'I miss the old Ziva' - De Pablo
She is one of television's no-nonsense, action girls. But Cote de Pablo feels that her character is losing her edge.
''I'm going into my eighth season so I do believe that much like me, Cote, who has gone through a whirlwind of changes in these past eight years...I think the character has also changed,'' says de Pablo, who plays former Mossad agent Ziva David on the hit US television series NCIS.
The Chilean-born American actress says when Ziva was introduced to NCIS, ''she came with a little bit more of an edge, she trusted people less, she had a little bit more violence in her''. But that tough attitude has softened lately.
''Those are the things that I actually miss about the character. The character to me has gotten a little bit softer, perhaps more inclined to listen before acting out - and that's one of the things that I noticed.
''However, I don't know if it's an actual positive for me because I really like the old, old Ziva,'' she tells AAP from Los Angeles.
So much so, that de Pablo is urging the writers of the US navy police procedural to bring back the hard Ziva.
The role of Ziva was ''such a different character from everything you see on TV ... that made it so appealing to play,'' she says.
And de Pablo takes the toughness seriously, right down to doing her own stunts on the show for a few years.
''I hurt myself a lot. I hurt my neck, I hurt my groin, my pelvis and I had a couple of injuries that were really hard to deal with."
The 32-year-old says her background in theatre is why she wanted to do things on her own.
''However TV is a different beast and it moves at a different pace, so you have to respect the element...I learnt my lesson and the lesson is you are an actor, do what you can and let the pros do what they do best, which is stunt work."
NCIS, which is now shooting its 10th season in the US, has been attracting the cream of Hollywood female talent to its set - Jamie Lee Curtis and Lily Tomlin have made guest appearances recently.
De Pablo says it was ''amazing'' to work with such acting royalty.
''We are stuck in a very isolated world. We shoot away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and Hollywood and all the big studios...
''But the greatest thing,'' says de Pablo, ''is not that they want to come and play with us but there is something in the show that I believe makes it interesting for them to come in and do it."
'So what is it that makes the show endearing to other actors and the TV audience?
''I feel it's because it's a show that's built around procedural formula.
''But within that procedural formula there's a lot of laughter, and within that laughter there are real relationships that have been built throughout the years with these characters and we try to play them as three-dimensional as they can be.
''There's laughter, there's tears, there's all of it.''
* The ninth season of NCIS is available on DVD on August 29.