Star Apps: ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’
The tech twosome of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” Barrett Foa and Renée Felice Smith, chat about bringing the comedy to CBS’s top-rated drama series, working with costars Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J, interacting with high-tech props, and their favorite apps.
On CBS’s “NCIS: Los Angeles,” the running and gunning are great, but now and then it’s nice to get a little comic relief from the show’s resident techies, Eric Beale and Nell Jones, played by Barrett Foa and Renée Felice Smith.
Barrett, you have a theatrical background, and Renee has a comedy background. How does that play into your roles on “NCIS: Los Angeles”?
Barrett Foa: Good question. I think that we kind of bring a fun, goofy, comedic vibe to the proceedings, which is a great foil for all the action, the brawn, the blowing up of cars, and the terrorism that’s going on. You have your LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, but you also have your clowns, speaking in theater terms. I am very happy to play into that and foil the brawn. We get to be the brains and a lighter aspect on the show. It’s that workplace-comedy-meets-action-adventure drama that kind of makes the show special and work.
Renée Felice Smith: I have always been the sidekick or comedic relief on any show I’ve done, so I think it helps to brighten our show. We deal with some serious subject matter — crimes of terror — and as humans we need to look at those brighter moments, so that our spirits don’t get damaged too much. For me, that’s what comedy does. It allows you the space and time to digest what’s going on in your life, be it happy, sad, or indifferent. So on the show, I try to insert little bits of light and keep it bright when our world is crashing down. But that’s what we have to do, so the human spirit will press on.
What’s it like working with LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell?