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Exclusive: NCIS: Hawai'i star Jason Antoon reveals real reason why LL Cool J joined season 3

The rapper joined the spinoff as a recurring guest star

LL Cool J as Sam Hanna in NCIS: Hawai'i
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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NCIS: Hawai'i star Jason Antoon has revealed why LL Cool J joined season three as a guest star. 

LL signed on as a recurring cast member for the new series after 14 seasons of playing Sam Hannah in NCIS: Los Angeles, which concluded in May last year. 

Jason and his wife, Seana Kofoed, who also stars in the spinoff, opened up about welcoming LL to the show during an interview with HELLO!, revealing that the rapper joined the cast following the crossover event in January last year, which saw the spinoff shows unite with the flagship drama for a three-hour special event. 

"LL loves being here," said Jason, who plays Ernie Malik in the show. "When he guest-starred in the crossovers when Chris O'Donnell and Wilmer Valderrama came, LL really loved the vibe. 

LL Cool J as Sam Hanna and Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant in NCIS: Hawai'i © Karen Neal/CBS
LL Cool J joined NCIS: Hawai'i as a recurring guest star

"He talks about loving what he saw with the cast and the island and he really loved being part of that. I think that's why it came to be that he's on our show now."

Chatting about what LL brings to the set of the Hawai'i spinoff, Jason said: "He's cool. He's a different vibe."

"It's like throwing a wrench into something in a way that's only good for our show and as a group of people outside of being actors," he continued, adding that LL regularly has his co-stars dancing between takes by "blasting music" on set.

Jason Antoon as Ernie Malik in NCIS: Hawai'i© CBS
Jason Antoon said LL brings a 'different vibe' to the set

While CBS has yet to reveal whether LL will land a permanent role as a series regular, it's clear the cast are keen for him to stay. "If he's happy to be here, we're all thrilled to have him because he's a really fun energy and a talented guy," said Seana.

LL made his NCIS debut back in 2009 when he appeared on the flagship show before going on to lead NCIS: Los Angeles. 

CBS announced that he would be joining NCIS: Hawai'i in May last year, with a statement from executive producers Matt Bosack, Jan Nash and Christopher Silber.

Vanessa Lachey and LL Cool J in NCIS: Hawai'i © Karen Neal/CBS
LL Cool J stars alongside leading lady Vanessa Lachey

"All of us at NCIS: Hawai'i have been huge fans of LL Cool J for years and couldn't be more thrilled or honored to be adding his spectacular talent to our ohana for season three," they said. "One of the most beautiful things about working on NCIS: Hawai'i is the show's ability to bring the franchise together. We have had so much fun spreading the aloha to NCIS and NCIS: LA with the triple crossover. Now, we have the amazing opportunity to bring Sam Hanna to Hawai'i to help the island solve some cases and maybe have a few laughs in the process. Welcome to the ohana, Todd! It's going to be a fun ride!"

The show returned to screens last week with the season three premiere, in which Jane Tennant (Vanessa Lachey) returned to work following the traumatic events that took place in the season two finale. After passing her medical and psych evaluations, Sam Hanna conducted her final interview before giving her the all-clear and helping her with the team's next investigation involving a breach in the U.S. Marshal's database. 

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