Why Mavournee Hazel wanted to make her NCIS: Sydney role her own

True blue.
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She may be new to playing Bluebird “Blue” Gleeson in NCIS: Sydney, but the long-running US military police procedural TV franchise has always been a big part of actress Mavournee Hazel’s life.

“Growing up, my oldest sister had the NCIS box set and this little portable DVD player she’d take around the house – and no-one was allowed to touch the DVDs,” the 27-year-old tells TV WEEK with a laugh. “I’d hover over her shoulder and tune in religiously.”

She plays Bluebird “Blue” Gleeson in NCIS: Sydney.

(Image: Supplied)

Blue – a forensic scientist with a knack for mathematics and code-cracking – is NCIS: Sydney’s youngest and quirkiest team member. It might be natural to compare Blue to Abby (Pauley Perrette) in the original NCIS series, but Mavournee says she wanted to give her character her own identity.

“I was very aware of the comparisons people would draw with Abby, both being the same archetype in the same function in the NCIS team,” she says. “But Morgan O’Neill, our showrunner, and I wanted to protect the integrity of Blue and let her be her own person.”

Being such a fan of NCIS growing up, Mavournee calls the chance to act in the franchise “a dream come true”.

Mavournee starred in Neighbours.

(Image: Supplied)

Another highlight of the experience was sharing a hotel with her co-stars during filming, which meant they were able to spend lots of time together after hours and forge new friendships.

“We would have wine nights and do Tarot card readings with Tuuli [Narkle, who plays AFP liaison officer Evie Cooper] and Liv [Olivia Swann, who plays NCIS special agent Michelle Mackey],” Mavournee says.

“They were really important nights. To have these women around me, who were so special and complimentary was amazing. We were creating these strong friendships and I couldn’t have got through this without them.”

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Mavournee credits her time in Neighbours – she played Piper Willis, the teenage daughter of Terese Willis (Rebekah Elmaloglou), from 2015 to 2019 – as the stepping stone to the opportunity to be a part of the iconic international NCIS series.

“It [Neighbours] really is the best training ground,” she says. “I don’t think I would be where I am in my career without that start there.”

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