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Mark Harmon Had A Strict Policy About Sick Days On NCIS

Leroy Jethro Gibbs doesn't like crime, but "NCIS" star Mark Harmon seems to have a different pet peeve. According to the "Off Duty: An NCIS Rewatch" podcast, Harmon wanted people to deal with their potential sick days in a very specific way during his time with the show, and he wasn't shy about letting his co-stars know how he believed things should be done. This news came courtesy of Ziva David actor Cote de Pablo, who appeared on the podcast and revealed that the show's lead star once gave her a talk about how "NCIS" cast members should turn up on set even if they feel under the weather.

"Don't take a sick day — I learned that one," de Pablo said. She then went on to describe a situation from "NCIS" Season 3 when she was extremely sick with a high fever and a doctor told her not to work. "So I thought, 'Well, if the doctor's telling me that I can't go to work, I must follow orders.' So I made the grave mistake of staying home, and I was sent a car, and I went to set, and Mark came up to me, and — he was kind enough, but he was very stern, and he said, 'You come to set, we decide when you're sick.' Something along the lines of that. But it was like, 'You come to set, and then we will determine how we address this.'"

Cote di Pablo took Harmon's advice to heart

Mark Harmon's extremely serious approach to work has resulted in friction between him and other "NCIS" personnel on occasion. Michael Weatherly and Harmon's "NCIS" relationship was sometimes slightly difficult because the former liked a light-hearted approach to work and the latter was more serious. Abby Sciuto actor Pauley Perrette left "NCIS" altogether after her own clash with Harmon, and there are rumors that Harmon got "NCIS" creator Donald P. Bellisario fired ahead of Season 5.

Cote di Pablo's case, on the other hand, seems more like a preference to do things a certain way in order to keep the production's wheels turning, and she expressed understanding about Harmon's attitude about the subject. After all, making a show like "NCIS" hinges on the familiar faces being available on filming days.

"By the way, I don't think I ever got sick again," she said during the podcast. "But I think, mentally, it just did a trick on you. And when you think about it, you know, anyone in production can do a job, better, worse, whatever. But no one can play McGee [Sean Murray], no one can play DiNozzo [Michael Weatherly]. No one can play any of the characters. So you really had to be there, and that's a lot of pressure."