Hetty remains one of the most popular characters on the NCIS: Los Angeles cast, even though she barely appeared during Season 12 of the show.
Henrietta “Hetty” Lange is played by Linda Hunt, who has been with the show since Season 1. She continues to be a backbone for the show, even while going through several extended absences from episodes.
For anyone wondering why Hetty didn’t appear in many Season 12 episodes, it was because producers were trying to protect the actress. Due to her age, there was a fear of Linda having too many interactions with other cast and crew members during the coronavirus pandemic.
There were a lot of worries that the character of Hetty might also get killed off during one of her off-book missions. Luckily, fans were treated with a big Hetty return during the season finale.
Regarding her future on the show, that has been addressed in a recent TVLine interview that NCIS: LA showrunner R. Scott Gemmill took part in.
Will Hetty return for Season 13 of NCIS: Los Angeles?
The great news is that Hetty is not leaving NCIS: Los Angeles. In fact, we are expecting to see much more of her in Season 13, despite the big casting change that was announced.
According to Gemmill, the plan is for there to be a “good amount of Hetty in Season 13.”
“As you know, Linda [Hunt] was away a lot more this season because of COVID[-19] and us trying to keep her safe. The couple of episodes that she was in, where she was supposed to be in the Middle East, we actually shot in her driveway,” Gemmill stated when talking in more detail about where Hetty had been.
Gemmill continued by stating, “That was getting a little more difficult to do, and then finally, Linda had both her vaccines, she was feeling great, and she came back. And she was so happy to be back. She had been gone for so long and hadn’t really interacted with anyone, so she was just so thrilled to be back on set. The minute I saw her, she’s like, ‘Let’s talk about next season.’”
It’s certainly great news to hear that Linda Hunt is ready to continue playing Hetty Lange for a while.
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 13 to include some big changes
Even though we should be seeing more of Hetty in the fall of 2021, we are going to see much less of several other characters. Nell Jones and Eric Beal are gone. The two characters left the show while driving off into the sunset.
Actress Renee Felice Smith, who plays Nell, did hint that she would be open to a return sometime down the road, but the show is going to need to replace the gap left on the NCIS: LA cast. Exactly how that will take place is a bit of a mystery, but we are looking forward to seeing some new faces in the mix.
Recently, the showrunner also addressed the question of whether Kensi and Deeks will ever have kids. It’s an important topic that will be center stage again during NCIS: LA Season 13.
NCIS: Los Angeles returns in the fall of 2021 on CBS.