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NCIS star Michael Weatherly recently revealed the inspiration behind his portrayal of Tony DiNozzo. Known for playing the film-loving agent for 13 seasons, Weatherly shared on his new podcast NCIS: Off Duty that his Dark Angel co-star, Jensen Ackles, influenced his approach to the character.

“He was so loose and free, and I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll imitate him a little bit,’” Weatherly said. “I’m such a bad mimic it doesn’t matter, because no one will ever recognize that I’m doing Jensen Ackles.” He also drew inspiration from movie icons like Cary Grant, Tom Hanks, and Alec Baldwin to shape Tony’s persona. Weatherly admitted to “years of experimentation” to perfect his character, even covering his dressing room mirrors to avoid seeing his reflection.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Weatherly would reunite with Ziva actor Cote de Pablo for a 10-episode series set in Europe. NCIS: Tony & Ziva will follow the couple and their daughter Tali as they go on the run after an attack on Tony’s security firm. Filming is set to begin in Budapest later this year.

Weatherly and de Pablo will star in and executive produce the new series, with John McNamara as showrunner. The actors expressed their excitement, promising an “action-packed rollercoaster fueled by love, danger, tears, and laughter.”

NCIS airs on CBS in the US, with Seasons 1-20 streaming on Disney+ in the UK.

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