NCIS: New Orleans will air its 100th episode this Tuesday at 10:00PM ET/PT, only on CBS. This week’s episode offers viewers a never before seen look into Dwayne Pride’s background and introduces fans to a new member of the Pride family.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Scott Bakula who plays Pride on the show to discuss the significance of 100 episodes, the city of New Orleans and the best place to get fresh fish if you’re in the Big Easy.
MW- Hey Scott, how are you man?
SB- I’m good, how are you?
MW- Doing well, doing well. I want to say congrats first off – 100th episode of NCIS: New Orleans. What does it mean to you to hit that milestone?
SB- Well thank you! It’s something I never really contemplated until we got close to it. I’ve had other shows that got close so I just felt like it probably wasn’t going to happen and then all of a sudden it was upon me. I’m grateful that it happened the way it happened at the other end of my career rather than the beginning.
Some of the younger folks on our show, this is their first TV series and they might not understand what a big deal this is – especially in the climate of television in the world today. It’s a lot of hard work from hundreds of people and a network that supported us – it feels great.
MW- One thing I love about the show is the influence from the city of New Orleans. Can you talk about how the culture of the city seeps into the fabric of the show?
SB- It’s been a goal since day one that we really incorporate the city and make it a part, almost like an extra character, in the show. I think each year we get better at it in a funny way. We started out shooting the kind of “post card” shots of New Orleans in Jackson Square and things like that and now we’ve eased away from that. We’re getting more eclectic and more varied. We’re still in the quarter but it may be parts of the quarter that you haven’t seen before.
The idea of the city is such a phenomena around the planet that we wanted to capitalize on that. The joy, the life, the expression of music, food, how people feel about each other, their openness, the joy of being alive – we try to pull all of that into the show. My character is kind of the guy driving that whole idea because he loves the people and the city more than anything in his life almost except for his daughter probably.
We’re also there in real life, we don’t travel away, we’re always around New Orleans so we have this great community. The city has also reached out and made things very accommodating for shooting and we try to treat them in kind by not abusing the city. We try to take care of the city because it’s part of us.
MW- Since you do spend so much time in New Orleans and there’s such a rich food culture there, what’s your favorite place to grab a bite to eat?
SB- Oh boy, I always get in trouble [laughs]. I have a few favorites but the place I go to the most because it matches the kind of food that I eat is a place called Peche, it’s a Donald Link restaurant in the arts district. Donald has a few restaurants but that’s my favorite, it has fresh fish and it’s got a great vibe, good margaritas and I can walk to it so I love that.
MW- So now when I’m in New Orleans that’s the first place I’m going. The pressure is on Scott…
SB- You got to do it, I’ll stand by it!
MW- The other thing New Orleans is known for is the city’s music scene. NCIS: New Orleans has had a great roster of musicians come on and this week that continues with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. What was it like having that group come join you on set?
SB- Nathaniel was great they’re on the 100th episode they play in a concert venue and then in Pride’s bar. They’re a great bunch of guys, super talented and really fun music. I really enjoyed them, we got to spend some time chatting. Nathaniel is in a scene with me in the bar at the end which is pretty cool and he did a great job.
We’ve had this kind of open door from the beginning with the local musicians, street musicians, all kinds of different flavors. We’ve really tried to open our doors to a wide variety of kinds of music from traditional New Orleans jazz to funk to you name it and we’ve had it. As a musician myself, to be in that city that is the birth place of jazz and the blues, I just keep learning about the music scene there. It’s inspiring and it’s awesome.
I am filled with awe when I’m in some of these venues that have been around that you know that Nat King Cole was there, Harry Connick, The Meters, The Marsalis Family, I could go on and on and talk about it for a long time. It’s thrilling.
MW- Really quick before I let you go I have to ask about tonight’s 100th episode, what’s in store for viewers?
SB- The basic story is a 20-year-old cold case of a casino heist that went unsolved, $3 million, which was a lot of money 20 years ago [laughs]. My father is involved Cassius Pride played by Stacy Keach, he’s in the episode. I don’t want to give away too much but we have some flashbacks to a young Dwayne Pride at 12-years-old. Those flashbacks are done in a really cool way as well. The biggest surprise is a family member that I’ve never met before appears in this episode for the first time. That surprise is going to be, hopefully, very exciting for a lot of people.
MW- Alright can’t wait to tune in later tonight. Thanks for the time Scott and good luck with the rest of the season.
SB- You got it Matt, thank you!
NCIS: New Orleans airs its 100th episode this Tuesday at 10:00PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.