Liza Lapira, known for her role as a badass on "The Equalizer" alongside Queen Latifah and Adam Goldberg, has had an impressive career in procedural dramas. However, before her stint on "The Equalizer," Lapira made her mark on CBS's long-running series, "NCIS."
In "NCIS," Lapira portrayed the character of Michelle Lee, a lawyer who briefly joined Gibbs' team after Director Vance split them up to identify a mole within the agency. As the story unfolded, it was revealed that Michelle herself was the mole, though she had framed one of her fellow agents. However, her motives for doing so were noble - she was trying to protect her sister. In a dramatic turn of events, Michelle eventually asked Gibbs to shoot her so that he could eliminate the person responsible for her sister's safety.
Reflecting on her time on "NCIS," Lapira shared that the unexpected twist in her character's storyline was exciting for her. Initially, she was cast as a lawyer and had been slated to become Brian Dietzen's love interest. But when she received a call during the sixth season, it completely changed the course of her character. Lapira expressed her enthusiasm for being part of such a significant arc and called it a great experience.
Moreover, Lapira reminisced about the fond memories she had from working on the show, both personally and professionally. She commended her co-stars, calling Rocky Carroll and Mark Harmon gems. Lapira even mentioned bringing her mother to the set, and Carroll and Harmon warmly greeted and wished her mother a happy birthday.
Lapira further praised Brian Dietzen, who played her love interest on the show, describing him as a gentleman who made her feel welcome on set. She recalled his wife being pregnant at the time, which made for an interesting introduction as they had to pretend to be in love. Lapira fondly reminisced about the kindness of the cast and crew, making her time on "NCIS" memorable and enjoyable.
Surprisingly, over a decade later, Lapira made a return to the "NCIS" franchise, this time appearing on "NCIS: New Orleans" as a different character. She mentioned reaching out to Mark Harmon to inform him about her return to the show, and she expressed her joy at being back on set. Lapira also expressed her sadness at the end of "NCIS: New Orleans," which concluded its seven-season run in 2021.
In summary, Liza Lapira's time on "NCIS" provided her with cherished memories both personally and professionally. Her role as Michelle Lee, the unexpected mole, presented her with an exciting and significant arc. Lapira's experience working with the talented cast and crew, including Mark Harmon, Rocky Carroll, and Brian Dietzen, left a lasting impression on her. Her return to the "NCIS" franchise years later on "NCIS: New Orleans" was equally enjoyable for her. Lapira's journey in the "NCIS" universe showcases her versatility as an actress and her ability to leave an indelible mark on television dramas.