NCIS star explains how Mark Harmon exit changed their character

“He’s definitely a lot more sure of himself than he used to be.”

cay ryan murray, sean murray, csi los angeles
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NCIS‘ Sean Murray has addressed his character Timothy McGee’s change in direction since Mark Harmon left as Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Seasoned pro Harmon stepped away from the US police procedural in the fourth episode of season 19, bringing to a close 18 years with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Almost a year-and-a-half on, Murray was asked by Entertainment Weekly how this huge shake-up affected Timothy McGee going forward.

mark harmon, ncis season 16, episode she

Related: NCIS legend Mark Harmon reflects on exit after 19 seasons

“It’s been interesting because when the show started, McGee was the penultimate rookie character,” he began. “And as the show has progressed, he has progressed.

“He’s definitely a lot more sure of himself than he used to be and capable of doing so much more than he used to be.”

The Hocus Pocus actor, who did not come back for last year’s sequel, went on to explain: “Our writers, we’ve got our guys that have stuck with us for so long, and they know this character just about as well as I do. So it kind of comes naturally with the material, the way the character has grown over the years and I’ve grown as an actor over the years doing that character.

NCIS Crossover Event Teaser (CBS)
by Digital Spy GB

Related: NCIS star Sean Murray admits getting “flustered” while working with real-life daughter

“I think it’s kind of cool that I’ve played one character for 20-plus years. I don’t think there’s a lot of actors that get the privilege of doing that.

“I remember talking to the writers early on about this, like, I don’t want to be baby Maggie Simpson. I don’t want to be the same character every single week and never grow. And they were very into the growth of the character.

“So it’s just been a natural thing, and fun to do.”

NCIS airs on CBS in the US. Seasons 1-19 are streaming on Disney+ in the UK.

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