Photo Credit: Gordon Lonsdale (Pounder); Ashley Lorraine Photography (Paintings).

By John Griffiths

Sometimes life just is art. Especially if you're estimable actress CCH Pounder, who—after notching a day of playing coroner Dr. Loretta Wade on NCIS: New Orleans—comes home to a vast array of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries that adorn her walls, floors, tables, cabinets, counters, and chairs. Some of her chairs are art pieces and presented as such, mounted in all their ornate, colorful glory alongside framed sketches in the star's two-story Big Easy abode.

 

Acrylic and charcoal on paper artwork by artist Bambo Sibiya.

Street Barbershop (triptych), 2018 by artist Bambo Sibiya. Acrylic and charcoal on paper.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

In her living room can be found two giant wooden statues of Anubis, the jackal-headed Egyptian god who cares for the dead. "I'm really lucky to have high ceilings," a laughing Pounder says of the place she's inhabited since 2017. Back at her former home in L.A., those mega-statues "used to scrape at the top."

Meanwhile her kitchen, she doesn't mind saying, is "jammed" with fantastical Ardmore ceramics—vases, urns, and teapots festooned with tiny tigers and elephants handmade by South African artists. Her overall art collection of more than 500 pieces takes up half her first floor "and three storage rooms outside, too!"

 

Free Woman Of Color by American artist Pamela Mower-Conner.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

"CC," as she likes to be called, says her favorite type of art is the kind that "tells a story." So her collection is rife with portraitures, many of them of females. "At one point my husband [fellow art-lover Boubacar Koné, who passed away in 2016] said, 'I've only got one wife, but I'm looking at all of these women here—what's going on?!'"

 

Sculpture by late Jamaican artist Gene Pearson.

First Wife by late Jamaican artist Gene Pearson.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

One of her prized pieces, a striking stone bust by the late Jamaican artist Gene Pearson, is titled First Wife. "Her look, at least to me, is very powerful," says Pounder. Outside a bedroom, say hello to a large, heart-shaped quasi-mask showing a woman in serene slumber. "She says, 'This is a place to sleep in,'" Pounder quips of the piece by Haiti's François Cauvin

  

Painting of a woman doing laundry by Congolese artist Mayemba.

The Laundress by Congolese artist Mayemba.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

She's placed Congolese artist Mayemba's The Laundress, a vibrant painting of a young woman mysteriously distracted from her bin of soaking clothes, right beneath a portrait of fearless abolitionist Harriet Tubman. "I recently discovered that [Tubman] became a laundress herself," says a still-surprised Pounder. "After all the running and magnificent kind of cowboying she did, her life settled into a rather quiet—well, I'm assuming quiet—life."

 

Painting of woman staring at a tray of coffee and half a corncob.

Awake by Nigerian-Brit artist Ndidi Emefiele.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

More personal is the stark Awake, a voyeuristic peek at a woman staring at a tray of coffee and half a corncob. The painting, by Nigerian-Brit Ndidi Emefiele, "speaks to me about my colonial past and Western future and present," says Pounder, who was born in Georgetown, Guyana. "Not that I was eating roasted corn growing up—that's a decidedly African breakfast. But the woman, with her coffee cup, is in this sort of dual world."

Look closely and you'll see a little bird popping out of that cup. Says Pounder with delight: "Birds represent messengers."

 

Painting of heart-shaped quasi-mask showing a woman in serene slumber.

Sleep by Haitian artist Francois Cauvin.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

The worldly CCH (Carol Christine Hilaria) Pounder, who attended boarding school in England and studied acting at New York's Ithaca College, almost opted for a painting career herself. "I was conflicted with these two great, measly paying art forms!" Nabbing the role of a nurse in 1979's All That Jazz sealed her fate. (Later came an Emmy nomination for The Shield.)

So, to satisfy her other yen, she took to throwing dinner parties to trumpet talented starving-artist pals in her cramped apartments (first in NYC, then L.A.). "I would call my friends and say, 'Come and get a painting!'"

 

Painting of black women by artist Mouhamadou Dia. \u200b

Sous Sous by Senegalese artist Mouhamadou Dia.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

She's long been most keen on contemporary African art. "I like works by artists that reflect the state of the world that they're in. Western art is floating off into the interior world and talking about highly intellectual things—which does not interest me at the moment."

Pounder definitely has an eye. She's helped put several young masters-to-be on the map. For a time she and her husband owned a gallery in L.A., and they also built a museum, the Musée Boribana, in his hometown, Dakar, Senegal, which they gifted to the nation in 2014. (She's heading there this summer to visit the Dakar Biennale art festival.)

 

Sculpture of African woman by late German artist Luise Kimme.

Marianne by late German artist Luise Kimme.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lorraine Photography.

CCH Pounder is reprising her big-screen role as Queen Mo'at in Avatar's two upcoming sequels, yet she does make time to doodle. "I keep books of ideas, and some day I'm going to sit back and paint them." And, apparently, N'awlins' spirits also love art. "My house keeps talking to me. I think eventually she's gonna push me out and become a gallery."

Originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

NCIS: New Orleans returns Sunday, Feb. 16 at 10/9c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race and Tough as Nails

"My resolution, especially in this 2020 election year, is to find a way to stay focused on what we have in common instead of what divides us. We have to come together. I'm an immigrant, and I came to this country. I want to use my storytelling abilities to help unify everyone."

Stream The Amazing Race on CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Raegan Revord, Young Sheldon

Actress Reagan Revord of TV show Young Sheldon.

Photo Credit: David Needleman.

"... to finish two books I've been writing and to eat less sugar and drink more water. My mom should be very happy about that!"

Watch all-new episodes of Young Sheldon on Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Maya Lynne Robinson, The Unicorn

Actress Maya Lynne Robinson at the Entertainment Weekly Pre-SAG Party Arrivals.

Photo Credit: David Crotty/Getty Images.

"It is always my New Year's resolution to be better than I was the year before personally and professionally. I keep it simple."

Watch all-new episodes of The Unicorn on Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Brian Dietzen, NCIS

Brian Dietzen "Jimmy Palmer" of NCIS holding a glass of wine and reflecting.

Photo Credit: Ian Derry.

"... to listen more. 'Two ears and one mouth may mean that we should listen twice as much as we speak.' Not sure where I read that, but I like it, and it'll be my resolution."

Watch all-new episodes of NCIS on Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Montana Jordan, Young Sheldon

Actor Montana Jordan of TV show Young Sheldon giving two thumbs up.

Photo Credit: David Needleman.

"... to continue my fitness journey by working out and eating healthy. I also plan to act in many more episodes of Young Sheldon."

Watch all-new episodes of Young Sheldon on Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, The Bold and the Beautiful

Actress Jacqueline MacInnes Wood of soap The Bold and the Beautiful.

Photo Credit: Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com.

"Between my baby and career, I'm learning how to dance through the chaos of a busy life. My resolution is to carve time out of the bedlam to be of service and volunteer at more animal rescues."

Watch The Bold and the Beautiful Weekdays on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Ebonée Noel, FBI

Actress Ebon\u00e9e Noel of TV show FBI in a photo studio.

Photo Credit: David Needleman.

"... to Marie Kondo my email inbox."

Watch all-new episodes of FBI on Tuesdays at 9/8c CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Iain Armitage, Young Sheldon

Actor Iain Armitage of TV show Young Sheldon in a photo studio.

Photo Credit: David Needleman.

"... to continue working hard towards getting my black belt in Tae Kwon Do, to see more theater, and to speak up respectfully about problems I see in the world."

Watch all-new episodes of Young Sheldon on Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Quote originally published in Watch! Magazine, January-February 2020.

Emily Wickersham turning up the heat. Wilmer Valderrama making a splash. Sean Murray loving Las Vegas.


A look back at some of the best photographs of NCIS stars.

Christopher Ross, the magazine's Director of Photography, spent the first day shooting NCIS' leading lady among the grapevines and woods of Sonoma County. The next day, rain greeted them before they were ready to wrap, but thankfully The Farmhouse Inn made the perfect rustic chic location for some breathtaking interior shots.

Scroll to see more stunning photographs of your favorite NCIS stars.

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Brian Dietzen dashing in London

Brian Dietzen in a baby blue suit and overcoat walking through the streets of Kensington in London

Photography by Ian Derry. Originally published in Watch Magazine, August 2015.

"As a fellow Brit, I love how Brian Dietzen fits right in while sauntering around the grand old streets of Kensington in London. I wonder if he stopped off for a quick pint and some bangers 'n mash once the shoot wrapped? I hope so!" — Alice Ross, Deputy Photo Editor

Wilmer Valderrama making a splash in Hawaii

Wilmer Valderrama fully dressed n a pool of water with his head just above the water

Photography by Nino Muñoz. Originally published in Watch Magazine, July-August 2017 .

"Who doesn't love an actor willing to get a little dirty (or wet in this case)? We were in Honolulu at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, and Wilmer Valderrama was in a full suit and jumped right in with the dolphins. I love watching Nino Muñoz work—his positive energy is contagious!" — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography

Emily Wickersham glowing in the California sunshine

Emily Wickersham is in a white and colorfully floral dress has her hand on her neck as she sits in a field of tall dry grass

Photography by Christopher Ross. Originally published in Watch Magazine, August 2014.

"One of the last shots of of an all-day outdoor shoot in Sonoma County. We were losing light fast and the golden hour was cooling. I stood on top of the location van with a telephoto to get this shot. Emily Wickersham couldn't hear what i was saying so she just stared beautifully into my lens." — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography

Mark Harmon caught in a moment

A black and white image of Mark Hamon sitting to the far left with his chin on his fist

Photography by Art Streiber. Originally published in Watch Magazine, February 2009.

"This black and white portrait is such a commanding image where the control of light and shadow, mirror the attributes of the subject. Strength in displaying the two strengths of Mark Harmon; one side of his shirt smooth and neat and the other side with conveys the man's working toughness. And in his face, telling a story of a hero of the moment." — Ed Mann, Creative Director

Sean Murray betting on Las Vegas

Sean Murray in a black outfit laying down on a bed surrounded by poker chips and money

Photography by Tom Corbett. Originally published in Watch Magazine, July-August 2017.

"We started early that day at The Venetian, photographing Sean Murray throughout the property. This image was one of the last shots of the day. I have always loved the sense of comfort and energy that Sean brought to the moment. With fake money littering the set and a crew of ten crowded on either side, our star shows his poise, confidence, and sense of fun." — Ed Mann, Creative Director


Wilmer Valderrama sailing away

Wilmer Valderrama smiling in a black tank top and white swim trunks sailing on the ocean

Photography by Nino Muñoz. Originally published in Watch Magazine, July-August 2017 .

"A beautiful image of our fabulous Wilmer Valderrama riding the Pacific waters in Hawaii. I can't get enough of the simplicity of the vibrant orange and pale blue together. So dreamy and summery. We had torrential rain the following day, so luck really was on our side for this shoot!" — Alice Ross, Deputy Photo Editor


Brian Dietzen showing off two sides of his personality

In a library there is Brian Dietzen on a couch with a book in his lap and a drink in hand and another Brian Dietzen across the room with his foot on the coffee table and a book in hand

Photography by Christopher Ross. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, December 2013.

"This was my very first photo shoot for Watch and I have to thank Brian Dietzen for being so supportive. It was a simple concept of 'Good Brian/Bad Brian' and all shot on tripod, never moving the camera once it was in position.

This setup was captured in the The Jefferson hotel library where we secretly rearranged all the very neatly organized (rare) books on the side of 'Bad Brian' to echo his alter ego." — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography


Emily Wickersham looking oh-so-pretty in purple

Emily Wickersham in a plunging purple dress as she stands in front of vines of purple Bougainvilleas

Photography by Christopher Ross. Original published in Watch! Magazine, June 2015.

"I got to see Emily Wickersham again not too long after our Sonoma shoot—this time in Monaco. She was in town for the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

We found a beautiful vine of Bougainvilleas covering the facade of a building just behind the casino. It was probably 100 degrees outside so we had to act fast. The result was a really fun color explosion." — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography


Rocky Carroll bringing the intensity

A black and white photo of Rocky Carroll staring off to the left into the distance

Photography by Cliff Lipson.

"What a kaleidoscope of tones, confidence, and a well-tailored subject. Rocky Carroll sets the bar in this striking black and white portrait. We love Rocky!" — Ed Mann, Creative Director

Sean Murray showing us the love

Sean Murray in a suit standing inside of the O of a large three dimensional display that spells out LOVE

Photography by Tom Corbett. Original published in Watch Magazine, July-August 2017.

"This was the first time Watch traveled to Las Vegas for a photo shoot. LOVE this shot! Just a timeless image, great black suit and a bright red graphic sculpture with a positive message. And it worked well for us around Valentine's Day! " — Christopher Ross, Director of Photography


Watch NCIS on CBS and CBS All Access.

Daniela Ruah brings power, poise, and perfection to NCIS: Los Angeles, and her latest Watch! photo shoot.

Photographer Cliff Lipson captured the CBS veteran for our March-April 2018 issue, and after spending a day with Daniela we can assure you that the woman behind the brilliant Kensi Blye is as thoughtful and kind (and gorgeous) in person as she is on screen.

Check out these stunning photos—including web-exclusive bonus images—plus learn fun facts and interview tidbits about Daniela Ruah.

Stream full episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS All Access.

Primetime perfection

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in black sheer cutout dress

Photography by Cliff Lipson

Fun fact: NCIS: Los Angeles is one of the world's most popular shows (the NCIS spinoff, now in Season 9, is seen in over 200 countries). Daniela Ruah has been part of the series since the very beginning.

Beantown beauty

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in gold trimmed red dress

Photography by Cliff Lipson

Though Daniela Ruah was born in Boston, she spent most of her formative years in her parents' native Portugal.

Stage presence

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles dancing

Photography by Cliff Lipson

Early on, Daniela Ruah made it clear she might be a performer—from putting on shows with her teddy bears for her parents to excelling in dance classes.

"My parents were always very supportive," says Ruah. "They let me be who I was. They would say, 'Whatever you do, just be the best you can be.'"

Act one

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in black spaghetti strap dress

Photography by Cliff Lipson

After auditioning to become "Portugal's next sweetheart" in a new telenovela, the 15-year-old Ruah got her first acting break, when she was cast as the sweetheart's best friend.

Never stop learning.

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in red beaded backless dress

Photography by Cliff Lipson

As Ruah continued to land bigger and better roles on Portuguese telenovelas, she also continued her study of theater and dance at London Metropolitan University.

A star is born.

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in red satin ballgown

Photography by Cliff Lipson

At 22, Ruah won the first season of Portugal's version of Dancing with the Stars.

New York hustle

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in embellished red gown

Photography by Cliff Lipson

After moving from Portugal to New York City in 2007, Ruah studied at the Lee Strasberg acting school—and auditioned, auditioned, auditioned.

Big break

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in black satin dress by pool

Photography by Cliff Lipson

A brief stint with Guiding Light, CBS's iconic daytime drama, led Ruah to a part in the pilot episode of NCIS: Los Angeles.

American dream

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in black slip dress

Photography by Cliff Lipson

"I came to America with a hope for an amazing future, and it came true." — Daniela Ruah

Messy business

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in red sleeveless beaded dress

Photography by Cliff Lipson

While special agent Kensi Blye has been kidnapped, terrorized, paralyzed, and put into a coma, the real-life Ruah relates mostly to her character's fabled messiness: "I'm good at closing drawers," she jokes.

Celebrity crush

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in black gown

Photography by Cliff Lipson

Fun fact: Ruah had a teenage crush on NCIS: Los Angeles costar Chris O'Donnell (special agent G. Callen), and even admits to once having an O'Donnell poster on her bedroom wall. She jokes about it with him now.

Long-distance love

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in black bandage gown

Photography by Cliff Lipson

Ruah Skypes with her Portugal-based mom almost every day, and visits her twice a year—the same number of times Ruah's mom visits her in LA: "It's like I'm never gone."

Family ties

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles posing on banquet table

Photography by Cliff Lipson

Ruah's stuntman husband David Paul Olsen often body-doubles on NCIS: Los Angeles for his younger brother Eric Christian Olsen—who plays Kensi's fiancé Marty Deeks.

Partners in parenting

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in red dress by red curtain

Photography by Cliff Lipson

"Dave and I share the philosophy that it's our job to show our kids the world, and then it's theirs to let us know what they love about it, and we'll focus on those things." — Daniela Ruah

Food for thought

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in sheer black dress

Photography by Cliff Lipson

At home in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, Ruah and her husband make pizza from scratch, and son River helps harvest a variety of veggies from the backyard garden.

Words to win by

Daniela Ruah of NCIS Los Angeles in sheer glittery black dress

Photography by Cliff Lipson

"I'm always competitive. But if I didn't win fair and square, I didn't win." — Daniela Ruah

Daniela Ruah is a wonder woman.

Daniela Ruah in red V neck sequined dress

Photography by Cliff Lipson

Stream full episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS All Access.

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