Mark Harmon Interview CBS Mag 03/02/09This is a featured page

Mark Harmon Interview CBS Mag 03/02/09 - NCIS
Some stars are renowed for their refusal to temper their tantrums, their lists of demands and their delight in exorcising their demons before as large an audience as possible. And although he's arguable entitled, you won't catch Mark Harmon doing any of the above. Instead, as the star of the procedural military drama NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the seasoned veteran has quietly led the show from a shaky start to its current status as a surprise smash. Mark HarmonIn its sixth year, NCIS consistently gives even American Idol a run for its money, proving resiliently strong and able to command a competitive audience of viewers who come back every week. With the addition to DVR viewing, the sixth season premiere of NCIS last September was its most watched episode ever, with a total of 19.357 million viewers. As of this writing, NCIS is Tuesday's No. 1 program, the No. 2 drama on television and the third-highest-rated series overall. Says Harmon's co-star Michael Weatherly, "While this will disappoint everyone looking for it, the dark side of Mark Harmon looks like Hawaii." That's not to suggest the 57-year-old actor is a pushover. With a hefty résumé that includes an Emmy nomination for a 2002 story arc on The West Wing and a long-running stint on Chicago Hope, as well as work in features like 1994's Wyatt Earp and 1998's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Harmon has a purely professional approach to work—a quality he expects from those around him as well. In the early days of NCIS, Harmon says, "we didn't even have scripts, which shouldn't be a luxury. We were working hand-to-mouth, with one stretch the first year resulting in nine straight 150-hour weeks." NCIS co-creator and co-executive producer Charles Floyd Johnson recounts the tumult. "The first season, we were all riding the euphoria of having the show picked up. But the second season, the actors still weren't getting scripts until the midst of shooting sometimes. It was painful and difficult, and it wasn't the way Mark wanted to work." Harmon, as the show's lead, worked with producers and helped create an efficiently run production for the top 10 series. "NCIS solidly employs 200 people, which is a responsibility no one takes lightly," says Harmon. "And we're fortunate, because we all really like each other, and that's behind and in front of the camera." A man's man Harmon was approached about taking on the starring role of Navy criminal investigator Leroy Jethro Gibbs after his turn on West Wing came to the attention of Johnson and co-creator and former co-executive producer Don Bellisario. Recalls Johnson, "The moment we saw the tape, we said, 'He's it. Stop looking.' " The actor had always been high on the list of CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler, who had worked with Harmon during a previous gig at Warner Bros., overseeing his now-defunct series Reasonable Doubts and Charlie Grace. When it came to NCIS, "we wanted someone who has a powerful presence but also has a sense of mystery and intrigue, and Mark is all of those things," she says. As for the appeal he lends NCIS on foreign shores, says the executive, "he's classically heroic, which appeals to an international audience. He's really a man's man." Harmon was initially hesitant about the project, if only because he was unfamiliar with the Bellisario-created, Emmy-winning Navy drama JAG from which NCIS was born. But he was intrigued by the idea of joining the already committed Pauley Perrette and David McCallum (Weatherly was under consideration as well), and he liked the fact that it was a show he describes as, "part caper, part character , part humor and part mystery." The actor was also eager—after roles in features like 2003's Freaky Friday, made-for-TV movies and television guest spots—to be able to work consistently near the Los Angeles home he shares with his wife of two decades, actress Pam Dawber, and their two sons, now 16 and 20. Mark Harmon Building blocks Staying near his family has always been the top priority for the actor, whose resolute privacy about his personal life goes against the grain of today's tabloid culture. Says Weatherly, "He's never going to be the guy you read about in the DUI smashup with the hooker." Nor has he been distracted by honors like being named People magazine's sexiest man, or by the attention of millions of swooning fans. "I've been fortunate in my career, which has always been about longevity to me," he says. "I try not to get too excited about any one thing. I think it's all about a body of work over a number of years, and I believe in a work ethic. I believe you work hard at something, and I believe that you don't forget what it is that got you there. "It's like being a jock in college," continues Harmon, who played football while an undergrad at UCLA. "I wasn't the most gifted on the field by any means, but I worked hard." That outlook has meant that come good times, like NCIS, or not so good (Charlie Grace, anyone?), Harmon has retained a steady outlook through an enviably busy career. "You put your best effort into the ones that fail, the same as you do into the ones that do well," says the actor, who supported himself as a carpenter during the leaner years. "If I do a movie and it doesn't do well at the box office, for instance, that doesn't mean it was a failure to me. Sometimes things aren't what you thought they'd be." Harmon's colleagues are accustomed to the actor's methodical approach. "Mark still works like a carpenter," Weatherly says. "When you talk to him about work, it's a little like talking to someone who is retrofitting your bathroom. It's all very practical, and he doesn't want anyone to feel like he's breathing an artistic air." Indeed, when Harmon first met Weatherly, he investigated the younger actor's hands and commented on his lack of calluses, saying, " 'Not a lot of labor in your life, Weatherly,' " his co-star remembers. "Not a lot gets by him." The shows go on For the moment, Harmon is happily reaping the profits of his efforts: A happy cast and crew working on a hit that still keeps him engaged, 130 episodes later. "I love my drive to work, looking forward to getting there," he says. "It's a friendly place, where we're challenged and people are still doing the work and excited. No one is phoning it in.'" During his last hiatus, Harmon spent 10 days acting in a feature film—the upcoming comedy Weather Girl co-starring Jon Cryer—but he insists that as long as NCIS is a go, he has no intention of regularly booking his annual vacation with work. "The first year I did a movie during our hiatus, and what it provided more than anything was ensuring that I was in a fairly exhausted state when we began filming again," he says with a laugh. "Now, there has to be a really good reason to do other work. Being with my family is too important." If Harmon's quiet determination to avoid indulging in the glitz so readily available to him seems too good to be true, those who know him say he's the real deal. "His appeal to audiences isn't a mystery," says Weatherly. "Because what you're seeing is actually what you're seeing. When it comes to Mark, the object in the mirror is neither closer nor stranger than how it appears. It's just the object in the mirror."

10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Mark Harmon

You know him as Special Agent Gibbs on NCIS, but did you know he was the voice of logger Bob Markham in Disney's The Legend of Tarzan animated TV series? Yes, after nearly 35 years in Hollywood, Mark Harmon's IMDb résumé is longer than a line at Disneyland. With the help of CBS Interactive's and a little sleuth reporting, Watch! compiled this file on the super agent: 10. That '70s Show Mark landed several guest spots on 1970s shows, including Laverne & Shirley and The Love Boat. 9. Mark & Mindy Mark's wife, actress Pam Dawber, co-starred opposite Robin Williams on ABC's Mork & Mindy (1978-1982). 8. Injury report Mark's shoulder has been broken twice: once during the filming of the 1987 teen movie Summer School. 7. Handy man On the set of NCIS, Mark uses a 1972 Airstream trailer that he restored himself for his dressing room. 6. Work experience Before Hollywood success, he worked as roofer and briefly as a sales representative for Adidas sneakers. 5. Father figure Mark's father, Tom, was a college football All- American and Heisman Trophy winner who enjoyed a long career as a TV/radio sports announcer. 4. Good Samaritan — Using a sledgehammer from his garage, he helped rescue two teenage boys trapped in a burning car near his home in 1996 3. Killer looks In 1986, Mark was chosen as People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive." The same year he played serial killer Ted Bundy in the TV movie The Deliberate Stranger. 2. Well-rounded Mark was the starting quarterback for the UCLA Bruins (1972-73) before graduating *** laude in 1974 with a degree in communications 1. Half Nelsons Mark's older sister Kristin married pop star Ricky Nelson, and later gave birth to recording star twin brothers, Matthew and Gunnar. Their band, aptly named Nelson, had two big hits in 1990 with "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" and "After the Rain."

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ARLENEG THE ENSEMBLE CAST.............. 0 Feb 16 2009, 5:10 AM EST by ARLENEG
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LoveNCIS MH Interview in Watch! Magazine 3 Feb 3 2009, 5:17 AM EST by think1959
Thread started: Feb 2 2009, 9:30 PM EST  Watch
Here's the page to access it...

Just click on the photo of's called "On the Mark".

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