HomeTelevision'NCIS: Hawai'i': Tori Anderson Teases Domestic Kacy in Season 2

    ‘NCIS: Hawai’i’: Tori Anderson Teases Domestic Kacy in Season 2

    There’s really good news for Kacy fans heading into NCIS: Hawai’i Season 2: That happiness from the finale will continue.

    The first season ended with Kate’s (Tori Anderson) grand gesture for Lucy (Yasmine Al-Bustami), which worked to win her back. You can soon re-watch that moment, along with Season 1 on DVD on September 6 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment. It includes featurettes, deleted and extended scenes (including the exclusive one above), and a gag reel. When TV Insider spoke with Anderson, the star chatted about singing, teased what’s ahead for Kacy, and more.

    Kate’s grand gesture in the finale worked!

    Tori Anderson: That came as a bit of a shock. I got a phone call before the script was released from [writer] Matt Bosack, and he just said, “This is what we’re thinking, do you have any feelings about this?” He wanted to just open up the conversation around it. I was quite nervous, but very excited for Kate to finally make a move that was kind of a Say Anything moment that was laying it all on the line. Because throughout the season, she kept trying and trying and trying and had no luck. I think this was her final attempt, and thank goodness it worked. It was really exciting. I think no one wanted to hear that song because I sang it so many times on set. But it was a blast and I’m very happy that they’re back together.

    Ernie (Jason Antoon) in that scene was so funny: “I wasn’t being literal.”

    I know, it’s so funny. I know people that take things at face value and take things literally. I love that Kate does that. When she hears something, it’s almost like, in a sense, a direct order. Jason is so fun to play off of and he’s been such a Kacy supporter, in both Lucy and Kate’s corners throughout their relationship, trying to get them to reconcile. I think it’s fun for him to play and I love to watch him all the time. He’s hilarious.

    Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler and Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara in NCIS Hawai'i

    Courtesy of CBS Entertainment

    How’s Kate and Lucy’s relationship in Season 2? Are they doing it right this time, like Kate said she wanted to? Being more honest?

    Yes. Kate is continuing to learn about honesty. In ways, it’s a hindrance because she wants so badly to do it right that sometimes it occupies more brain space than it needs to. She has a little bit of anxiety about doing things wrong. You definitely see them in a more domestic place, in a really happy day-to-day place and what that looks like. I love my scenes with Yasmine. She’s a consummate professional. She is hilarious. She is wildly talented. She makes my job incredibly easy, so doing scenes with her has been such a joy. I’m very grateful for her. They’re definitely finding a work-life balance and to be on the same side with no animosity towards each other at work has been a really nice place to explore. You see them trying to do things together and working as a team. Everyone’s working as a team and there’s no bad blood between anyone.

    Kate moved to the FBI, but we know that she had an offer in DC. How is she feeling about her job and staying in Hawai’i? Settled?

    She’s thrown into situations and still finding her footing, but she’s definitely settled and ultimately she wants to be in Hawai’i because she wants to be close to Lucy. She doesn’t want to give up her job as NCIS liaison. She wants to be where she is. Part of that is I don’t think she’s ever experienced a team like this NCIS team helmed by Jane Tennant [Vanessa Lachey]. She’s surprised that you can like your coworkers, spend time with them, develop these relationships with them because I think she’s felt largely alone and isolated and has struggled with the ability to open up. Finding the peace and the kindness that Jane exudes has been a really eye-opening experience for Kate.

    Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant and Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler in NCIS Hawai'i

    Karen Neal/CBS

    Kate and Jane are so different: Kate’s more solo, while Jane’s very much about her team as a family.

    Yeah, and when I auditioned, the pilot, Kate came in so red-hot and had this directness that didn’t open up any world for her and Jane to ever get along. She was frustrated and hated having to put the hammer down and she saw Jane getting in the way of her being able to do her job. The way that it evolved was really nice. Vanessa does such a beautiful job of portraying Jane as someone who really doesn’t judge people. She leads with kindness and leads with an openness that Kate is not used to and so her guard gets let down a little bit and she’s able to see that. Seeing their friendship and their mutual respect for one another is really nice. It’s exciting to see two women in a workplace cheer each other on and to understand that they may have differing opinions, but they both value each other’s opinion. Generally, they both want the end result: They want to do the right thing and they want to do what’s good.

    Kate went out in the field a bit last season, though that didn’t end well.

    [Laughs] What do you mean?

    Is that something that Kate wants to do more?

    Yeah, she understands the bureaucratic sense of the office. That’s her happy place and where she spent most of her time really finding her niche. She’s really good at internal office politics. But she constantly wants to learn and she wants to expand and no one wants to go into the field and get their ass handed to them. So she is interested in training, in being able to go into the field and be better prepared next time, because as an FBI agent, you have to be able to hold your own. I think you will see her learning to do that this season.

    Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler, Noah Mills as Jesse, and Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara in NCIS Hawai'i


    We don’t need ambulances and a sling every time.

    Yeah, that would get old fast. [Laughs]

    The premiere is the NCIS crossover. Is Kate involved this time?

    She is involved [in the Hawai’i half]. Torres [Wilmer Valderrama] and Knight [Katrina Law] fly over to Hawai’i to help them solve the crime and they do all work together. So yes, finally involved, woohoo!

    What’s that dynamic like?

    It’s fun. There’s a funny scene in there that she’s observing something else going on, trying to get the work back on track, but it’s nice. I think she’s excited to be around very intelligent people and it’s a high-stakes situation, so obviously they’re all trying to get the job done to the best of their ability, but it’s a nice amalgamation of worlds.

    Kate’s place and her view is gorgeous.

    She’s still there. I don’t know how she can afford that place, but that’s the magic of TV. You will see more of Kate’s place.

    Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler and Jason Antoon as Ernie Malik in NCIS Hawai'i

    Karen Neal/CBS

    We didn’t get too much of Kate with the team in Season 1 because of the nature of her job.

    We just started Episode 5, so there’s still a lot of room for everything to grow. I think I had my first one-on-one scene with Noah [Mills, who plays Jesse]. That was nice because they didn’t have a scene together last season. There’s some stuff with Ernie that is always fun. It’s still early days, so I’m sure there’ll be lots more of it, but there’s less friction with her and the team this season. It’s a lot more working together.

    Do you think because she’s more settled in her personal life now, she can open herself up to them, which means less friction?

    Absolutely. She’s more settled in her personal life. She really respects the team that Jane has built and wants to work with them. At the end of the day, she wants to stay on as the NCIS liaison for the FBI, so she doesn’t want to lose that opportunity and she’s very happy in the place she’s in and very inspired by the team in general and really has a newfound respect for them that she didn’t really have at the beginning of Season 1, when she just came in to do her job and was sort of in and out.

    Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler in NCIS Hawai'i

    Courtesy of CBS Entertainment

    What were your favorite Season 1 scenes to film?

    I know I got beat down pretty hard, but I loved that fight scene. That was really fun.

    I loved all of my scenes with Yasmine. She’s such a joy to work with and as devastating as those moments were when they eventually led to Lucy deciding to end things with Kate, it was really big realization moments for both characters. They didn’t do the best job communicating throughout the season, but they did say these big things that kind of shatter you as a human. They were such well-written scenes and it was a very impactful moment for me as an actor to be able to bring that to light and to be able to really wear your heart on your sleeve in a way that you don’t always get to do, especially in a procedural.

    I also loved the balcony scene with Vanessa.

    That conversation about Kate breaking Lucy’s heart was so good.

    And when she says, “there’s a lot of risks I’m willing to take and you’re no longer one of them,” I still remember that line. It’s like seared into my memory. It still punctures my heart a little bit.

    Fortunately, they’re in a happy place now.

    Yes, absolutely. We won’t live in the past. We can live in the now.

    What aspects of Kate are you hoping to explore more in Season 2?

    I’m hoping to explore more of her relationship with the team and her loosening up and maybe getting in on some of the jokes versus kind of trying to just skirt by them. I’m excited for her relationship with Lucy to grow and her relationship with Jane to grow and just to be more involved and not be brushing up against office politics as much, and actually both kind of all being on the same side and working as a team.

    NCIS: Hawai’i, Season 2 Premiere, Monday, September 19, 10/9c, CBS

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