Go Behind the Scenes of Julie Chen's Guest-Starring Turn on 'NCIS: LA'

by Denny Directo 11:38 AM PST, January 19, 2015
Playing Go Behind the Scenes of Julie Chen's Guest-Starring Turn on 'NCIS: LA'

Julie Chen is flexing her acting muscles.

Everyday Chen goes toe-to-toe with her fellow co-hosts on The Talk, but now the TV personality is making her acting debut in a dramatic role on tonight's NCIS: Los Angeles. ET went to the set to see how she holds up with stars LL Cool J and Chris O' Donnell.

"It's not like a day at The Talk at all," Chen joked. "At all!"

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Chen guest stars as Nancy Kelly, a U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, who is almost assassinated when her team is ambushed. Sam (LL Cool J) and Callen (O'Donnell) are brought in to investigate the incident, which results in "the shootout of all shootouts."

"There is the shootout of all shootouts in the show," the rapper-turned-actor teased. "Huge explosions, smoke fire brimstone, I mean, this is a big episode."

"I did have to do my own stunt," Julie revealed. "[It] involved running for my life up these stairs outside the consulate-- in heels."

WATCH: Chris O'Donnell Directs 'Most Intense Episode' Yet of 'NCIS: LA'

In addition to her own "stunt," Chen told ET that she also had to sharpen her acting chops. While the TV host has appeared as herself in shows, such as Madam Secretary and The Millers, this marks the first time Julie is portraying a fictional character-- and a dramatic one at that! "I know how to be an interviewer but now I’m playing an ambassador and it's a little nerve wracking," she admitted.

But when it came to preparing for her guest spot on the CBS drama, she turned to her husband CBS Corp President and CEO Leslie Moonves for advice.

"You may or may not know, but my husband was an actor early in his career," Chen said. "He kept telling me, 'Don't over act. Don't forget that camera's going to be right up there in your face.'"

Chen also admitted that she doesn't normally like to watch herself on The Talk or Big Brother, and it will be even more uncomfortable watching her big guest appearance on tonight's episode of NCIS: LA.

"I don't like watching myself," she said. "I probably will watch this, because you know my husband wants to make it special for me and he'll be like, 'Tonight's your episode! Let's watch together!' and I'll be like cringing. I'm embarrassed!"

NCIS: LA airs Mondays at 10/9c on CBS. Watch the video for a sneak peek of tonight's episode.

Follow Denny on Twitter: @DDirecto.