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NCIS Hawaii: Ernie's Spacesuit Was A Serious Struggle For Jason Antoon

There's no shortage of strange, mysterious ways for one to die in Hawaii, as "NCIS: Hawaii" proves weekly. That was especially the case with Season 2, Episode 19, "Cabin Fever." The plot involves NASA working on a Mars simulation on the islands when one of the astronauts participating in the program winds up dead. It's a unique case, especially for Cyber Intelligence Specialist Ernie Malik (Jason Antoon), who actually got to try on one of the astronaut's suits.

However, this wasn't just any old costume, as Antoon told TV Line. A lot of work goes into getting inside the $130,000 spacesuit, as the actor documented on his Twitter feed. As shown in the video, it's not easy to get on, as Antoon told the outlet, "First of all, that suit...? I made a behind-the-scenes video of me putting on the suit, because I'm a stocky guy, as my wife would put it, and those suits are extremely difficult to get on. I barely got on the top!" However, Antoon was willing to put in the work even though he doesn't exactly wear it for all too long in the episode. 

Another actor couldn't even get inside the spacesuit

No expense was spared to make the NASA components of the episode look authentic, so they got spacesuits that have been used in other productions to add a more real feel. While Jason Antoon managed to get his suit on, he explained that not everyone is as lucky. He went on to describe the history of this particular spacesuit: "The guys that built it — these suits have been on other shows — told me that one of the actors, I don't remember if it was from For All Mankind or a Ron Howard movie, filmed for like four weeks before they did the astronaut stuff and then he couldn't get the suit on over his body, the one that I wore, so they had to fire him and reshoot everything he'd done."

Fortunately, all of Antoon's hard work paid off as he managed to get the suit on, but it took every ounce of will in his body. He concluded, "If you go to my Twitter and my Instagram, you can see how I have to contort my entire body to put the whole thing on — just to wear it for, like, two seconds!" No doubt it was a ton of fun for Antoon and the crew to play around with NASA-adjacent gear, and it made for a memorable episode in a season filled with plenty of them. 

"NCIS: Hawaii" fans can look forward to a couple more episodes this season, with the Season 2 finale airing on CBS on May 22. Hopefully, Ernie Malik is a bit more homebound for those last few outings.