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Entertainment: NCIS Hawai'i's Vanessa Lachey on why she loves her character

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NCIS Hawai'i made its debut last week, introducing us to a whole new branch of the famous NCIS franchise and with it a new lead agent in the form of Jane Tennant, the first female Special Agent in charge of the NCIS: Pearl.

NCIS Hawai'i actress Vanessa Lachey reveals why she loves playing her lead character Jane Tennant, praising her strong qualities. © CBS NCIS Hawai'i actress Vanessa Lachey reveals why she loves playing her lead character Jane Tennant, praising her strong qualities.

Landing the role of Jane has been an honour for actress Vanessa Lachey and she has revealed to CBS just why she is so delighted to portray a female lead agent, as well as a character who has such a rich and multi-faceted life.

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"Oh gosh, well it's an honor to play her. There are females in NCIS out there so I love this, you know starting to make it the norm," she said.

a little girl posing for a picture: vanessa lachey © Michael Kovac - Getty Images vanessa lachey

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"For qualities that I love, I love that she doesn't take no for an answer," Lachey went on to explain.

"She will continue to strive for what she wants in a male-dominated profession and at the same time, do it with grace. She's a great mom too. She always, always has her kids in the front of her mind even when she's at work.

"She's leading 44 special agents but she's always thinking about her kids and always puts them first. She has a love of country and she honours her country.

"At the same time, at the end of the day, she's a vulnerable woman who just wants to love. There's a lot about her I love and that's why I fell in love with this character. When I got the job I completely broke down because I said to myself, I can do this, I am her, I believe in her, I know what she stands for. I felt like this is me."

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Vanessa Lachey smiling for the camera: NCIS Hawai'i, Vanessa Lachey © CBS NCIS Hawai'i, Vanessa Lachey

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The actress also spoke about the show's efforts to give its characters more rounded lives, including insights into their romantic interests and families.

"It's evolving the franchise to show more of a personal life and the vulnerabilities of the family and the characters," she said. "We try to stay true to what NCIS is but we also want to add some layers that set it apart."

Fans have already seen an example of this with the introduction of a romance between Lucy Tara (Yasmine Al-Bustami) and CIA Agent Kate Whistler (Tori Anderson), with executive producer Jan Nash saying that "having Whistler in our world, in an NCIS-adjacent role, seemed like a way we could add relational qualities to our show that wouldn't impede our procedural storytelling".

NCIS: Hawai'i airs on Monday evenings on CBS.

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