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The Top 3 Questions for Eric Christian Olsen


Here at wikiDeeks we dream of getting a chance to interview the man who brings Marty Deeks to life. There’s so much we’d like to know about his work on NCIS: Los Angeles. That day may never happen, but it’s still fun to think about. So our topic this week is the Top 3 questions we’d most like to ask Eric Christian Olsen.

The Premise

The only rule I imposed on myself when choosing my Top 3 was that the questions be about Eric’s portrayal of Deeks on NCIS:LA, as opposed to other roles or his personal life. I did allow for follow-up questions.

The Top 3

In reverse order of importance, my Top 3 Questions for Eric Christian Olsen are…

#3. Sam and Deeks have always been a bit of an odd couple, albeit with fantastic chemistry. To what do you attribute the tension in their relationship? In other words, why didn’t Sam like Deeks? And how do your and LL Cool J’s respective approaches to acting affect the dynamic we see on screen?

Just like last week, I’m still thinking about Deeks and Sam. As I mentioned then, their relationship is what drew me full-bore into the fandom. We’ve heard Eric talk about working alongside LL Cool J and the larger than life personality he brings to the set, but I would really love to hear him describe what it’s like to work in front of the camera with LL. I’ve read that LL likes to stick to the script. We know that Eric doesn’t share that approach. Might that be part of what produces their impressive chemistry?

#2. At what point do you think Deeks became fully formed as a character? For example, in Season 1, he seems a bit more serious and reserved. By Season 2 Episode 3 (“Borderline”), he’s joking around, getting into trouble with Sam, and telling tall tales to Kensi. Then he became (in your own words) “a bit of a clown.” When did he finally achieve the right balance? How much of yourself worked its way into Deeks? Please comment on how the collaboration between the writers and yourself led to the Deeks we see today.

When I rewatch “Hand-to-Hand” and “Fame” from Season 1, and even “Human Traffic” and “Black Widow” from the beginning of Season 2, I do not see the same Marty Deeks we know and love today. It took a little time for the sillier aspects of Deeks’ personality to emerge. I like to imagine that Eric’s gift for improv worked its magic, and when the writers saw the end result, particularly the fireworks with Daniela Ruah’s Kensi, they began to actively write more funny lines and witty banter for both characters. But I’d love to hear straight from Eric about how his character evolved over time.

#1. The scene in “Ascension” when Kensi leaves Deeks in the garage was heart-wrenching. If their positions had been reversed, do you think Deeks could have done the same thing? What about later, at the hospital emergency room? And what do you think would happen if they were put in that position today, now that they’re in a committed relationship?

Yep, I’m still thinking about “Ascension.” At the time the episode aired, I was horrified that Kensi left Deeks in the garage, but I understood she was carrying out the mission. I was less forgiving at the hospital, when I liked to think that some of the other NCIS agents on staff might have accompanied Granger and Callen so she could stay and comfort Deeks. Deeks is so despondent in that garage scene, and if their positions had been reversed, I have a difficult time imagining Deeks leaving Kensi behind, even if thousands of lives were at stake. I’d love to see what Eric thinks about how Deeks would have handled that situation. I’d also like to hear his take on what was my #1 Most Wanted Scene and what would happen now if either one had to make a decision between the mission and their partner.

Also in the Running

A few of the many additional questions I have:

  • How early on did the showrunners tell you about Deeks’ dark side? Did it come up when he confronted Scarli in “Human Traffic?” When did you find out Deeks shot his dad? Before “Personal”? And how about Boyle’s death? How early on did you know Deeks had killed Boyle? And do you know the exact circumstances surrounding that shooting?
  • You have talked about how excited you were when you found out you’d been cast on the show. What didn’t you foresee at the time about what it would be like to work on NCIS:LA? What unexpected rewards and challenges have you faced as an actor working on the show?
  • You said on the Season 6 DVD that you’ve been playing Deeks as driven by fear and loneliness. Can you talk a little more about that? What do you think he’s afraid of? Can you share any examples of scenes where that fear was a part of the choices you made as an actor?
  • You’ve said in the past that you wanted to see Deeks and Kensi together, that they’re meant to be together. Please comment on the similarities and differences you see between them that make them so perfect for one another.
  • It’s been great meeting Deeks’ mom. Can you talk about how she and Kensi are similar and how they differ, and how growing up with her would have made Deeks drawn to strong women like Kensi?
  • You’ve said that the last scene of “Impact” is your favorite Densi scene ever (mine too). Why do you feel that way?
  • If you could restore one deleted scene back into an episode, which would you choose and why?

Next Week

Next week we’ll begin diving into topics that cover more than six seasons worth of Deeks (and Densi) goodness. We’ll start with a subject that just makes me happy to think about, the Top 3 Examples of Densi Banter.

In the meantime, tell us your Top 3 Questions for ECO. What would you most like to ask him?

Or, go back to last week’s Top 3, the Top 3 Most Wanted Scenes.

About Karen (287 Articles)
wikiDeeks Writer & Assistant Editor. I never wrote for fun before... until my ECO-obsession. Now I love to analyze any and all aspects of the best character on television.

11 Comments on The Top 3 Questions for Eric Christian Olsen

  1. Once again, we need a “love” option. All of your questions are spot on and fantastic.

    I’d maybe follow up with something along the lines of he loves to have the freedom to improvise but are the writers now relying too much on that with him? Improv has to start with some kind of material but are they just writing “ECO improv here” like I seem to remember in a commentary maybe season 5 or 6?

    Does he see Deeks ever building on his legal career again or working up the admin chain? The action he’s able to do now so well isn’t something that is sustainable in 20 years ….

    If he could do one thing to change in Deeks’ character, what would it be?


    • Thanks peakae! I remember that comment, I think he mentioned a specific writer or two who just relied on him to come up with something funny. I’d love to hear the real story about whether that weighs on him or if he enjoys that freedom. And I love your question #3 about what he’d change about Deeks- that would be a fascinating answer I’m sure.


  2. I really liked your list, Karen and everything you wrote to explain the reason for your choices.

    These are my questions for Eric, in reverse order of importance:

    #3. Densi chemistry
    I would like to ask Eric if he thinks Deeks and Kensi were meant to be together since the very first showrunners’ idea, whoever the actors would be cast for the parts, or if his chemistry with Daniela was too much of an unexpected blessing for the show writers to ignore.

    #2. Marty Deeks vs Eric Christian Olsen
    Even if I understand that actors have the line between themselves and their characters always clear, spending so much time being a different person for work could mean you are more hours of the day that character than yourself, so I would be curious to know from Eric: how much of Deeks remains with you in your everyday personal life? Do you ever happen to wonder what he would do in your place? Have you shot any scenes that, for a reason or another, you have found difficult to forget or let go once back home?

    #1. Authors’ choices
    Since Eric is the one to bring Deeks to life and I believe after all these years this character is now as his as the authors’, I wonder and would like to ask him: have there been times in which deep inside you, you haven’t agreed with some writers’ choices for Deeks, but you have obviously had to stick to the script and do as it demanded anyway?
    For example, if you had been free to decide what was best for your character, would you have given Kensi her father’s knife back without a clear explanation, neither for her nor for the viewers? And how does it feel to know that your character has got away with murder (so far)? Before reading the “Internal affairs” script, could you think the writers would be so daring with one of their leading characters?

    Thanks again, Karen, for the Top 3 feature which is getting more and more interesting!


    • Thanks Cladani! I love your list too- all excellent questions. I especially like #2- I’ve never thought about that, but now that you’ve posed the question I’d love to know the answer!


    • I totally love your list!!! Perfect, amazing questions, almost the same I always think about. I agree with Maria and Donna Marie, I think ECO would release interviews to this site, maybe Dani too.


  3. Wow Karen, you are really on your top with recent posts. It is almost the habit for me now to check what is new on this site when I wake up. Thank you once again to all of you doing excellent work here.
    Your wrote at the beginning “Here at wikiDeeks we dream of getting a chance to interview the man who brings Marty Deeks to life. There’s so much we’d like to know about his work on NCIS: Los Angeles. That day may never happen, but it’s still fun to think about.” – but have you actually contacted Eric Christian Olsen and asked him for an interview? I cannot believe that he would not accept it. He is well aware of this site and honestly, If I were Eric C. Olsen, I would be immensely proud if somebody would run such a website in the way you guys are doing it to honour fictional character and the actor that brought him to life.
    Waiting to actually read the interview with Mr. Olsen any time soon, I remain sincerely yours…


    • Maria, thanks so much for your kind words and support! I’m afraid securing an interview with ECO isn’t quite as simple as asking, but we haven’t given up trying.


  4. Glad to know I’m not the only one for which Ascension will always be a cornerstone moment. It’s interesting to consider the questions around this as we just saw Deeks keep bouncing (physically) in and out of the hospital on last night’s episode.


    • Yes Gayle- I didn’t care for Deeks’ “abandoning” Kensi in “The Queen’s Gambit” at all. They didn’t really give much of a reason either, even though they could have framed it as the team needing to keep functioning at nearly full strength or the DOD would shut them down. It just felt like Deeks didn’t want to call in sick to stay with Kensi. I mean, if someone is in a coma, you can’t move in and live by their side indefinitely, but for the first several days or weeks, I’d have expected more. But like I mentioned in the review, I blame it on them wanting to give ECO something to do and not on them writing a compelling storyline of Deeks having to choose (if that makes any sense?).


  5. Wonderful questions to ask Karen and I agree with Maria I am sure Eric would jump at the chance to answer some questions on this fantastic site dedicated to him.

    The episode Ascension has always bothered me with Kensi leaving Deeks. Also I would ask him about the ‘punch’ in Frozen Lake which I have never quite forgiven Kensi for.
    I would also like to know if he feels Deek’s backstory has been left behind in favour of the other characters on the show. (Still waiting for my dream episode Deeks M) Does he want to see more powerful love scenes with Kensi? What would he like see happen to Deeks in the future? Was he frustrated with how long it took for Densi to become official and when they did it took until Season 7 for us to see them have some wonderful scenes? Would he like to direct an episode of the show?

    Thanks again for this wonderful site. I just love it and of course the man himself!


    • Thanks Donna Marie. Those are some great questions! I seem to recall Daniela Ruah talking more about the punch in the DVD Commentary than ECO did- I’m not sure we really got his thoughts on the topic. And he absolutely should direct! I thought he was going to a couple of seasons ago but it didn’t happen. I actually think he should write. He’s so bright and some of his Instagram posts have been amazing (I know an Instagram post isn’t a 44 minute episode of television, LOL, but I think he’d be great).


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