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How LL Cool J Inspired Daniela Ruah During A Tough Shoot On The Set Of NCIS: Los Angeles - Exclusive

After 14 seasons of starring on "NCIS: Los Angeles," Daniela Ruah — who plays Special Agent Kensi Blye — can quite literally call her co-stars "family." Working alongside Chris O'Donnell, LL Cool J, and Eric Christian Olsen for all these years means they've experienced all kinds of ups and downs together.

"After all these years and so much time spent together — going through boyfriend breakups, meeting my husband, getting married, having children, having them around throughout the most important parts of my life — they're like brothers at this point," Ruah exclusively told Looper during a recent interview. "I go to them for advice and to share stories, and I want to support them in what they're doing. They're supportive with what I'm doing. It's quite literally a family."

Just like family often does, they lift each other up during difficult times — so much so that during our interview, Ruah recalled one inspirational moment she shared with co-star LL Cool J on a particularly tough day on the "NCIS: Los Angeles" set in Season 14, which airs Sunday nights on CBS.

When Ruah doubted herself, LL Cool J provided a 'gentle kick in the pants'

While most of the world refers to him as LL Cool J, the veteran actor-slash-rapper is simply known as Todd to his close friends and associates, including Daniela Ruah, who recalled how he recently helped her through a self-doubting rough patch on the "NCIS: Los Angeles" set when she was directing an episode.

"There was one particular day that felt almost impossible to finish," said Ruah. She explained that they had a limited window of time in which they had to capture a lot of action shots, in addition to moving all the crew and equipment to a different location during the day. "I kneeled down next to [Todd] and ... was like, 'Dude, I don't know how we're going to finish this day.' I felt worried — and this was still the morning, so it was the beginning of it. He goes, 'You underestimate your will to want to finish.' I was like, 'You're right. I am going to finish this day, dang it!'"

Ruah took that short but sweet sentiment to heart, especially considering that it came from someone she genuinely admires.

"Todd is a go-getter," she said. "He is competitive with himself, but I've never felt him being competitive with any of us in a negative sense ... He was like, 'You're underestimating yourself. You know you're capable of doing this. You've done it before, now go do it.' That was the gentle kick in the pants I needed in that moment to be like, 'Let's go. We got this.' That's why we're such a great team overall."

Ruah added, "As a director, I'm supposed to be driving that train and being the positive one ... But because I have that relationship with Todd, it was okay to show a little bit of the crack in my armor that day."

Season 14 of "NCIS: Los Angeles" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.