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Why 'NCIS' Star Coté De Pablo Didn't Care If People Liked "Ziva"

Cote de Pablo actually did not come into NCIS with the "intention of people liking me."
January 20, 2020 - 15:12 / Clemens Fanger

Coté de Pablo really came into her own with her role as "Ziva David" in NCIS. Right from the start, she had a specific goal for her character and she actually didn't care what the viewers thought of "Ziva"...

In 2005, Coté de Pablo (40) was cast as "Ziva David" in NCIS. The actress joined the cast after Sasha Alexander (46), AKA "Caitlin Todd", left the show. And right from the start, de Pablo had a clear vision of how she wanted to play the role of "Ziva".

In an interview with CBS in 2005, Coté de Pablo said that she actually didn't care if the audience liked "Ziva David". It was more important to her to play a character with depth.

"I never came in with the intention of people liking me. I was trying to portray, like I said before, a three-dimensional character," Coté de Pablo said in the interview.

RELATED NEWS: NCIS Season 17: Robert Wagner Returns As "Tony DiNozzo Senior"!!!

NCIS: That was Coté de Pablo's goal for "Ziva"

Coté de Pablo brought a whole new energy to the show, as William Webb, Director of Photography, told CBS during the third season: "Cote de Pablo, 'Ziva David', is a whole different personality. And she brings a very unique energy to the set."

Cote de Pablo visited Build in September 2019 to discuss NCIS.
Cote de Pablo visited Build in September 2019 to discuss NCIS.

With "Ziva", Coté de Pablo pursued a clear intention: "My objective was not to be liked, ever. If people liked me, fantastic. But I’m not trying to please people," she told CBS.

Instead, the actress wanted to generate all kinds of emotional reactions from the audience. "I'm sure I'll tick people off at times, because I want to tick people off at times. And I want to make people cry at times, and I want to make people laugh at times."

NCIS: "Ziva" was THE fan favorite over the years

A huge number of NCIS fans were quickly taken by "Ziva David" and her character. After it was confirmed that Coté de Pablo would leave NCIS in 2013, the audience mourned her character. People kept asking for "Ziva" to come back until she finally returned in season 17.

In a 2019 interview with ET Online, Coté de Pablo revealed how she was convinced to make a comeback. The actress heard about the development of "Ziva" and again felt drawn towards the character.

In season 17 of NCIS Coté de Pablo reprised her role as "Ziva David" for four episodes. The last episode with "Ziva" aired on January 7, 2020 on CBS.