NCIS' Michael Weatherly on Tony DiNozzo: He's Annoying and Irritating

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There's no "i" in NCIS. Oh, wait, there is. While TV's #1 show features a talented cast from top to bottom, Michael Weatherly has probably shined the most so far this season.

In the heart-stopping Season 7 premiere, "Truth or Consequences," Weatherly's Tony DiNozzo was featured in an episode that seemed engineered to show off his character.

Whether he's tormenting McGee, being chastised by Gibbs, flirting with Ziva (Cote de Pablo) or annoying pretty much everyone, he's remained front and center ever since.

In an interview with TV Guide Magazine, Weatherly talked about his juvenile character, a song he has coming up on the NCIS soundtrack and much more. Excerpts below:

On NCIS now being TV's No. 1 show, not just the No. 1 non-reality show: "I just don’t want anything to change. No. 3 is kind of better. They’re still not gonna cancel you if you’re No. 3. But now everyone’s looking. It’s kind of like when they give you the ball in football."

On just now starting to attract younger viewers: "We had a stinky stigma ... the Navy NCIS and Diagnosis CSI and the JAG-Off - whatever attached to us. But when people see the show at face value, free of any association, they just like it.

And for some reason they seem to be finding CBS at 8:00 on Tuesday. I think [younger viewers] like the whole bratty sibling thing. Somebody came up to me yesterday and they said, “You were very annoying on the show the other day.” And I said, “Then I’ve got a job.”

Michael Weatherly Pic

On not doing a crossover with NCIS: Los Angeles: "I won’t do a crossover, unless they put a gun to my head. It won't help them, and my character is really only valuable in the context of Ziva, Gibbs and McGee. Robbed of his context, that guy might really be inappropriate."

On his parents' reaction to the spinoff: "My parents thought immediately that meant I must be losing my job to someone. After the second episode aired, my mom called from Rhode Island. She said, 'It’s a big year. You don’t want to maybe bring it down like two inches off the waist?'

I hired Sting’s trainer, because Sting, that guy, boy he looks good. I figure if I’m gonna be doing NCIS into my 50s, I should get in good shape. I don’t think we’re going home soon."

On torturing Sean Murray's Tim McGee: "Sean has been doing this growing thing where I started referring to him as Tim [and not “Probie”]. But you don’t want to get too far away from it. You know what I mean? Probie does have to be Probie.

One of the things audiences often don’t think about is the reason Tony is a jackass is so Gibbs can correct him, because then Gibbs looks authoritarian, which is what he is. Part of the dynamic of the show is that Tony irritates people, but when he’s not around, they kind of miss him."

On knowing his role: In the episode “Bounce” last year, where Tony put the wrong guy away three years earlier when Gibbs had retired, and now the guy had gotten out of jail and it turned out that he didn’t do the embezzling, Gibbs was like, “Well, it’s your case.”

It was ostensibly my episode, so I had to lead the team. And when it aired, my mother and my father were both like, “Well, you weren’t very convincing as the lead.”

And I said “Right! So, job well done.”

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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NCIS Quotes

‘You think you’re alone in the dark. Close your eyes. Remember everything good.’ My mom said that to me just before she died. Smart lady.


Palmer: I take it you heard?
Gibbs: Mmm hmm.
Palmer: Yeah, she saw the baby and just....I guess she felt the same way we felt when we first saw him. Can't fault her for that, right?
Gibbs: You should go home.
Palmer: I will. Yeah Breena and I, we just wanted to get all this stuff out of the house. You know, we wanted to give it back as soon as possible.
Gibbs: We.
Palmer: Me. She's hurting too, but she is so much stronger. She's ready to try again. And me - I feel like I can't breathe. I never felt this bad in my life, Gibbs.
Gibbs: Well, just wait until it's 3:00 in the morning, and your kid's running 104. You're just getting started.
Palmer: That's the point. I'm not starting, you know? Maybe I never will.
Gibbs: Well then fight for it, Palmer! That's what you do. You fight for your family. And sometimes, you fight like hell just to have one.
Palmer: You want me to fight, I feel like I just went ten rounds with Joe Louis.
Gibbs: Do you want to be a dad, Palmer? Because right now, this is being a dad.
Palmer: Maybe I'm not ready.
Gibbs: You wouldn't feel the way you feel, right now, if you weren't ready.