NCIS Wilmer Valderrama teases thoughtful new role away from CBS crime drama: Grounded

Wilmer Valderrama discusses new role as Zorro for Disney+

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Nick Torres (played by Wilmer Valderrama) remains one of NCIS’ most popular and trusted characters as the CBS drama approaches its groundbreaking 20th season. And NCIS isn’t the only impressive credit on Wilmer’s CV, with an Oscar win as part of Disney’s Encanto also under his belt. Now, the actor has teamed up with Disney once more to take on the iconic role of Zorro – and spoke to Drew Barrymore on her self-titled talk show to delve further.

The conversation about Wilmer’s roles away from NCIS began with Drew bringing up his part in the Oscar-winning animation, Encanto.

When asked if his baby daughter recognises her father’s voice when she watches the film, Wilmer replied: “So she’s 14 months, she recognises the music now. She’s just loving it.

“But speaking about what triggered me (to do different things), was that I feel like I’ve been subliminally making things and creating things in my career and banking them as an archive,

“So when she’s old enough, she arrives to a well of content that looks and sounds like her.

“And also sees the relativity of the humanity of this family (in Encanto) that’s timeless, I love it.”

Drew then chipped in to tease: “Well, wait until she enjoys all the years of That 70s Show too. I never missed an episode, it was my favourite!”

Wilmer let out a laugh before Drew clarified: “When she’s older of course, and then there’s NCIS, Special Agent Nick Torres!”

Drew then turned her attention to an upcoming role Wilmer has lined up: “I know that you also have Zorro in development at the moment at Disney Plus.”

“Yeah, can you believe it?” Wilmer said as the audience let out a round of applause.

Drew then put Wilmer on the spot about his future on all these projects, considering the size of the workload: “Are you gonna be able to maintain all of this or… this is a lot on your plate!”

“This is a lot on my plate,” Wilmer admitted. “But, you know, I’m up for the challenge. 

“I think it’s, you know, you come to a point in your life, we talk about everybody’s Mount Everest and I think Zorro is one of those, right?”

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Drew praised: “I love you as Zorro so much I can’t even handle it! Get it, hurry, hurry, hurry.”

Wilmer beamed as he delved into the details of the role: “Thank you.

“I’ll tell you, this will be a Zorro for this generation and it will be incredibly thoughtful with its origin story and it’ll be grounded very much in the city.”

“Well, I trust it very much in your hands,” Drew answered as she closed the interview.

Amid the hype surrounding his role in Zorro, however, is the not-so-small matter of the NCIS season 19 finale.

There’s just one more episode to go until season 19 closes and tees up what will undoubtedly be an unmissable 20th run.

The synopsis for the finale reads: “When Agent Parker is framed for murder, the team puts their jobs and lives on the line in order to buy time and uncover the truth.”

NCIS season 19 concludes on CBS in the USA on Monday, May 23. New episodes air Wednesday on Disney+ in the UK.

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