‘ncis’:-wilmer-valderrama-on-torres’-dad-heartbreak-and-bishop-relationship-(exclusive)

Spoiler alert! Do not proceed when you have not watched Tuesday’s episode of NCIS.

Nick Torres might have gotten solutions about his father, however they it led to heartbreaking trend.

Tuesday’s episode of NCIS unpacked Torres’ heartbreaking household historical past, digging into the actual truths behind his nonexistent relationship along with his absent father, who walked out on Torres and the household when he was 5 years previous and who he believed was lifeless. It seems, his father, Miguel (visitor star Steven Bauer), had been alive this whole time, engaged on harmful undercover missions for varied authorities companies over time — most just lately for the CIA. Though Torres understood his dad to be a deadbeat and a liar, the NCIS agent was stunned to find that the elder Torres saved tabs on him and even helped the household financially (by means of the church) over time. 

After a dramatic confrontation between Torres and his father towards a rogue CIA agent, there was a second when Torres believed he misplaced his dad — once more — after he was shot a number of instances. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case (whew, bulletproof vests!). Even although there have been many years of estrangement between father and son, Torres prolonged an olive department, inviting him to dinner and even proposing he make up for misplaced time with different family members. Miguel agreed. But when Torres arrived at his lodge later that night, he was nowhere to be discovered. Gone, once more. Instead, Torres ended up at Gibbs’ home and the 2 buddies shared a silent second of understanding. His dad wasn’t his household, his NCIS crew was. 

“We’ve been bread-crumbing a lot of what Torres is to this team and who he is for years now. That’s what’s exciting about this is weeks before [the episode] was even written, the writers and the showrunners came up to me and said, ‘Hey, we really want to do a Torres episode where we find out a little bit more of his past, where he came from so we can have a deeper understanding of who he is.’ I was excited about that opportunity,” Wilmer Valderrama tells ET. 

Following the episode, the actor discusses Torres’ bittersweet revelation about his dad, his character’s slow-burn of a relationship with Bishop and what he is trying ahead to in season 19.

ET: When you bought the script for this episode, what have been your preliminary ideas about exploring Torres’ relationship along with his estranged father?

Wilmer Valderrama:  It was thrilling. I had shared with them my actual dad’s journey again once I was youthful and in Venezuela. My dad was there for me; he was actually there for me. We began taking part in with, “What if he wasn’t? Maybe that is a beacon that really led him into a world of undercover work and allowed him to capture the bad guy, and being emotionally unavailable because he never had that permission.” It was actually enjoyable to have that dialog. As we began eager about it, what it meant and what the case was and the way did all of it pop up, it grew to become much more thrilling to know that, “OK, we’re going to catch his dad.” We began eager about folks to return ahead. I had completed a pilot with Steven Bauer known as Four Stars. It was about two four-star generals, and Bruce Greenwood and Steven Bauer performed four-star generals. I performed Steven Bauer’s son in that pilot. That was the pilot that CBS used to principally provide me the NCIS invitation. I began pondering to myself, “Man, this would be pretty awesome if we had Steven Bauer,” and all people was like, “Yeah, what about Steven Bauer?” He confirmed up and it was every thing we wanted it to be. I’m so thrilled with the way it all got here out. 

You be taught loads about Torres’ father and the precise reality behind his absence in Torres’ life. What was it like to actually dig into Torres’ household historical past and filling these blanks for you? 

The reality is that for Torres, he is been hanging on to how issues have been actually and emotionally at dwelling, and never understanding the ache his father presumably went by means of. But additionally for his father to not perceive the ache that him and his mom even went by means of, I feel that was a giant revelation. It’s a giant second and a giant iconic second for Torres to actually perceive what sacrifices have been made again then for the potential for him being a person who he might be or he might develop as much as be. The circumstances have been what the circumstances have been. When he seems to be on the new data, it is like he does not need to imagine it. He nonetheless needs to be mad as a result of he is speaking about 30 years of being mad at someone. “Hey, I can’t just undo that hate, it almost deconstructs who I am.” That was a really powerful dialog for all of us, the writers and the producers. Even with Bauer and I in our dynamic, we had numerous conversations on the cellphone about that. “What do you mean by that? Where are you coming from? How are you feeling when you say those things?” When we went to set, we needed to have a notion that Torres actually knew the place he was coming from and he felt a sure method. Then that new data actually challenged every thing he was and what he grew to become, as a result of had he been on condition that data when he was youthful, who is aware of what Torres’ imaginative and prescient can be for a father. I feel Gibbs has by accident turn into the daddy that Torres by no means had. This crew of NCIS additionally grew to become by accident the household he by no means had.

In the final couple of years, you have seen Torres softening up a bit bit and being extra of a constructive crew member, and about his teammates, and about having one another’s backs. In this episode, you actually see it come to a dramatic halt. When Torres walks into the lodge room, what does that imply when his father is just not there? It’s nearly a affirmation of every thing that Torres was earlier than, it is a affirmation that perhaps he ought to return to who he was earlier than, “Yeah, exactly, that’s the answer I wanted. OK, cool, you broke my heart again. Now, how do I believe everything you said to me before this?”

NCIS

Sonja Flemming/CBS

In the closing moments of the episode, there’s nonetheless hope on Torres’ aspect that his dad has perhaps turned a brand new leaf. Then he sees that his dad has left. What was going by means of Torres’ thoughts in that second when he realized, “He is who I thought he was for all these years…”?

They had simply fought for one another’s lives. He thought he nearly misplaced his dad when he acquired shot. He noticed that second as, “I now know too much, but not enough. Please don’t die.” Then when he survived and to get by means of that, then there’s this notion of, “While you’re here, might as well meet your niece and see your other daughter. Let’s go eat or something?” When he says “yes,” Torres truly really believes it. I do not suppose Torres assumes, “You’re going to be my dad now. Let’s play catch.” He simply thinks, “I need an opportunity for me to know who my dad really was and what he’s been through because that will be healing.” He was excited to heal, he was excited to maneuver ahead. He was excited to point out his dad, “I know you sacrificed a lot for my mother and me and everybody else in our family, but don’t worry, we’re cool. We turned out OK.” When he was strolling as much as that lodge and he noticed the lodge room empty, Torres in that second realized, “Wait a minute, did anything he said to me have any truth? Did he betray my trust again? Told me a movie and now used it to exit left again?”

When he reveals up at Gibbs’ home, he does not know that he is driving to his home. When he walks in, he wasn’t there to have any dialog, he wasn’t there to course of something. He goes, “I’m not trying to be emotionally available either.” I feel Gibbs understands when Torres says, “I don’t want to talk about it.” He goes, “Then you came to the right place.” That is their method. These are two seasoned bulls coping with feelings. For Torres, I feel it means, “Maybe this is why I went undercover for so long. This is why I wasn’t emotionally attached to anything. That’s why I trained myself to not be at one place for too long, to become anything but me to get the bad guy.” It confirmed that he should not belief anybody anymore. That goes to do a quantity on him, and one thing fractured and broke in Torres. You’re going to see that play out. He’s not going to belief many individuals. The solely folks he actually is aware of to place his belief in is his crew, as a result of he is aware of that they have been by means of worse collectively someway.

Torres and Bishop’s relationship has been fairly a sluggish burn. What are you able to say about what viewers can sit up for with their shut bond?

The followers have seen the seeds of a better and deeper connection between the 2 of them. I feel they actually, really have a really particular and sincere relationship. They can belief one another. They know they are not emotionally accessible to at least one one other or to the world. I imply, they have been by means of an excessive amount of for them to interrupt their very own guidelines and determine the way you make that work. I feel that is why it is so sluggish. They simply do not actually know methods to be in a relationship. You put on the badge for that lengthy and also you give your self to service, after which when it is time to do one thing for your self, it is actually laborious to do this. For Bishop, the few instances that she’s tried to be emotionally accessible has actually backfired for her. The similar factor for Torres. Most of his relationships have been a part of an undercover scheme for him to get the dangerous man. It’s laborious for them to actually know methods to make a sq. match within the triangle. It’s this Tetris. They’re taking part in Tetris with their minds and so they do not actually know the place they match with each other. But I’ll inform you, that is the season you will discover out.

Oh actually? 

Yeah. There’s one thing thrilling you could discover the psychology of each of them or the place they arrive from. Whatever the followers have been questioning about — what it truly is, what it is not, they are going to get their solutions this season… It’s obscure nevertheless it’s extremely loaded. That’s all I can inform you.

Congratulations on the season 19 renewal. What are you trying ahead to with one other 12 months on the present and type of attending to not less than one other 12 months of be just right for you on the present?

Because we stopped our season 17 abruptly, we weren’t in a position to have a correct season finale. Even although we got here again, we had a shorter order. We had a 16-episode order, and there have been numerous challenges — the place you possibly can go, what number of characters might be in a single scene and all of that. It was laborious to thrive as a season, however I take a look at it as an enormous testomony to our followers that saved displaying up each Tuesday evening and nearly breaking 10 million each week. To go into this season and have all the foremost protocols, and have a time and place… We simply did not know what was going to be of the present. Being in a position to pull off a season, do 16 episodes and have the ability to be again on tv for the followers when 30 p.c of our trade was working of what historically shoots. We really feel very lucky, and I feel we nailed our protocols, and we have been excited to point out that we might be at work and be secure. Now, on this [upcoming] nineteenth season, we lastly get to present the followers the season finale they have been wanting or needing or desirous to see. We have been in a position to have an actual season finale that leads us right into a season premiere, and it is a main one. It’s a significant, main season finale.

That’s what’s thrilling about what’s to return. The present is just not slowing down. If something, it is the identical magic however completely different vitality. It’s completely different dynamics that proceed to take us to completely different locations on the present. As lengthy as they hold watching, we will hold displaying up. That’s how I really feel about that, and I’m grateful that at such a historic time in our trade and the world, we will in a really, very, very, very small half be a contributor to a bit little bit of sanity. And if we will simply keep on the air and we will proceed, that is every thing you need as an actor and as an entertainer. I’m glad and I’m completely satisfied.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. For extra, watch under.