With much anticipation building for the latest addition to the NCIS franchise Hawai'i, leading star Vanessa Lachey is giving fans more details behind the history-breaking role in a brief preview. "I am the first female lead of the NCIS franchise and I don't take that lightly," Lachey started in the video.
"I'm excited to bring a different layer to this role and hopefully inspire this next generation of young girls and women. My character Jane Tennant is the special agent in charge of NCIS. She's a mother of a 15-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl and that is real life: juggling life, and love, and work," she continued. Her character's official describes her "as diplomatic as she is hard-charging. A woman in a male-dominated profession, she’s thrived in a system that’s pushed back every step of the way through equal parts confidence and strategy."
Following the announcement of a new series and a first-ever female lead for the series, fans pushed the show's producers to choose a woman of Hawaiian descent. Maggie Q, Kelly Hu, among others, were some of the names pitched by viewers as possible contenders. Lachey, herself, is half Filipino but assures fans that she's more than well equipped to take on the responsibility. "Hawai'i is a perfect setting for NCIS and the next chapter of the franchise. I, myself, have traveled there a little bit. I was born on an airforce base in the Philippines and passed through Hawai'i," she shares. "I obviously know the first layer that most people know when they pass through and you see the beautiful waters and the beaches; but, what I'm interested to show is the depth to the people of Hawaii. There's so much beauty there. There's so much culture there hopefully I can portray to everyone and show the beautiful side of Hawai'i."
Yasmine Al-Bustami and Jason Antoon join Lachey among the cast with recurring roles. Al-Bustami will play Lucy, a "junior member of Tennant’s NCIS team. Eager to be the first one to find that key piece of evidence, create a workaround in the bureaucracy, or tackle a suspect down a flight of stairs." Antoon will take on the role of Ernie, who is NCIS’s Cyber Intelligence Specialist and "a polyglot with a keen mind for technology, history, literature and all things Hawaiian."