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The Equalizer’s Liza Lapira Reflects On Her NCIS Years, And The Sweet Surprise Her Mom Got From Mark Harmon And Rocky Carroll

For going on three seasons now, Liza Lapira has been a primetime regular within the cast of CBS’s The Equalizer, where she stars as the bar-owning, ass-whooping former sniper Mel Bayani. But she’s definitely been a familiar face among CBS viewers for far longer, and for an assortment of other projects. Perhaps most notably, she recurred as the duplicitous lawyer Michelle Lee across three earlier seasons of NCIS, and the actress reflected on that career highlight while revealing the fun way co-stars Mark Harmon and Rocky Carroll surprised Lapira’s mom. 

When the star of Must Love Christmas talked with TV Insider, presumably in part about her current arc on The Equalizer, she reflected on her years kicking it with the NCIS squad, sharing how happy she was that it went from a fairly limited part to something more expansive, to the point where she was revealed to be the sympathetic mole the team was trying to smoke out back in Season 6. Here’s how she put it:

It was great to have that twist. It was a surprise because I had just been written to be the lawyer. I was with the team for a tiny bit, and then I moved into the law portion of NCIS, and then I was going to be Brian [Dietzen]‘s love interest. I got a call in [the sixth] season telling me what it was going to be. And it was just really exciting to come back and to get to do a big arc like that.