The ''NCIS'' actor on Paula vs. J. Lo, working on ''The Cosby Show,'' and more

By EW Staff
February 25, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

The NCIS actor makes his directorial debut with the March 1 episode of the CBS drama. But how is he at helming one of our personality quizzes? You be the judge.

1. Describe your current weatherly pattern:
Heat wave

2. I’m so hot, I’m often confused with…
Someone from Canada. Look at all the hot people from there: Ryan Reynolds, Pamela the Baywatch babe, William Shatner, Peter Jennings. I’m just saying.

3. DVR or live?
DVR. My top shows are Fareed Zakaria GPS, 30 Rock, and Modern Family. Eric Stonestreet was an NCIS guest star, you know. We’re a launchpad show!

4. What do you like to carry in your back pocket?
A knife wrapped in a comic book.

5. An unfortunate number of people think NCIS stands for…
National Crop Insurance Service, which is an actual agency. In England, their FBI was the National Criminal Intelligence Service. So in England, they were very confused that we were Americans because that’s their FBI.

6. Which director can you most identify with, now that you’ve helmed your first episode?
Clint Eastwood, because he did seven years of Rawhide and then directed Play Misty for Me, which was his first directorial offering. And we were about the same age, making our little debuts. Of course, he was directing a movie for Universal and I’m directing an episode of TV. But I think my budget’s three times what his was!

7. You played ”Theo’s roommate” on The Cosby Show. Under which heading would you list that on your résumé: work experience, education, or related skills?
Education. It was my first job. They’d say, ”Go stand on your mark” and I’d say, ”No, my name is Michael.” I had a new-car smell that was alarming.

8. Paula or J. Lo?
I’ll have to ask for Paula’s forgiveness for this, but… she’s no Jenny from the block. Maid in Manhattan is like cotton candy, deliciously bad! I’m just excited they moved Idol to Wednesdays and Thursdays so we aren’t opposite them anymore.

9. Time for another NCIS spin-off?
Yes! Where do we go next? Underwater? Or this time it is the National Crop Insurance Service. It’s all about agriculture, and we gotta grow the corn!