As NCIS ventures Down Under with NCIS: Sydney, the spinoff boasts a diverse cast of seasoned veterans and rising TV stars from Australia.
The long-running American TV franchise NCIS receives its first international spin-off with NCIS: Sydney, a Paramount+ title that boasts an ensemble cast full of talented Australian actors. Tracing its origins in 2003, NCIS started out as a crime procedural on the activities of the titular Naval Criminal Investigative Service of the U.S. Navy Department. Soon, interest was generated to such a mainstream level that NCIS received equally popular spin-offs, like NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, and NCIS: Hawai’i. But NCIS: Sydney is unique in the sense that its events unfurl outside America. NCIS: Sydney focuses on the unit’s special agents investigating various crimes in the Indo-Pacific region.
With the debut season released on Paramount+, the NCIS: Sydney spinoff already includes Easter eggs and connections with the original series. Boasting Australian producers on its roster, the show also includes a largely local cast featuring well-known talents from the country’s own television industry. The six series regulars each play a character with a specific set of skills and talents to bring to the table. Despite sharing the same modus operandi, each of these characters has a different reason for joining NCIS. With the casting done right, NCIS: Sydney stands out on its own while also drawing the attention of dedicated NCIS fans.
Olivia Swann As Michelle Mackey
The NCIS Special Agent-in-Charge Michelle Mackey calls the shots as the fearless and straightforward leader of the team. A former Marine Corps pilot, Mackey has a decorated past but has been very nomadic due to her impulsive nature. The hot-headed protagonist is skillfully played by Olivia Swann, whom Arrowverse fans will remember as the tragic soul dealer Astra Logue, one of the best characters in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The NCIS: Sydney heroine also played the stranded tourist Karissa in the 2023 thriller River Wild. A reimagining of 1994’s The River Wild, the film found Swann sharing screen space with Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester and Saturday Night Live alumnus Taran Killiam.
Todd Lasance As Jim “JD” Dempsey
The second-in-command of the team is the Australian Federal Police (AFP) sergeant Jim Dempsey, aka JD. An experienced veteran in the force, his ideological clashes with Mackey are interesting to watch throughout NCIS: Sydney. The secondary protagonist is played by Todd Lasance, an Australian TV star known for playing the redemption-seeking teenager Aden Jeffries in the soap opera Home and Away. His American appearances include the Roman general and emperor Julius Caesar in Spartacus: War of the Damned, the antagonistic speedster Edward Clariss (Reverse-Flash) in The Flash, and the Traveler (an ancient witch) Julian in The Vampire Diaries.
Sean Sagar As DeShawn Jackson
NCIS Special Agent DeShawn Jackson is always ready to help out his superiors. Occasionally, he can let go of his uptight personality and loosen up a little. The optimistic character is played by Sean Sagar who has had regular roles in Fate: The Winx Saga and Our Girl, in which he played the Alfea College graduate fairy Marco and the grief-stricken British Army Private Jaiden “Monk” Montgomery, respectively. His filmography also includes some of the best recent Guy Richie movies. He appeared in Richie’s crime-comedy The Gentlemen as a street-level criminal named Mal and later in the director’s war drama The Covenant as yet another soldier, Charlie “Jizzy” Crow.
Tuuli Narkle As Constable Evie Cooper
A Liaison Officer on behalf of the Australian Federal Police, Constable Evie Cooper can be very sassy and outspoken toward her colleagues. While she means no harm, her self-important nature can drive her at odds with other NCIS: Sydney characters, particularly DeShawn. Evie is played by Tuuli Narkle, who earned raves for her breakout role in the Australian mystery drama series Mystery Road: Origin. Narkle played a major role in the flashback sequences as a younger version of Mary Swan, the love interest and later ex-wife of brooding police detective Jay Swan.
Mavournee Hazel As Bluebird “Blue” Gleeson
Bluebird Gleeson is a gifted forensic scientist for the AFP, but her social awkwardness and intense self-doubting habits can deter her at times. Mavournee Hazel joins the NCIS: Sydney cast to play this intense character whose backstory and ominous personality get revealed progressively throughout the series. Hazel starred alongside fellow Australian star Charlie Hunnam in the Apple TV+ drama Shantaram as the titular hero’s former lover, Gemma. She is best known for her involvement in the long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours in which she portrayed Piper Willis, a teenage girl with a passion for vlogging.
William McInnes As Roy Penrose
An ex-Australian Navy Medic, Roy Penrose works with the team as a forensic pathologist. He might seem like he hides his emotions, but he too has many layers to his personality, as his interactions with his junior, Bluebird Gleeson, reveal. The pathology expert is played by William McInnes, who is well-known in Australia for roles like Senior Constable Nick Schultz in the police procedural Blue Heelers, and the tyrannical and bigoted boss Lindsay Cunningham in the journalism-themed drama The Newsreader. He also gained acclaim for starring in the 2007 film Unfinished Sky as John Woldring, a recently widowed farmer in the Australian Outback.
NCIS: Sydney Supporting Cast & Characters
Lewis Fitz-Gerald as Colonel Richard Rankin – An official for the Department of Defense. The Australian actor is a part of the Riddick franchise cast as he played the weapons-selling antique dealer Paris P Ogilvie in Pitch Black. He also had an uncredited appearance as an Attorney in the superhero thriller The Wolverine.
Daniela Farinacci as Susan Quinn – The Foreign Minister. Daniela Farni was previously credited as a Tutor in the Oscar-nominated drama Lion and multiple characters in the long-running police series Blue Heelers.
Bert LaBonté as Ken Carter – An NCIS agent attached to the NCIS: Sydney characters. Bert LaBonté is a character actor who played multiple roles in cult Australian shows like Blue Heelers and Neighbours. He also had a brief role in the Oscar-nominated 2010 crime drama Animal Kingdom.
Brendan Maclean as Barefoot Protester – Brendan Maclean previously appeared as Klipspringer, one of Jay Gatsby’s regular party guests in Baz Luhrmman’s 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
Joshua McElroy as Bob Hawke – A bar manager. Before joining the NCIS: Sydney cast, Joshua McElroy played supporting parts in short films and TV shows like the Max original Frayed and the prison-themed miniseries Breakout: The Escapementary.