NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (2024)

This Monday on CBSNCIS: Hawai’i, Special Agent Lucy Tara returns — a bit early, at that! — from her agent afloat assignment, after months away from both the team and, more importantly, her partner, Kate Whistler.

TVLine spoke exclusively with Yasmine Al-Bustami about her midseason absence, just how “surrpise!”-ing Lucy’s return is, a “spicy” upcoming episode and the importance of her and Tori Anderson‘s on-screen connection. (Update: Also, you can find an exclusive sneak peek at the #Kacy reunion at bottom.)

TVLINE | It’s really great to talk to you. The fans have really really missed you.
Awww. I know, I know. It’s exciting to finally be able to talk about “Kacy.”

TVLINE | For starters, congratulations on the Season 3 renewal. Did you by chance get that news while on-set?
I did! It was yesterday (Tuesday) and I was doing a “Kacy” scene, so I was with Tori [Anderson]…. We popped some non-alcoholic champagne — I think it was Welch’s grape juice, or whatever juice — and we heard the news along with everybody, which was really nice. We were the first scene up that day, so it was exciting.

TVLINE | So, what all were you busy with during your time away from the show, that the producers were so flexible to let you go off and do?
Um…. Life. Life, Matt. I was able to get back to the mainland, which was really nice for me, just to spend some time with my friends and my family and do some travels, and to fulfill some work obligations.

TVLINE | I assumed you were doing episodes of [the streaming historical drama] The Chosen…?
Yes. I’m happy that I was able to get some time to work with those guys also, because I love those guys. Any time that it works out, I jump on it, for sure.

  • NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (2)

    TVLINE | The logline for this Monday’s NCIS: Hawai’i says that “Lucy surprises the team by returning to Hawai’i from her agent afloat job early.” How does that surprise work out for her?
    I hope it goes well! [Laughs] It looked like everybody was happy to see me, so I would say that it went splendidly. And I hope people are excited to see the episode; we were excited to do it.

    TVLINE | And for the #Kacy fans who have waited weeks and weeks for a proper reunion for Lucy and Kate, will they be satisfied?
    Who knows, Matt. I have no idea! I hope they’re satisfied! I was satisfied, Tori was satisfied….

    TVLINE | I saw it, and I was satisfied.
    Oh, you saw it?? Did you like it, what’d you think?

    TVLINE | Oh, I loved it. I sometimes just “play dumb” for the purpose of preview interviews.
    I play dumb just in life sometimes, I get it. No, it was exciting to film, and it’s nice to be back with the group. I’m glad to hear that you were satisfied! Did you see that cake, also?? That huge cake? [See photo above.]

    TVLINE | YES. Did you get to eat it?
    NO. The whole thing wasn’t real! I thought it was real. it smelled like cake, but it wasn’t real.

    TVLINE | Don’t put a cake like that in front of me and tell me it isn’t real!
    I know! It was just the frosting. But it looked good.

  • NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (3)

    TVLINE | Besides Kate, who would you say is second-most excited to see Lucy?
    Probably Ernie…? Maybe Tori? [Laughs] Who knows. It’s funny, me, Tori and Seana [Kofoed], who plays Dr. Chase, were talking about the picture that came out, with their faces like super excited, and their mouths completely open, smiling…. We were just laughing at that. It was really fun to film. It felt like art imitating life a little bit.

    TVLINE | What are you filming this week? Give me a flavor for it.
    Spicy. Spicy flavor. We already filmed me and Tors, some relationshippy stuff, and then we’re doing…. I don’t have any action stuff this week, but I get a rather distressed call from… “an individual.” Yes.

    TVLINE | And what episode is that?
    220. We’re on 220 right now.

  • NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (4)

    TVLINE | As an actor, do you prefer exploring the happiness and layers of an evolving relationship like Lucy and Kate have, or does a part of you like digging into the gnarly stuff when there is conflict going on?
    Oh man, both. I love both. I think that, at least for me, it’s a testament to Tori, the fact that we get to be able to do both. Like, I’m happy that I’ve gone through the gamut with her, and we’re still navigating, like any normal relationship, the ups and downs. We definitely went through our downs! But I feel like we’re at a high now. But even that, figuring that out…. I feel like it’s a cop-out answer but I really love doing both — if there is both, instead of it just being happy or just sad. I like a combo.

    TVLINE | Because I think about that scene on the beach before you left—
    Yeahhhhhh.

    TVLINE | Only top-tier TV couples are given the time for scenes like that, get dialogue like that.
    I’m so happy you think so. Again, it’s that “art imitating life” kind of stuff, whenever you have a good partner that you’re working with and you actually connect — at least on my end! I hope [Tori] connects on her end, too! It’s just so fun working with her. And part of it feels like it’s also us in a way, too. Like, it was Tori and Yaz saying goodbye to each other, which made it even more special. Especially because we’ve gone through the layers of the relationship from the very start, to be able to get to that point, to, as you said, get to have that kind of a dialogue…. That only enhances a return, when I show up again and see everyone. [Pauses] I think it’s just so beautiful.

  • NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (5)

    TVLINE | Are there any action scenes coming up for you? When I spoke to Vanessa [Lachey], she said you had just done two water days, getting “soaking wet.”
    I was good, because I didn’t have to go on the boat, whereas she and Jason [Antoon, who plays Ernie] were out there — and yes, they totally did [get wet]. I think more so Jason!

    TVLINE | Do you feel like Lucy is any different for her agent afloat experience? Is there a scooch more confidence?
    Oh, hell yeah. Hell yeah. I’m actually really happy about that. I wasn’t planning on having that much experience, going away then coming back, but it was interesting to play out how that did all happen, very naturally. You’re out by yourself, without the team members supporting you, and I’m just really happy that the writers gave me that, for Lucy to explore her own case, put things together by herself, and not really have the folks that she normally relies on. Doing that on her own and then coming back and being able to contribute to the group in a different way, because she’s had that experience now, I think that brings a little more flavor, like you say. And it’s a good flavor.

  • NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (6)

    TVLINE | I have to talk to you about the three-way NCIS crossover, because amidst everything you were up to during your break, you squeezed in that appearance in the NCIS: LA episode.
    I was on the mainland, so that’s why it worked out, where they could just thankfully squeeeeeze me in. Vanessa was there, and Noah [Mills, who plays Jesse] came through but he didn’t do the LA [episode], he did the OG one. That was awesome.

    TVLINE | It was great seeing Lucy reporting to Gerald frickin’ McRaney, one of the top dogs.
    Yeah, yeah! Everyone was really cool. I’d only gotten to meet… no one, actually! I’d only gotten to meet the OG folks, because that was the first we brought LA into the mix. It was a blast.

    TVLINE | People really enjoyed the team-up of Lucy and Fatima (played by Medalion Rahimi).
    Man, what’s so funny is that in real life, we weren’t best buds or anything but we had come cross each other here and there during auditions, so it was really nice to be able to actually do something together. She’s a badass, I love Medalion.

    TVLINE | Plus, such a great first name!
    I mean, it’s just a badass name.

  • NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (7)

    TVLINE | I have a reader asking if there is anything you would call a Lucy-centric episode coming up this season.
    I mean, what I like about the show is everyone kind of has their own storyline going, you know, so we always try to focus — it seems like, at least — pretty equally on everyone. Unless there is something super-heavy, and I feel like Lucy already went through the super-heavy stuff with Kate, that everyone helped her with last season. And that stuff is still there, they’re just navigating it on their own.

    TVLINE | So no “black sheep” family members crawling out of the woodwork?
    [Laughs] Who knows! I find out the same way that y’all find out sometimes.

    TVLINE | Remind me, does she have brothers and sisters?
    I do have brothers. I grew up with a bunch of brothers, and they’re very overprotective. I’m still learning about them, too; we haven’t met any of them.

    TVLINE | Let’s cast one or two of ’em and bring them on during Season 3.
    If you have suggestions, let me know! I’d be down.

  • NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (8)

    TVLINE | What are you hearing about the season finale? Any rumblings?
    No. No. If you hear anything, also tell me! We just got [the script for Episode] 221, but I have not read it yet. But, the last I heard is that there’s a lot of action.

    TVLINE | Lastly, and this question may be a bit nerdy—
    I love nerdyyyyyy.

    TVLINE | I have a reader asking who chose the photo of Kate that was in Lucy’s agent afloat office. Because they said it’s pretty cute.
    I know, it’s so cute. Obviously Tori sent it in, but I don’t know who was the final decision maker. I know that our props guy, Jennings, put it up there, and he made sure to let me know “there’s a picture of Kate over there.” I’m sure Tori sent in multiple ones to choose from, but I know Jennings, our props dude, is the one who put that up there. It’s so sweet.

    UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming response to this Q&A, scroll below to get an exclusive sneak peek at the #Kacy reunion airing Monday, Feb. 27 at 10/9c….

  • EXCLUSIVE NCIS: HAWAI'I SNEAK PEEK: #KACY REUNITES!

    NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (9)

    Want scoop on NCIS: Hawai’i, or for any other TV show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

NCIS: Hawai’i‘s Yasmine Al-Bustami Talks Up Lucy’s Return and the Joy of #Kacy: ‘I Feel Like We’re at a High Now’ (2024)
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