This summer CBS brought their “Fan Favorites” to SDCC. From NCIS to Criminal Minds, there was no shortage of excitement. We chatted with Wilmer Valderrama (NCIS, Nick Torres), Tyler James Williams (Criminal Minds: Beyond Boarders, Russ ‘Monty’), and Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds, Penelope Garcia) about what it takes to become a fan favorite.
This fall Wilmer Valderrama will be taking on the role of Nick Torres, a new agent, on NCIS. We caught up with him at SDCC 2016 and asked him what it’s like to be joining such an iconic show.
Valderrama began by explaining the casting process. They sat him down and asked him, “Would you consider coming in and helping bring the show to a whole different place?” Valderamma’s answer, “I’m coming out there to break some shit and light some shit on fire.”
Valderamma went on to describe his character, Nick Torres. “He’s a lone wolf, doesn’t play well with others. His cover gets blown in South Africa and he has to return and he’s a different man. When someone has to live a double life for so long, you kinda question who you really are and who you really trust.”
We then asked Valderamma what it’s like taking on such an iconic franchise with a character who is a minority.
“It’s interesting, I started (acting) back in 1998, I was the only Latino on the Fox network for many years when I was on That 70’s Show.” Valderamma went on to clarify that he’s seen an evolution of television. “TV shows and movies have had to desperately figure out how to create what America actually looks like. To make a move like this on NCIS, that kind of shows that a lot of things are changing. There are a lot of doors opening for minorities.”
Finally, we asked what Vaderamma is most excited for during filming? “Playing this character,” he answered with a smile. “I changed my voice a little bit for this character. There’s a lot of different character traits I’ve never done before”
As for the stunts, “I’m excited to run after the bad guy and do that kind of stuff….if we have the technology we mine as well use it.”
“I feel not only ready but eager to have the coach put me in and let me play.”
NCIS Season 14 premieres Tuesday, September 20th on CBS.