Based on the Alice Hoffman historical novel and set in ancient Israel, the story centres around a group of women who fight for survival at the seige of Masada. It’s produced by husband-and-wife power couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey–who made believers with “The Bible”–and Downey took most of the questions at the session.
De Pablo, of course, made headlines a year ago when she walked away from the No. 1 show in the world, NCIS. She spoke briefly during the session, but didn’t really open up until later in the scrum.
There was speculation at the time she departed NCIS that de Pablo was holding out for more money but the actress insists she just needed a change. She talked about the necessary shift in energy she got from working with different actors on The Dovekeeper as well as on the film The 33.
“I took three months off and it was great and my entire family came over,” she said. “They knew it was a tough transition to make.”
What did she think of Ziva’s exit?.”I thought it was rushed,” said de Pablo.”I would have liked a little bit of closure…but all-in-all, I could not be more blessed because I got a chance to be with my love, Michael, and any time you put Michael and I together there is going to be a spark, and there is going to be real honesty.
Would you consider going back for a guest spot?
I think the fact that they never killed the character off is very telling. Under the right circumstances, I think it would be something that could definitely be explored.
Any second thoughts about leaving the show?
No second thoughts. I’m very happy with my choices. I’ve spent time with family, which I think was incredibly important for me. I’ve had time to deal with me, which was…I couldn’t really deal with me for a long time. So I’m blessed for that time. I’ve given myself great jobs and the pleasure of working with different people and feeling different energies and I feel incredibly fortunate.
Would you do another series regular role?
I don’t know! I’m not sure I’m ready to sign a six or seven or eight year deal. I did a long run and it was remarkable and I learned a lot.
Were you surprised at the fan’s response to your departure?
I guess, when you make decisions like this, you never expect people to fully understand, The fact that there was this incredible out-pour of love was humbling. I love using this word but it was really delicious to feel that kind of love and I’m always grateful for that.