Fans of NCIS character Kasie Hines will have plenty to look forward to this season, as star Diona Reasonover has hinted at a significant episode for the forensic scientist.
Speaking to Digital Spy, Reasonover teased that Kasie's "work life and personal life sort of collide" in an upcoming season 17 episode airing in November.
"There's a very cool episode coming out in November," she shared. "We're going to have a chance to learn about the people that are important to Kasie, and they're going to meet an old friend of hers that really tells you a lot about the way she interacts with people outside of work.
"You'll get to see her work life and personal life sort of collide in that episode. It was a really tough episode to film emotionally, because it is so different from what we've seen of Kasie.
"Luckily the writer, David North, and the director, Tony Wharmby, are just incredible, and we've got a guest star that I think people are going to be very excited to see... I feel like I really put a part of myself in there that I don't get to showcase on screen."
Kasie joined the NCIS team as Abby Sciuto's replacement. Into Reasonover's second season as a series regular, the star said that her character has really come into her own.
"I think Kasie has really gotten much more comfortable," she said. "I've enjoyed watching her not tripping over herself so much and starting to form really cool relationships. She and Jimmy are getting to be these really funny friends.
"I think people are starting to notice the difference in characteristics [between Kasie and Abby]. With the nature of the job of having to dish out a lot of information and a lot of scientific words, it felt reminiscent of Abby – but I think people are really starting to like Kasie.
"I'm really starting to like Kasie. I hope they like going on this journey with me."
On Reasonover's dream wishlist is for Kasie to become a board game aficionado ("...because I am in real life a board game nerd, and I'm trying to get board game companies to send me more games!"), but Kasie has also been resonating with fans from a representation perspective and being a black woman working in STEM.
"People say things to me like, 'Wow, you remind me of me, I was the nerd in my family'," Reasonover said.
"I don't know how to describe something that is this gigantic in my life. I never expected any of this. I didn't come out to Hollywood thinking, 'Oh, I'm going to be on the number 1 hit drama.
"You go and you try and you hope, but to get to achieve something that's been such a dream, it's mind-blowing.
"It's very nice to represent a woman of colour in STEM, even if I am technically not in STEM!"
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Reasonover added that she hopes that the industry continues to make progress.
"When I was first out here auditioning, it was like for gangbanger number 2," she shared. "But now I think people are starting to move away from the idea of type in terms of physicality and more in terms of personality and what you can portray and what you love to do. The fact that people are starting to get to write roles for themselves too has also really changed the landscape.
"We definitely still have a long way to go. I personally would love to see more representation for Native American actors, for actors with disabilities, for older actors – there's still definitely some places to go.
"I hope that as we continue to push for it and say, 'Hey, I didn't see myself in this role before but thank goodness I'm doing it', people will also say, 'Well, who else can we see in this role?'."
NCIS airs on CBS in the US, and on FOX UK in the UK.
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