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Why Mark Harmon Appreciates The Flawed Character Of Gibbs So Much

Mark Harmon and "NCIS" are synonymous with one another. Since the very beginning, Harmon's been part of the main cast, specifically as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. He's the only actor in the show who can claim such an accomplishment, seeing how everyone else there during the first season has since dropped out. 

As such, it perhaps shouldn't come as a surprise that there have been persistent rumors Harmon has one foot out the door. There's quite a bit of speculation that the next season of "NCIS" could be his last. We know he'll be back in some capacity based on the Season 18 finale, but many fans worry it's the end of the line. 

The show's currently on Season 19, and it would be such a landmark achievement for him to stay on the show throughout Season 20. Based on what he's had to say about Gibbs in the past, it would certainly seem like he wouldn't want to leave it behind if possible. By his own admission, he's had a blast exploring the complex individual during his time on the procedural.

Mark Harmon likes the 'underbelly parts' of Leroy Gibbs

Understandably, an actor would tire of a character who never evolves. Fortunately, that's not the case with Gibbs, as Mark Harmon once went into detail during an interview with Larry King. While the quotes are from years ago, it's safe to say Harmon feels the same way given his reluctance to drop out of the series. 

When asked about Gibbs, Harmon describes him with a single word: "Complex." He goes on to state, "I've always said I like the underbelly parts of this character more than any of it. I like his flaws." Gibbs isn't always a goody-two-shoes. He has a dark side to him, which is relatable given how much darkness he's witnessed in humanity over the years. The job has certainly taken its toll on him, and it's fascinating to watch him uphold the law, even when he gets close to breaking it. 

King goes on to ask if Gibbs is a "happy guy." Just like Gibbs himself, Harmon's answer is complex: "Happy at the job, certainly. Alone at night by himself? Perhaps a little scared. But I like that." It makes sense Harmon's been able to find new ways to play the character over nearly two decades. Gibbs is a rich tapestry that fosters growth.