The fourth spin-off series in the expansive NCIS franchise, NCIS: Hawai'i is back next week at long last.


After experiencing some delays due to last year's strikes, season 3 returns in the US on Monday 12th February. Not only does it signal the return of Vanessa Lachey as lead agent Jane Tennant, but also sees the introduction of LL Cool J in the Hawai'i-based Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Now, NCIS fans know that LL Cool J is certainly no stranger to the franchise, having been at the helm of NCIS: Los Angeles as Sam Hanna for a staggering 14 years since it premiered in 2009. Well, the star made a surprise appearance in NCIS: Hawai'i's season 2 finale and it looks as though Sam Hanna is here to stay.

Unlike its other seasons, this NCIS spin-off deals with the gritty crimes as well as cases involving the glorious landscape of Hawai'i. We follow the team of investigators in the Naval Criminal Investigate Service, who solve naval and marine related cases, this time from the Pearl Harbor office in Hawai'i.

While the series focuses on Special Agent Jane Tennant, the cast also includes Alex Tarrant, Noah Mills and – for the upcoming season 3 – LL Cool J.

More like this

Read on for everything you need to know about the cast of NCIS Hawai’i.

NCIS: Hawai'i cast – Full list of characters and actors in police drama

As with any procedural drama, there will be a whole host of guest stars across the new episodes of season 3. The following cast members make up the main cast of NCIS: Hawai'i and scroll on to find out more about the characters, plus where you've seen the actors before.

  • Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant
  • Noah Mills as Jesse Boon
  • Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara
  • Alex Tarrant as Kai Holman
  • Tori Anderson as Kathrine Marie Whistler
  • Jason Antoon as Ernie Malik
  • LL Cool J as Sam Hanna

Vanessa Lachey plays Jane Tennant

Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant in NCIS Hawai'i, sat on yellow metal stairs on the beach
Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant in NCIS Hawai'i. Karen Neal/CBS via Getty Images

Who is Jane Tennant? Jane holds the distinction of being the first female Special Agent in Charge at the NCIS Pearl Harbor field office. A divorced mum of two (son Alex and daughter Julie), she worked for the CIA before joining NCIS.

What else has Vanessa Lachey been in? Lachey began her career appearing in beauty pageants, before hosting TV shows for MTV and Entertainment Tonight, and co-hosting the Netflix series Love Is Blind alongside her husband, singer Nick Lachey.

She also acted in episodes of How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Hawaii Five-O and CSI: NY before winning the role of Jane in NCIS: Hawaii.

Alex Tarrant plays Kai Holman

Alex Tarrant as Kai Holman, wearing a black bulletproof vest, standing next to a pickup truck by the harbour
Alex Tarrant as Kai Holman in NCIS Hawai'i Karen Neal/CBS via Getty Images

Who is Kai Holman? Born in Hawai’i, Kai joined the United States Marine Corps following his mother’s death and only returned to the islands when he learned that his father was ill.

What else has Alex Tarrant been in? Fans of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power may recognise New Zealand actor Tarrant as Valandil, one of the Númenórean sailing cadets in the Prime Video series.

He also appeared in the Australian drama series SeaChange, and as drug-addicted doctor Lincoln Kimiora in the long-running New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street.

Noah Mills plays Jesse Boone

Noah Mills as Jesse Boone in NCIS: Hawai'i holding a torch in front of him while talking to someone on the phone
Noah Mills as Jesse Boone in NCIS: Hawai'i. Karen Neal/CBS via Getty Images

Who is Jesse Boone? Jane Tennant’s second-in-command is a father of three who worked as a police officer in Washington DC. He moved to Hawai’i with his family to take up the job of special agent at Pearl Harbor, and has fallen in love with surfing and hiking since moving to the islands.

What else has Noah Mills been in? A former male model, Mills was voted one of the top 10 Male Models of All Time by Vogue in 2014 for his work with Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger and The Gap.

As well as appearing in the video for Taylor Swift’s ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’, Mills had a small role as a younger love interest for Kim Cattrall’s Samantha in the second Sex And The City movie, and also popped up in the Marvel TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Yasmine Al-Bustami plays Lucy Tara

Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara in NCIS: Hawai'i wearing her uniform and talking to someone
Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara in NCIS: Hawai'i. CBS via Getty Images

Who is Lucy Tara? The junior member of the team, Lucy disappointed her Texas parents when she walked away from the family oil business to pursue a career in law enforcement. She is the girlfriend of Kate Whistler.

What else has Yasmine Al-Bustami been in? Al-Bustami made her TV debut in The Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals as villain Monique Deveraux, and also starred as Ramah, one of Jesus’s followers, in the Christian historical drama series The Chosen.

Jason Antoon plays Ernie Malik

Jason Antoon plays Ernie Malik in NCIS: Hawai'i wearing scrubs
Jason Antoon as Ernie Malik in NCIS: Hawai'i. CBS via Getty Images

Who is Ernie Malik? The cyber intelligence specialist at NCIS, Ernie was raised by his mother after his father left, and worked compiling criminal profiles at the NSA before moving to Hawai’I and joining the NCIS team.

What else has Jason Antoon been in? After seeing him in the Broadway play Contact, Steve Spielberg cast Antoon in his sci-fi thriller Minority Report in 2002.

Since then, Antoon has appeared in movies including Two Weeks Notice and the musical remake of The Producers, and he has also co-starred in episodes of Fresh Off The Boat, Grey’s Anatomy, New Girl and Modern Family.

Tori Anderson plays Kate Whistler

Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler in NCIS: Hawai'i sitting in a helicopter
Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler in NCIS: Hawai'i. Karen Neal/CBS via Getty Images

Who is Kate Whistler? Kate is a special agent with the FBI who is a liaison between the Feds and NCIS. She is dating Lucy Tara.

What else has Tori Anderson been in? Canadian actress Anderson is best known as Blake Crawford, the wealthy socialite who murders a key character in the FBI thriller series Blindspot. She’s also starred in TV movies including the seasonal A Chance For Christmas, Campfire Christmas and Return To Christmas Creek.

LL Cool J plays Sam Hanna

LL Cool J as Special Agent Sam Hanna in NCIS: Hawai'i sat down, dressed in black, with a white bandage wrapped around both hands
LL Cool J as Special Agent Sam Hanna in NCIS: Hawai'i Erik Voake/CBS via Getty Images

Who is Sam Hanna? A former US Naval officer and Navy SEAL with an interest in origami, antique cars and collecting vinyl records, Sam worked as a senior NCIS field agent based in Los Angeles.

A widow following the murder of his wife Michelle, he has two children and was last seen (in NCIS: Los Angeles) heading to Morocco with Callen (Chris O’Donnell) to rescue missing colleague Hetty (Linda Hunt). Following that mission, he came to the aid of Jane in the season 2 finale of NCIS: Hawai’i.

What else has LL Cool J been in? Rapper, songwriter and record producer LL Cool J (real name James Todd Smith) has acted in numerous movies including The Hard Way alongside Michael J Fox, Charlie’s Angels, Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday and the sci-fi action adventure Deep Blue Sea with Samuel L Jackson.

On TV, he starred as Sam Hanna in NCIS: Los Angeles for 14 years before reprising the role for the season 2 finale of NCIS: Hawai’i (and returning for the upcoming season 3).

NCIS: Hawai'i is available to stream on Disney Plus +. Sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year.

For more news, interviews and features, visit our Drama hub, or find something to watch now with our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.