Not too long ago, viewers saw Vanessa Ferlito kick ass as an undercover agent in Graceland. She returns to the crime-fighting world – one she is most familiar with, having bagged roles in Law & Order, 24, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY – in the third instalment of NCIS: New Orleans.
While fans are grieving the absence of Zoe McLellan, who played Special Agent Meredith “Merri” Brody, Ferlito’s arrival offers some comfort. But not to the close-knit team, who are outraged to learn she’s investigating them for the FBI.
Let’s just say, Agent Brody’s dating faux pas, which resulted in a serious terrorist case, continues to haunt the team.
On playing an undercover cop once again, Ferlito says: “I love going undercover. I used to go undercover all the time on my last show, never really glam, always kind of like drugged out. So this is really fun.”
Although the NCIS: New Orleans team was an just assignment for her, they’ve grown on her – to the point where she’s decided to stay.
The actress explains: “This whole experience was very humbling for her because she was a big deal at the FBI. But she loved it and believed in this whole NCIS movement so much that she wants to stay.”
With this franchise, there are always a few crossover episodes. This season is no different.
And Tammy gets to work with NCIS Special Agent Nicholas “Nick” Torres (Wilmer Valderrama).
There’s plenty of tension in their scenes, too.
New Orleans cast. Picture: Supplied
Ferlito laughs: “We are definitely bumping heads. It’s a little bit of a problem. He’s an alpha. I’m an alpha. He’s a little worse than me because he’s not really a good team player.”
She adds: “I’m having a great time with him (Valderrama). We’re just bouncing stuff off of each other and playing. He’s a great actor. I’m so happy that he’s on the original NCIS.”
Highlighting her top three scenes from the season, she reflects: “I would have to say one is when Pride and I are in the bar and Tammy reveals how broken she is over what her ex-husband has done to New Orleans. You see a very vulnerable side of her. I love that. I love the chemistry between – I was going to say Lucas Black – LaSalle and Tammy. I love how she’s in their business. She’s in their dating lives.
“She’s all in their business. I love that, because I love breaking chops anyway. I’m like, that’s perfect. They nailed that on the head with me. So, that’s easy. And my third favourite moment is… Wilmer. I’m obsessed with him and he smells so good. He’s fuego. His skin is like silk, ladies. FYI.”
Meanwhile, Rob Kerkovich, who plays forensic scientist Sebastian Lund, also loves the crossover episode with NCIS.
He hints: “Well, the crossover storyline is action packed. I mean, I think that goes without saying. And Nick Torres comes out here along with Timothy McGee to chase down a criminal that they were going after.
“In terms of Sebastian, he’s super-pumped because he gets to actually meet and work with McGee, who is almost the template for what Sebastian wants to become.”
And so a bromance is born. And we get to see Sebastian’s mum.
Expect personal and professional storylines to dovetail this season. Fans won’t be disappointed.
* NCIS: New Orleans airs on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) on Thursdays at 7.30pm.