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NCIS enjoyed teasing fans about a potential relationship between Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo and Cote De Pablo’s Ziva David. But Weatherly wasn’t a big fan of the pairing.

What Michael Weatherly really thought of Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David’s relationship

Michael Weatherly and Cote De Pablo posing in an episode of 'NCIS'.
Cote De Pablo and Michael Weatherly | Sonja Flemming/Getty Images

Fans spent seasons wondering if Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David would ever officially get together. There were plenty of teases throughout the series, but although the characters were getting closer, there were times they were also constantly at odds with each other. Weatherly joked about the characters’ complex relationship in an interview with Buzzfeed.

“Look at these guys! It’s like watching a scorpion and a black widow try and figure each other out,” he said. “Or a praying mantis and a black widow? One of them eats your head after it mates with you, right? But yeah, these guys, they’ve got a rich history of conflict and physical attraction and physical repulsion. There’s a lot of bickering, they swerve wildly into sibling country, and then careen over the cliff into possible kissing cousins, and suddenly they find themselves — I mean, they’re holding hands at the end of ‘Berlin.’ It’s fantastic how these writers just fuck with everybody.”

But Weatherly wasn’t too keen on Ziva and Tony actually becoming a couple. He felt doing so would only hurt his character in the long run.

“If Tony actually gets his groove on, gets his shit together, grows up a little bit, knocks the chip off his shoulder, gets the girl, or just gets on with it, then he’s out of that squad room,” Weatherly said. “He doesn’t get paid that much now. Not to be too inside-baseball about the whole thing, but come on. You know Tony and Ziva can never really have any kind of a thing because first of all they’re coworkers, and that’s just a stupid idea. Second of all, she’s a ninja assassin with all sorts of issues. Yes, we know he’s emotionally arrested and he has some commitment phobias, but look at her!”

‘Dark Angel’ showed Michael Weatherly why it was a bad idea to put Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David together

Weatherly asserted that he enjoyed Tony and Ziva’s relationship the way that it was. 

“Nobody really makes any fun of it. We take our jobs pretty seriously. At the beginning of season seven, I went to Africa and rescued her ass. I have always enjoyed the push-and-pull and the tension of Tony and Ziva. I think it’s clear that he has very strong feelings about and for her, but he also knows what the boundaries are and what the rules are,” he said.

He also saw firsthand how pairing two characters together wasn’t always a good idea. Weatherly wanted to avoid repeating the same mistake he’d witnessed in another television show.

“I did a show before this oneDark Angel, and they tried putting those characters together, and that was bad. That was bad for the show. Bad. You don’t want to put characters together,” he said.

How did Cote De Pablo and Michael Weatherly get along in real life?


Michael Weatherly Didn’t Think He’d Do Another Network Show After ‘NCIS’

It seemed both Weatherly and De Pablo were somewhat as close as their NCIS characters, albeit without the romantic tension. But it didn’t initially start off that way. When De Pablo auditioned for Ziva David, she had to do a screentest with Weatherly. And the actor thought Weatherly was intentionally trying to ruin her performance.

“Michael and I clicked immediately. We sort of hated each other immediately, and loved each other immediately,” De Pablo recalled to Entertainment Weekly. “I walked into the audition and he thought, Ohmygod, she’s gonna be so hard to work with. She’s so complicated. And I thought, ‘This guy’s so incredibly unprofessional.‘ During the audition, he grabbed my hair. He would not follow the lines. He totally went off script and started improvising, and this was my final audition with the heads of CBS. I thought, ‘This guy is sabotaging my audition.'”

But De Pablo’s own improvisation only added to the audition, securing her the role.

“So immediately I went, ‘Oh, I’m gonna show this guy. I’m gonna show him.’ So he tried touching me, and I literally like [mimes slapping his hand away]. That relationship was established the moment that we met. Nothing changed, it was just enhanced. And we loved each other as well. We realized we’re so drastically different and so much alike that there was an immediate attraction,” De Pablo remembered.