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Interview: NCIS: LA star Daniela Ruah talks Kensi's rescue, motherhood & more

Daniela Ruah as Kensi Blye in "NCIS: Los Angeles"
Daniela Ruah as Kensi Blye in "NCIS: Los Angeles"
CBS/Michael Yarish

Several months back on "NCIS: Los Angeles," Special Agent Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) was mysteriously whisked off to Afghanistan on a mission so secret not even her partner Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) was allowed to know what her assignment entailed.

That mission was to assassinate a rogue agent known as the White Ghost. But when Kensi had him in her sights, she was shocked to see her ex-fiancé Jack Simon (Matthew Del Negro), who had disappeared nine years previously on Christmas Eve, on the other end of the telescopic lens.

So, instead of taking the shot, Kensi went off grid and tried to track Jack down for a face-to-face confrontation. In so doing, she was captured by the Taliban. She got her 1:1 with Jack, but now she needs to be rescued. Luckily for her, Hetty (Linda Hunt) sends Sam (LL Cool J), Callen (Chris O'Donnell) and Deeks to extract her.

In this exclusive interview Ruah talks to about how her pregnancy was responsible for this storyline, why Kensi was willing to risk her life to get answers from Jack, what's next fror Densi and more!

Shane Brennan told me the Afghanistan story was created as a way to keep you present on the show during your maternity leave. It must make you feel great that he felt it was necessary to find a way to include you in your absence. Not all showrunners do that.

At CBS, there's something called the CBS family, and there's no doubt that it's trickled down to our show. This is the "NCIS" family. We're treated like family. I feel loved like a family member, so it is pretty wonderful that Shane was able to do that for me and also a little bit for the viewers. There's a team dynamic and it is really hard when one person -- I don't just mean myself, I mean when anyone of us goes missing for a little while -- it is really hard for that dynamic to stay the same. I think Shane has put together a great group of people, who have developed a great chemistry now. I definitely felt wonderful that he did that because I am very active naturally and, if I were to stay home for the most part of my maternity leave, I would have gone crazy.

Did you appreciate getting to wear all those layers of clothes to hide the pregnancy? Do you have to worry about shedding the baby weight now, or are they making it easy on you?

I knew that I was going to do my best to get back to work. We all made a plan. I asked them when they would ideally like to have me back after the birth. River, my son, actually helped me out because he came three weeks early. It gave me three extra weeks to get back, so he helped me out on that front. I worked out as much as I could during the pregnancy. I ate as much as I wanted, I was just careful with what I ate. The same goes for now, so I am almost back to where I was.

No, I wasn't happy wearing all those layers of clothes. I was boiling. I don't know if you have kids, but your body temperature goes up when you're pregnant. At one point, I was wearing her regular outfit with a couple of sweaters because, obviously, we were playing it was very cold, but where we were actually shooting was the desert, so it was very hot. So, there was that, plus the bulletproof vest, plus the boots, the helmet, plus the gasmask and the burka, plus the beanie and the gloves. Needless to say, there were a couple of days that I was hurting.

The scene in the cave with Kensi and Jack was really well done. Does finding out that Jack is alive send Kensi down a new path? Does it change her relationship with Deeks?

I think it has to. This is an old wound that she thought had scarred over. Now all of a sudden, he shows up again and it is so out of the blue for her. It makes her question, "Hetty, did you know this? Granger, did you know? Why she of all people was chosen to do this mission and it turns out to be Jack?"

It is a really painful situation and [she experiences] a mixture of shock and confusion. She thought this chapter of her life was over and done with, even though it was never fully resolved. She hadn't heard from him since he left her that Christmas Eve. I think she learned how to deal with that lack of closure, and suddenly he's back. It's: Where have you been? In the cave, he's: "I do these things for my village." She's: "What village? Who are you?"

I think it has opened up a new path for her. It's a tough situation to be in. I think she even goes back to where she was when she was trying to fight for his sanity before he left her. She even says, "We could have worked on this you and me, the way it used to be." He says, "No." She says, "We should have tried harder." She feels this sensation of failure a little bit, too, like she didn't quite do everything she could do to save him, when in reality, it had nothing to do with her. It is a really painful situation to be in. Inevitably, that will affect her relationship with Deeks for sure.

Do you believe Jack when he says he isn't the White Ghost? Or could he be a planted in the cave to see why Kensi is there?

That is true, but that is something you will have to watch to find out.

How else will Kensi be changed by her experience in Afghanistan and will that play out the rest of the season?

I think it, obviously, will affect her ton. She is well-known on this show for having her walls up and those walls are very easily put back up. I don't think she is going to show a chink in her armor very easily. She's probably going to play it strong for a while. Then in the future, it's going to come back and bite her. I am not so sure she will be dealing with this openly. She depends on her job very much for her stability and peace of mind.

When she comes back and Hetty questions her abilities, and whether she is going to crack on the job or not, it concerns her a lot. She's, "No, no, no. I need to get back to this job because I need this."

How do you feel about being rescued? Kensi is very independent and I think she would like to rescue herself.

On any normal situation, I would agree with you, but the Taliban doesn't work on the same wave length as our team does. It is a very different culture and customs. If we base ourselves on current affairs and the way they treat their prisoners, and what they do with mutilation and stuff like that, it can be very dark. It is a situation she most definitely wants to be rescued from. I don't think she is getting out of this on her own.

Also, she knew very well when she gave herself up to the Taliban to get to Jack that she could be signing her death warrant.

But she wanted an answer that badly?

It has been too long. I am not going to tell you whether or not he goes into the cave to see what she is there for -- but this is the person she loved in her life more than anybody else, and all of a sudden, he turned into a bad guy. Wouldn't you do anything to try to turn him back?

Anything news you have for the Densi shippers?

Let's just say the box makes another appearance. The box that she gave him and said, "This is the thing you want most in the world." And he decided not to open it just in case it wasn't the thing he wanted most in the world. So she gives him an opportunity to open the box.

"NCIS: Los Angeles" airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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