Actor Scott Bakula returns to series television this fall as Special Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride on NCIS: NEW ORLEANS.
The show begins filming July 23.
I caught up with Scott recently to learn more…
Did you have any particular feelings about procedurals before this?
I love procedurals. I guess that is the most popular form on television right now. A good procedural is hard to turn off. You never get tired of them.
How far are you into the filming of this series?
We just shot the two episodes during the NCIS season, with the NCIS cast. We haven’t started… we don’t even have a pilot. It is an “embedded pilot” situation, as they call it.
The people of New Orleans could not be more excited for this show.
The town was fantastic. They are very open, welcoming. My character is based on a real life NCIS officer down there. So he is there and he is our technical advisor. His name is Dwayne Swear. He can’t wait for us to get down and show us his city.
What does he think of you playing him?
He is very happy. He texts me all the time. When I first got to job, his friends — all these New Orleans cops — they said to him “Either you gotta go on a diet, Dwayne or we need to get Bakula to start eating the food down here.” He is a little bit heavier fellow than I am.
How will New Orleans be represented?
It is seen somewhat through the eyes of my character. This guy, based on the real man who lives there, loves his city more than anything. He loves the people in the city. He loves the problems. He loves everything about New Orleans. His philosophy is he doesn’t care what it takes to get the job done, he doesn’t care how it gets done, as long as it gets done. That is who he is in real life and that is who my character is going to be. I hope it is going be, if not a love letter to New Orleans, certainly we are interested in the city as being a huge element of the show.
Have you had to work on the accent?
I have never used it before. It is a very unique accent. It has been mis-accented many times — especially if you talk to the folks down there. I had a great dialect coach who helped me named Jessica Drake. We know who my guy is an where he came from. There is a very unique kind of New Orleans cop speak also. We have incorporated some of that, too. It has already passed muster as they say. I haven’t gotten hardly any angry letters about my accent.
Are you a Saints fan now?
No. But I am gonna be! Its weird. I am from St. Louis, so I lost my football team years ago to Arizona. We have no football team for years, so I kind of just fell out of things. Then the Rams came, but I am [in Los Angeles] and everybody here wants the Rams back. I am a big Drew Brees guy. The quarterback and the coach are great.
Are you bringing any of the leadership skills from previous roles into playing this character?
You know… It is interesting when you do a part that is based on a real guy. Gary has infused the character with a lot of… Dwayne is a big, gregarious, open-hearted, lovely kind of fellow. I am very intent on bringing that kind of guy to life. Leadership happens in different ways. The guy who runs a starship is a bit different from the guy who runs an office in New Orleans. But certainly there are elements that you carry with you as a leader. That will be a part of it. But it will be a new guy.
How much time do you expect to spend there?
As far as I know, we are shooting the whole thing there, so I will be commuting a lot.
Any worries about the heat and humidity?
I am from St. Louis. That is the good and bad news. I know what it is, but I am also used to it, so it doesn’t bother me the way it would bother someone from Canada or L.A., who has never had humidity to deal with.
NCIS: NEW ORLEANS premieres September 23 on CBS.
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