‘NCIS’ Star Sean Murray Speaks Out About How ‘Hard’ It Was to Say Goodbye to Mark Harmon
NCIS star Sean Murray was involved in a closing scene with longtime series star Mark Harmon in Harmon’s departure. There were a lot of emotions involved for Murray in working with Harmon at that time.
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“I had lots of feelings about it because, well, you know, it’s Harmon, who is like a mentor to me, and saying goodbye on screen was hard,” Sean Murray said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “But at the same time, I felt that if anyone were to do it, McGee is the right one.
‘NCIS’ Star Sean Murray Called Working With Mark Harmon ‘Unbelievable Experience’
“Filming that was an unbelievable experience. I will never forget it. It was me, Harmon, Gary, and a splinter group of our crew. We got on a private plane, flew to Alaska for a week, and filmed what I think is some of the best stuff we’ve ever done.
“We were in the water doing the fly fishing, and as I’m saying goodbye to Mark, the whole crew is crying. Danny, one of the grips came up to me afterward and he goes, ‘I got a bone to pick with you. I’m a grown man. You had me crying, standing in the river.’”
Now that Harmon’s no longer on the show, Murray’s Timothy McGee is the longest-established character on the show. How has that affected him and his work?
Murray Said That As The Show Progressed, His Timothy McGee Has Progressed
“It’s been interesting because when the show started, McGee was the penultimate rookie character,” Sean Murray said. “And as the show has progressed, he has progressed. He’s definitely a lot more sure of himself than he used to be and capable of doing so much more than he used to be.
“Our writers, we’ve got our guys that have stuck with us for so long, and they know this character just about as well as I do,” he said. “So it kind of comes naturally with the material, the way the character has grown over the years and I’ve grown as an actor over the years doing that character.
“I think it’s kind of cool that I’ve played one character for 20-plus years,” Sean Murray said. “(And) I don’t think there’s a lot of actors that get the privilege of doing that. I remember talking to the writers early on about this, like, I don’t want to be baby Maggie Simpson. I don’t want to be the same character every single week and never grow. And they were very into the growth of the character. So it’s just been a natural thing, and fun to do.”