'NCIS: New Orleans' Dresses Up for Halloween: Meet (Meat?) the Baconator and a Freudian Slip

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Robert Chan
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Have you picked out your Halloween costume yet? They definitely have over at NCIS: New Orleans — and we're giving you an exclusive early look at Brody (Zoe McLellan) and LaSalle (Lucas Black) taking to the streets of the French Quarter as a Freudian Slip and … the Baconator? We talked to McLellan and executive producer Jeffrey Lieber about how New Orleans does Halloween.

"I felt really awkward," said McLellan about the experience, "and needed to feel awkward in that slip around hundreds of people. My character, that's not necessarily something she's comfortable doing, but she did it and I'm proud of her."

And how did the Baconator do? "Lucas was hilarious," McLellan said. But that's to be expected. "Lucas and I definitely have a funny dynamic — we make each other laugh. Sometimes that's a little tricky when we're looking at a dead body, because we really shouldn't be laughing, but it happens." If he can make her laugh over a corpse, it shouldn't be hard dressed as a slab of meat.

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Regarding Halloween, McLellan said, "Because New Orleans celebrates everything and they go all out," the show decided to do the same. There was still a touch of amazement in her voice as she recalled the scene. "The parade was incredible — I think they had 200 extras for the parade and the costumes and makeup."

Lieber shared the same sentiment. "We filled up a full street down in the French Quarter. And when I looked at the dailies, I thought for sure we had just filmed something that was already going on there. My first reaction was, 'Is this stock footage? From last year?' I had to call down to our writer who was on set and ask, 'What are you guys actually shooting?' And he said 'No, that's all us!'"

Despite her embarrassment, McLellan enjoyed the shoot. "We had a lot of fun. There was a lot of laughing during that episode. I think our cast and crew definitely got into the spirit of celebrating Halloween."

Sitting in an editing bay watching dailies, Lieber felt the same way. "Because [Brody] is a button-up character in general and because we just do police work," the costume showed an entirely different side of her. He laughed as he said, "When the dailies came out, I had this huge smile on my face and said, "Oh my God, look at Brody!"

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Not that the episode is all laughs. Unlike many shows, NCIS: NO shoots on location, and the series does its best to honor the city and its traditions. "Halloween is sort of like a religious experience in New Orleans," said Lieber. "There are few cities that take it on in the way that New Orleans does. We just wanted to go full on into the pageantry and excess and size and scope and really do a story that's eerie and a little bit dark and wonderful."

Oh, and if you're wondering: Agent Pride (Scott Bakula) does not wear a Star Trek: Enterprise costume. Or any costume at all. "That doesn't mean he won't in the future," said Lieber, "We have to earn that."

It's natural for people to fondly recall Bakula's roles on Star Trek and Quantum Leap. "That's just a credit to his long and storied career." But, he continued, "We'd like everybody to fall deeply in love with him as Agent Dwayne Pride and then, somewhere down the line — with his permission — we'll take a shot at that."

NCIS: New Orleans airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBS.