’ve been so judged and positioned in a field, like [when people say], “Ladies are so emotional” [or] “Are you able to think about if a girl dominated the world? Oh God, each time she has PMS she’ll throw a nuclear bomb or one thing.” That’s not true. That’s a gross exaggeration of notion, however we’re perceived as being extra emotional human beings. I feel that over time and having matured—as a result of I used to be 24 after I began the present—I used to battle a lot in opposition to crying in a scene. I didn’t need to be the lady who cries within the scenes that make her upset as a result of Kensi wouldn’t try this. She’s stronger than that. She would cry by herself, at dwelling, if she was so inclined to take action. We do have all these robust feminine characters, however I do suppose we’d like that as a result of for thus lengthy we’ve been informed we’re incapable, to let the boys do it. So, I feel it’s OK to have this illustration of robust girls—but it surely’s additionally OK to indicate just a few cracks as a result of all of us have them—women and men. For therefore usually, this notion that you simply’re doing one thing “like a lady” was doing one thing in a weak approach. This want for robust feminine characters is, I feel, to battle that notion that we’ve all grown up with. After having children, I can safely say we’re so much stronger than males! [Laughs] Truthfully, I’ll not be capable of take a punch to the face, however I can push a child out butt first with none medicine for just a few hours. I really feel very empowered by the truth that I carried kids.
Glamour: I like that. By the best way, what a part of Kensi’s story did you relate to most?
Daniela: The frustration of not being bodily ready. I cracked my wrist after I was six years outdated, however that is hardly the identical factor. I’ve by no means been disabled in any approach, however I can think about the frustration. Once I had my appendix out, I ought to have rested extra, however simply going by just a few days of one thing realizing that I used to be going to be superb the next week was exhausting sufficient. I don’t like individuals ready on me. I love to do issues myself. I may join with the frustration of being unable to maintain myself for a short while. However I haven’t actually lived by something this dire.
Glamour: Let’s speak about Deeks. He proposed, however Kensi wasn’t emotionally in a spot the place she felt able to say sure.
Daniela: It was the mistaken timing for Kensi. We all know he needs to suggest—however in that second, I feel a lot of it was him looking for a approach to make her really feel higher as a result of he says, “I don’t know if I can help her the best way she must be supported.” I feel that was one in every of his methods of making an attempt to make her joyful, even when simply within the second. She’s not prepared for that. She’s not able to let herself be joyful. One other factor too about that scene: She additionally doesn’t know if she’s going to be 100% again, and I don’t suppose she needs Deeks to need to take care of someone who may need assistance the remainder of their lives. To her, it’s a egocentric factor to ask that from somebody—however, clearly, while you love somebody, you’ll maintain them it doesn’t matter what. I feel I can relate to that, too. I do know my husband would by no means stroll away from something like that, however I additionally know I’d give him the choice to go away if he wished to. I couldn’t bear to maintain him on this jail with me in a approach. So, that scene had loads of layers to it.
Glamour: What do you need to see occur for Deeks and Kensi?
Daniela: I used to be so shocked once they had us get collectively. I assumed this is able to linger on till the final season as a result of I actually thought there’d be no the place to go from right here. Like, the place’s that flirty banter that individuals discover so amusing to observe? It’s nonetheless sort of there, however now they’ve slept collectively as a result of they dwell collectively, however I feel they need to be collectively. They do. They’ve had too many ups and downs, too many obstacles thrown of their course, and so they’ll preserve having them as a result of now we have to make it attention-grabbing, and him being tortured just a few seasons in the past, Kensi being tortured just a few seasons after that, and now this. That’s not a bond you possibly can break. It simply isn’t. So I feel they very a lot need to be collectively.
NCIS: Los Angeles airs Sundays at eight P.M. ET on CBS.