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NCIS' Michael Weatherly Wanted Tony's Character To Be Childlike In Some Ways

One might expect that the law enforcement agents who appear on the immensely popular "NCIS" would all be stiff and overly formal individuals that approach their job in a militaristic fashion, but as anybody who has watched the long-running series might be able to tell you, that is far from the truth. Sure, agents like Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) are typically no-nonsense and straight to the point, but there are others like Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) who are on the complete opposite end of the personality spectrum.

Sticking out from his coworkers for his fun-loving personality and obsession with the ladies, DiNozzo enjoys taking pictures of himself goofing off around the president's desk on Air Force One in the very first episode of "NCIS," much to Gibbs' displeasure. This immediately establishes that DiNozzo marches to the beat of his own drum, and although he is a skilled agent, his personality is sometimes at odds with the subject matter at hand. During an interview with The Futon Critic, Weatherly contrasted his character against Gibbs by saying how rigid and serious the latter is. He explained, "So what I wanted to do with this character was have none of that. I wanted him to be unfiltered and a little bit more like me. But the difference between me and that character is that I have a tendency to overthink s*** to such a degree that I get confused. But he doesn't. He lives in a very simple Captain Crunch universe."

Weatherly wanted to make his character almost childlike in his behavior

In his Futon Critic interview, Michael Weatherly also said that Anthony DiNozzo's perception of the world would be great if it didn't always cut the roof of your mouth, referencing the breakfast cereal again. If that was the case, you wouldn't need anything more than just Cap'n Crunch — and by extension, DiNozzo. "He has a very simple worldview, politically I think," Weatherly added. He doesn't have a lot of responsibilities. I don't think he has parents that are alive. Any sadness that he's felt in his life I think he's dealt with in a kind of childlike way. I don't think he's learned any of these adult tools that everyone else around him has."

Appearing in over 306 episodes of "NCIS," Agent DiNozzo is one of the strongest personalities in the show, and Weatherly was definitely able to achieve his goals of not only making his character stand out, but also of making DiNozzo almost childlike in his behavior and responses. To further drive this point home, the Open Source Psychometrics Project entry for DiNozzo has his most common personality traits as sexual, playful, flirtatious, bold, extroverted, and loud, at least according to the legion of "NCIS" fans who submitted their thoughts and opinions. These idiosyncrasies of DiNozzo certainly make him one of the most memorable characters in "NCIS," and it seems as if Weatherly had a clear concept in his mind while crafting the colorful "NCIS" agent.