Rocky Carroll Discovers His Unexpected Promotion to Director on 'NCIS'

Rocky Carroll, known for his role as Leon Vance on the CBS procedural NCIS, is once again wearing two hats, this time as both an actor and director for the upcoming episode airing on January 23. This marks the 21st episode that Carroll has directed for the show.

In the episode titled "Big Rig," the NCIS team gets involved in an undercover FBI operation. Torres, played by Wilmer Valderrama, is approached by an old friend who seeks guidance in the midst of the operation but then suddenly disappears. The team is then faced with the task of tracking him down.

Carroll shared some insights into the episode. He mentioned that one of the regular agents has to go undercover as a long-haul trucker to infiltrate a crime ring centered around a trucking company. The episode takes the team out of their usual setting and into a bar-restaurant-truck stop area, delving into the underworld. Carroll also mentioned that there is more action in this episode compared to some of the previous ones he has directed.

The actor-director expressed his excitement about this episode, particularly the fight scene. He believes that it is important to remind the audience of the dangers that these characters face in their line of work. He stated that while the show excels at establishing relationships and showing the characters' interactions, it is essential to occasionally showcase the dangerous nature of their job.

Carroll revealed that his favorite scene to direct was a heart-to-heart discussion between Torres and Sawyer, played by Zane Holtz, as they sat behind the wheel of a big rig. He felt that this scene allowed the audience to see the characters on a deeper level, beyond the action and the badges.

When questioned about the most challenging scene to direct, Carroll mentioned a warehouse scene with multiple characters involved in a fight. He explained that coordinating such scenes, with numerous people speaking and chaos unfolding, can be quite a challenge for any director. However, he admitted that as he has gained more experience, scenes like these have become a regular occurrence for him.

Carroll also mentioned that in a recent episode, Vance and Parker, played by Gary Cole, developed a relationship while on a trip to Europe. He hinted at the possibility of a love interest for Vance and the potential for the character to reappear in future episodes. He also stated that the relationship between Vance and Parker is slowly evolving and growing, mirroring the journey that Vance and Gibbs took to establish their dynamic as senior members of the NCIS team.

Fans of NCIS can catch Rocky Carroll's dual performance as an actor and director in the upcoming episode "Big Rig" on January 23.

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