‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star Chris O’Donnell Has It All

Chris O’Donnell’s boyish looks have been making millions of women swoon for years. If those baby blues and killer smile aren’t enough to get your guy jealous, wait until we tell you what a nice, kind, down-to-earth family man O’Donnell is. From the inside out, this actor has all the right stuff! An edited version of our interview with him follows

by Ilyssa Panitz • More.com Celebrity Reporter
chris o'donnell image
Photograph: Rene Macura

More: You are on NCIS: Los Angeles, one of the highest-rated shows on CBS.
COD: It is pretty great. We have been fortunate enough to follow in the footsteps of NCIS, a show that has many passionate fans. That gave us a huge opportunity to have a built-in audience. But as you know, nothing is guaranteed, and it is one of those things where you honestly can't predict what will happen. The producers put LL Cool J and myself on the show, and the fans, more than 17 million of them, have responded every week, which for us is terrific.  

More: Is there a lot of pressure, keeping a series like yours at the top of the ratings?
COD: There is always pressure, which is why we go to work every day and make the program as good as we can. At a certain point, though, it is out of our hands because there is marketing involved and fans need to tune in. I can tell you I go in with the best attitude, work hard, and, as the saying goes, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” We recently had our first episode of the new season and that was a nerve-racking night because you are wondering to yourself, Are the fans going to tune in again and watch? Luckily for us, they did.

More: Tell me a secret about your costar, LL Cool J.
COD: LL is such an intelligent guy. He might be a big muscular rapper, but he is also a really sharp guy. I mean, he is book smart, philosophical and really gets it. The guy could have a conversation with anyone on the planet about anything and really connect with them. Although we had different backgrounds growing up, he and I have a real connection and a real bond.   

More: How do you juggle a red-hot Hollywood career and five kids and still manage to find time for date night with the missus?
COD: We don’t get out as much as we would like, but fortunately the kids go to bed at a good hour so we always carve out time at night to sit, have a glass of wine and just be together.

More: Sounds romantic.
COD: It is not like we are running off on romantic getaways on the spur of the moment. Planning something like that involves a lot of logistics. But yes, we do steal time for each other, and we will leave the kids behind to celebrate my wife’s 40th birthday, which is coming up.

More: I like how after 10-plus years of marriage you still love finding time for each other.
COD: Even just planning something like dinner for the two of us is hard because there is always a dinner invitation or a school event to go to. But if we get a random Friday night where it is just the two of us, we love going out for sushi or to this cute little Italian place. I am a creature of habit. I like to go to the same place and order the same things.  

More: What’s the rule when it comes to kissing female costars?
COD: It is work. My wife is fine with it because she is not the jealous type. I, on the other hand, am the complete opposite. If that were my wife kissing a guy, I can tell you this would not work for me at all! That is probably why I didn’t marry an actress.

More: Sounds like a fairy tale.
COD: It is work, just like for everyone else. Nothing is perfect, and we are not living a fairy tale life. But my commitment to marriage is extremely important to me. I will also say that we are blessed to have beautiful children and that I am working steady in a crazy business. There is not a lot of stability in this business, and to be working on a show that is now in its fourth season is a pretty nice gift to have. I have been in this industry for 25 years, and for once it is nice to have some consistency, especially when my children are so young. It is important for me to be in one place, and this opportunity could not have come at a better time.

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