Exclusive interview: Billy Dee Williams guest stars on 'NCIS' as a link to Gibbs's past

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Exclusive interview: Billy Dee Williams guest stars on 'NCIS' as a link to Gibbs's past
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Billy Dee Williams (left) guest stars as a World War II veteran, Leroy Jethro Moore. Mark Harmon (ri …

"NCIS" has a brillant cast headed up by TV veteran Mark Harmon. The show is also known for incorporating exciting actors in guest roles. This season on "NCIS," Billy Dee Williams will be in the episode "Namesake" airing Oct. 30. Williams will play the character Leroy Jethro Moore, who is a great friend to Gibbs's father Jackson Gibbs (Ralph Waite). I guess we know where he got his name. To share some insight on his "NCIS" guest appearance, Billy Dee sat down to chat about the show.

Can you tell us a bit about your character, Leroy Jethro Moore, on the upcoming episode of "NCIS"?

He is kind of an interesting character, who is a part of the character that Mark Harmon plays. We both have the same name. I am his namesake. So it is a very interesting past, and it sort of explores that whole past. He is a very close friend of Mark Harmon's father, who is played by Ralph Waite. It explores that whole relationship, which is very interesting.

Can we expect you to be in more than just one episode?

Well, we will see what happens. I know I had a lot fun doing it. I had a lot of fun working with Mark and everybody else. It was a really wonderful experience. I would like to work with them again. I think they were talking about this character reoccurring actually.

Did you have to audition for this role?

No, no they called me up and asked me to play the character. I played an 80-year-old man. That is the first time I've played an 80-year-old man in my career. I am 75 and (Waite) is in his 80s, so I am not too far off. So it should be interesting. My background, as far as the character is concerned, is a guy that has been very active. He is a Congressional Medal of Honor winner. He was in the Second World War. His life is bit different. I hope I am able to manifest that in the character.

How was it to work with the cast of "NCIS"?

Mark Harmon has this wonderful and beautiful spirit. You can feel it with everybody. (Harmon) is very gracious. I have heard several stories about the gestures that he has made for people who work on the set. Let's say you got into a conversation with him about you working on a project, and you needed a particular tool. Next day he would have that tool for you. He is that kind of a guy. It is just wonderful to work with people like that, and it is genuine.

Ralph Waite was wonderful. He is one of my favorite actors. In fact, I told him that he is one of those actors that if I see you in something, I am always looking forward to seeing what you are going to do. He has a wonderful intensity.

Are you a fan of the show?

Yeah, I like the show very much. As a matter of fact, yesterday I was about to leave the house and my wife was watching "NCIS." She says "Oh, I love that guy. He is so wonderful. I just love Mark Harmon." He exudes that wonderful spirit.

To listen to the entire interview with Billy Dee Williams as he talks more about "NCIS," "Empire Strikes Back", and much more click here.

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