Diona Reasonover is a champion for smashing
stereotypes. She successfully transitioned from comedy
to drama with her starring role on NCIS, and her career as a multi-talented writer and
performer is only just getting started. Reasonover has always been open about her
sexuality, which has translated into her TV roles as well. In an interview with AfterEllen, she described
her character Charmaine on the TBS show Clipped as “a lesbian’s lesbian.” “Can I ask you a question?” “They’re a couple for 42 years. We call ’em ‘Broke Hip Mountain.'” She further explained her connection to her
Clipped role to Bustle by saying, “I think it’s so interesting in a way getting
to play this character who is a queer person of color, and I am a queer person of color.” In an interview with TheBlot Magazine, Reasonover
talked about growing up queer, revealing that her family was not “super supportive” of her
sexuality. However, she got some closure while starring
in Clipped alongside George Wendt of Cheers fame. As she explained, “The fact that one of my father’s idols is
playing a queer character in an interracial relationship, and I’m a queer person in an
interracial relationship, it’s like we’re practically the same person.” Reasonever was likely referring to her future
wife, writer and actress Patricia Villetto, whom she married in 2018. Reasonover had a physically tough time while
landing her biggest TV role. When she found out she had an audition for
NCIS, it was just two days after she had knee surgery. She was fortunately able to delay the audition
since she was hopped up on painkillers and thus probably couldn’t even drive. Still, when she finally made it into the casting
call, she was on crutches. Obviously, she landed the gig, but she was
still recuperating on her first day on the job. She discussed the experience during an interview
on Los Angeles’ KTLA 5. “I had just had knee surgery, so I was walking
a little bit like a baby deer.” Thankfully for Reasonover, the entire cast
and crew were super supportive. Her new co-stars constantly gave her ice packs
and genuinely welcomed her to the NCIS family. She revealed to the New York Post that other
people even showed off “battle scars” from their own previous surgeries. The CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase is
an annual event held by the network to showcase amazing talent from all backgrounds. It was here that Reasonover improved her comedy
writing skills and gained industry exposure. As she explained to Newsweek, writing for
the showcase prepared her for the pacing of TV writing and acting. The aim of the showcase was to pump out a
lot of content, so she just had to write quickly and then try to sell the sketch. As she explained, “Now, luckily, in this case, the scripts are
great, the beats are already worked out, and they’re funny and touching, but it doesn’t
make the time frame any different. You get in there, you do the work, you commit
to it, and then you move on to the next one.” Reasonover’s skills didn’t go unnoticed after
her first year in the showcase. She went on to land three pilots, including
Clipped, the TBS show she would later star in. Then in her second year of the program, she
became the first black and female head writer of the showcase. Reasonover identifies with the nerdy aspect
of her NCIS character, but she’s admitted that she herself is not particularly good
at science. At least, that’s what she told KTLA during
a December 2018 interview. So then how does she pull off some of the
complexities of portraying a forensic scientist? “It’s all, like, these multisyllabic words…” “Right.” “…but my sister is a doctor, so I just call
her, and I’m like, ‘Hey…'” Even though Reasonover isn’t a real scientist
but just plays one on TV, she hopes her role inspires women in the fields of science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics. Pauley Perrett, the actress whom Reasonover
replaced on NCIS, gave out scholarships in these fields, and Reasonover hopes that she’ll
also be able to provide similar grants, specifically to women and people of color. This is a topic that is also close to her
personal life, as her sister is a real-life woman of color in the medical field. She even gave her sis an up-close look on
the NCIS set once, which she commemorated with a sweet Instagram photo. Improvisational acting is difficult to master,
but Reasonover for one is clearly gifted in the art. In fact, she was a writer and performer for
two of the most famous improv groups in North America. She graduated from the conservatory program
at the Hollywood branch of The Second City, and she was also a member of the Upright Citizen’s
Brigade, which counts Amy Poehler and Donald Glover among its many famous alumni. Within UCB, she was part of the “Ham Radio”
group that performed improv shows in the Los Angeles area. Reasonover opened up about her improv background
during a 2018 interview with Parade, in which she revealed that she started with the method
in 2011. She also has a classically trained dramatic
theater background, and her reason for jumping into the world of unscripted comedy has a
lot to do with wanting to break out from the heaviness she was used to. As she explained, “I simply started doing improv and sketch
because I was tired of going on stage and pretending to cry for two and a half hours. My tear ducts were all dried up. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I can’t deal with
this anymore.'” Here’s to Reasonover saying “yes, and” to
the many more opportunities that are sure to come her way! Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Nicki Swift videos about your
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