Barrett Foa's Break From NCIS: LA Made Him Love Eric Beale Even More

Eric Beale NCIS: Los Angeles CBS

Barrett Foa has been away from NCIS: LA for quite some time, but the character will soon return to the CBS series. Though fans may have missed Eric Beale in the time since the character took another job and has been out of contact with the team, they might be happy to know that Foa has missed his character since he stepped away from the long-running series to do a production of Angels In America in St. Louis.

Barrett Foa recently spoke about NCIS: Los Angeles' team allowing his time away to do the play, which is not a common thing contracted actors are typically allowed to do. CBS could've strong-armed Foa into flying back and forth between the show's set and his theater production -- and the actor recently admitted, ahead of his return in the Season 11 midseason finale, that was on the table for a brief moment.

They could have and I cannot even imagine that. There was actually talk of that for a second and I was like, 'I think I will be a shell of a human being,' especially with a show like Angels in America. But I think they realized that absence makes the heart grow fonder, shall we say. Like, 'Let’s let the audience miss Eric Beale for a little bit.' I sure missed Eric Beale. Coming back, I think, that made me love him more and remember how much I loved him and how much I loved the show. Then when people see this episode, they are going to remember not only how much they love Eric Beale, but also just how much it’s about the chemistry of the whole cast together.

According to Barrett Foa, Angels in America is a 7-hour two-part play. If he had to put on such a labor-intensive play and then hop on a flight to appear on NCIS: Los Angeles, it's fair to say his description of being a "shell of a human being," would've been accurate. Beyond that, Foa wouldn't have gotten the time to miss Eric Beale, and may have even detested the character due to chronic jet-lag.

Luckily, Barrett Foa was able to take the time off, which set the stage for what will be a big comeback for the character in the midseason finale of NCIS: Los Angeles. "Kill Beale: Vol 1" will show the character reunite with the team after weeks of no contact. As the title may have tipped some off, it won't be on ideal terms as the team will have to rescue him from a kidnapping. Foa told Parade about what's going through Eric's head and his hopes for the character going forward.

I want there to be some clarity because his world has been turned upside down. He’s not sure how he feels about the city in which he lives, the woman he’s with, and even his job, which is something he’s always loved. When you get new shifts in perspective, it really opens up your mind to other possibilities and, I think, Eric is questioning some major life choices. I feel like I might be talking about myself here, too. Whenever you travel, whenever you get away from your bubble, it throws everything into question, and anyone can relate to that. Eric’s definitely going to go through that.

Barrett Foa said Eric is rethinking major life choices, which could hint to some potential heartbreak with Nell. The two haven't been able to keep in contact due to the nature of his job, so some tension there can be expected. Foa didn't say if the two will be on the outs, but did tease the changes in Eric will cause a ripple effect that will impact the rest of Season 11.

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NCIS: Los Angeles airs on CBS Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the NCIS franchise, and for the latest news happening in the world of television and movies.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.