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NCIS Hawai'i stars offer rare details of working with Vanessa Lachey - exclusive

'it's very hard for her to be 'straight Jane'," says Jason Antoon

Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant in NCIS
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
22 May 2023
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For two years Vanessa Lachey has led the NCIS: Hawai'i team as Jane Tennant, the no-nonsense Special Agent in Charge who is far but firm and treats her crew like family – and it turns out Vanessa is just like that in real life. 

"Vanessa's a goofy person, she's really silly and funny naturally as a person so it's very hard for her to be 'straight Jane'," revealed co-star Jason Antoon ahead of the season two finale on Monday May 22. 

Vanessa's great sense of humor means she is often the first to break on set, adds Tori Anderson, known to viewers as Kate Whistler: "It could honestly be any one of us, and sometimes you just get the giggles on a certain day, but I would say Vanessa [breaks first most often]." 

That sense of humor also translates to the way the cast improvise – when it calls for it – with Jason, who plays Ernie Malik, sharing how the writers have developed the characters as they see the relationships forming in real life. 

Jason Antoon as Ernie Malik, Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara, Vanessa Lachey as Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant© CBS
Jason Antoon as Ernie Malik, Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara, Vanessa Lachey as Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant

"In season two episode 20, at the end of the episode that's improv where [Vanessa and I are] just grabbing at each other because we just can't believe it, and we did that ourselves," said Jason. 

"We get along so well as a cast and I think the writers, as they develop these characters, see those relationships and realize that. 

Exclusive: NCIS LA star Daniela Ruah celebrates Eric Christian Olsen and the moment that left her in tears before series finale 

NCIS Hawaii cast© CBS

"Being an actor on a show when you have a number one like Vanessa is a joyous experience for everybody because she's so kind and doesn't act like a number one," he added. 

"She's an actor that has a job and although she is number one on the call sheet she doesn't change; a lot of number ones can be an asshole and it really affects everything." 

Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant© Karen Neal
Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant

The cast's close friendship was revealed in March when Vanessa took to social media to share the news that filming has officially wrapped on season two of the hit procedural drama, NCIS: Hawai'i, and penned a heartwarming tribute to her TV "family". 

MORE: Nick Lachey and Vanessa Lachey's relationship timeline

Love Is Blind hosts Nick Lachey and Vanessa Lachey © Netflix
Vanessa is also the host of Love Is Blind with husband Nick

Sharing the sweetest photo of her co-stars Tori, Jason, Yasmine Al-Bustami, Noah Mills, and Alex Tarrant, Vanessa wrote: "This cast and crew have become my family!! "Mahalo Nui Loa"! Thank You so much for this dream journey! You bring me so much Joy! See you in Season 3!" 

NCIS: Hawai'i was renewed in February for a third season.

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