NCIS: LA has been going strong in the television world since 2009, and a lot of this success has to do with the actors’ chemistry and friendships with one another, and how these relationships translate to their dynamics in-character and on-screen.
Andrea Bordeaux, NCIS: LA Season 9’s latest addition to the cast as Special Agent Hidoko, fits right into the formula that attributes to the current success of the show by bringing a fresh face and a new character with a shrouded past that begs to be explored.
I recently had the chance to talk with Bordeaux about her experience with the cast, and she also teased some things that we can look forward to in upcoming episodes!
After hearing the way Bordeaux tells it, she was destined to be in front of the camera ever since she was a little girl.
“My mom is such a movie buff and a TV buff, and we were always going to the movies,” Bordeaux began.
“My mom wasn’t afraid to expose us to more serious adult content. You know, stories that centered around violence or racism […] basically things that had a lesson involved because my mom wanted us to be very conscious of all the different things that were happening in the world.”
“And so for me, I remember being around like 10 years old and going to the movies and seeing this film called A Time To Kill. And that was one of the first times that I realized that the actors were storytellers,” she said. “They were emoting in a way that would make other people feel these incredible emotions.”
“I was a 10-year-old sitting in the theater watching this story about the brutal rape and assault of a girl, who was my age, who looks just like me, and seeing the fallout of that attack. It just lit something inside of me,” Bordeaux recalled. “And then after that I just kind of felt that the way that those people on-screen made me feel is how I wanted to make other people feel.”
Although she has had plenty of previous roles, such as Neda from Rizzoli and Isles and Kelly Goodwin from Criminal Minds, she explained that these experiences “pale in comparison to just the sheer volume of work that [she’s] allowed to work off of as an actor” on NCIS: LA.
Bordeaux also noted that one of the challenges of working on shows for brief periods of time, appearing on one or two episodes, meant not getting as much of an “opportunity to build a character.”
“For the shows where you’re only doing one or two episodes, you definitely do create a backstory for your character, but there’s only so much backstory that is really necessary for those types of roles,” she continued.
“And with Harley, it’s been like this really nice slow burn where I get to take my time because while Harley is also brand new to Los Angeles and to this team, as an actor, myself, I’m also brand new to NCIS: LA and to this team of actors. So, as I grew and evolved as an actor on this show, I feel like you really do get to see that with Harley as well.”
“I was nervous in the beginning. I was still kind of figuring out how things were working, and I was still figuring out who the character was,” Bordeaux confessed.
“It takes a couple of episodes to really get grounded. And, I think, if you watched all of the episodes in order, if you really pay attention to Harley, you will see that growth and that’s partially just because of how I was growing personally as well.”
When asked to elaborate on Harley Hidoko’s story and whether or not she was excited to see more of the character’s past unfold in the series, Bordeaux absolutely lit up with excitement.
“I’m so intrigued by Hidoko’s history with her husband and learning more about that relationship, just how she’s been dealing with the fact that she lost the love of her life,” she explained.
“It hasn’t been revealed quite yet, but we are going to learn a little bit more about how she loses her husband, and it’s heartbreaking when you find out the circumstances surrounding it. So as an actor, as a performer, I would really, really love to dive more into sort of that emotional life of being a widow and kind of moving on with your life in a way that you hadn’t expected because you thought that the person that you love was going to be there by your side.”
While Hidoko’s still heartbroken about losing the love of her life, Bordeaux’s current boyfriend is alive, kicking, and fully supporting his girlfriend’s career.
“My boyfriend, who is so loving and amazing and supportive, was so excited about me getting the part,” she explained. “He was just like, ‘OK baby, we have to go shoot because you’re going to be handling all these crazy weapons, and you have to make sure you look good and that you know what you’re doing.'”
“I have experience with guns. I grew up in Texas and I’m an army brat, so I wasn’t unfamiliar with weapons, but it had been a really, really long time since I’ve handled a weapon,” she admitted.
“And so he was great. He called up a Los Angeles Armory and got me a private lesson with one of the instructors there. It was awesome because I went in and they had the whole morning set aside for me and gave me run downs as we have handguns and shotguns rifles. We went out to the range, and we got to fire and got lots of cool videos.”
“It was really great to kind of be in that environment and get pumped up because NCIS: LA is such an action-packed show. I mean every single episode things are getting blown up and bad guys were getting shot. And sometimes the agents get shot. So, it was a nice little taste of what I was going to be getting once I worked on the show,” she noted.
“Honestly, this show has been a crazy ride, but it has been so much fun,” Bordeaux continued with a laugh.
“I mean this has been a challenge, not so much in the character, but more so just, in the beginning, coming into this well oiled, successful machine that’s been running for almost 10 years. So, the challenge for me was just coming in and adapting to the environment and the culture and just wanting to feel like I was going to fit in with everybody and with the rest of the cast,” Bordeaux revealed.
“I looked at it like a challenge,” she said. “But it ended up not being a challenge at all because my transition into the show was seamless. Everybody was so amazing and welcoming from the beginning and really just opened their arms up and made me feel like family. And with Harley, she as a character, she’s so much like me in so many ways that it really wasn’t hard to just slip into her shoes at all.”
As for a character she felt would be a challenge to play, Bordeaux would love to take a walk in Deeks’ shoes someday.
“I think Deeks is probably the funniest character on the show. All of the actors bring our own comedic elements, but Eric Christian Olsen is so funny and quick-witted and sharp. I think that it would be a really fun and interesting challenge to try to step into that character’s shoes and try to tackle that level of comedy.”
And that’s not all the warm and fuzzy things she had to say about her cast members. She never hesitated to gush about how wonderful her experience on set with her co-workers has been.
“I mean I feel like the fans have a pretty good idea how we are on set just because the cast and crew have always been vocal about how much they love their job. There’s this hashtag that’s very popular on social media, #BestCrewInHollywood. And when I first started, every single person that I met on the show was just like, ‘You hit the Jackpot. This is the best job in Hollywood.’ They love it here. And it’s reflected in the work. Everybody has so much fun, and you see that in the show. Even nine seasons in, everyone’s still having such a great time.”
To all NCIS: LA fans waiting to watch the rest of Season 9, Bordeaux suggests you get ready for a killer finale.
“The intensity is going to keep getting turned up every single episode. Tensions are going to come to a head eventually, and the finale is going to blow you away.”
Don’t miss Andrea Bordeaux on NCIS: LA, airing Sundays 9/8c on CBS.
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