Sean Murray Fakes This One Big Thing On NCIS

Sean Murray hit the lottery when it comes to acting for television. He has played Special Agent Timothy McGee on "NCIS" for nearly its entire run. That equates to 20 seasons, as of 2022, which the actor celebrated on Instagram with the caption, "Here we go again, baby." 20 years in Hollywood is a remarkable run for any actor, but Murray's enduring stint on "NCIS" is actually even more of a fluke.

Murray's character, Timothy McGee, was introduced in Season 1, Episode 7 — an appearance that was meant to be a one-time guest role. Murray revealed to Studio 10 that a few episodes later, the show was in need of a filler storyline and brought him back. From there, the chemistry clicked, and Murray hasn't looked for work since. In fact, when asked by WHOSAY about a future beyond "NCIS," Murray stayed loyal to the CBS hit. "You think about other things, but for me when you're in it ... when we're actively filming, that's pretty much what I got going on in my head."

Although Murray's enthusiasm for the role is apparent, the nature of his character's tech-savviness has proven challenging at times for the actor — and there's actually one surprising McGee character trait that Murray has had to fake this whole time. 

Sean Murray's tech expertise falls short in one basic area

Speaking with Studio 10, Sean Murray gave a little insight into one of his tricks on "NCIS." McGee's specialty in computer forensics is featured throughout the series and even the small detail of his typing speed looks impressive. To get that kind of speed, however, Murray revealed, "I just type my name over and over and over again."

He previously revealed the trick to Forbes, explaining, "I'm an awful typist. I type slowly using two fingers on each hand." But don't think Murray's hands have no skills, because the star did teach himself how to play guitar. "I wanted to figure out how to play Metallica," he shared with Forbes, adding, "I have maybe one or two shreds that I can pull out of my back pocket." Practice seems to have worked in his musical pursuits, but after nearly two decades typing up a storm on "NCIS," the actor still doesn't have a connection with a keyboard.

Quick typing hacks aren't the only on-set shortcuts Murray has used. He told Chicago Tribune that one episode of "NCIS" had him stressed with heavy dialogue and tech talk. The actor experienced some serious memorization fatigue and for a big monologue, Murray's friend and co-star Pauley Perrette told him to basically just cheat by reading it off a handwritten script attached to his computer monitor. He was relieved that when the episode aired it didn't look as fake as he feared it would.

The evolution of Timothy McGee

Starting his "NCIS" journey playing a local rookie and working his way up to senior field agent on the team, Sean Murray has had plenty of time to understand the role. He told Starry Mag, "There has always been a progression and evolution to that character, which makes me very happy obviously as an actor."

Murray has grown along with McGee, having parallel experiences like getting married and having two children. Fans were happy to see one of their favorite agents rocking out with his kid at a System of a Down concert on Instagram. These personal moments are rare, but a fun side to see from such a consistent television figure.

Having the rare opportunity to stick with the same show for such a long period of time stands out to Murray. He shared with Starry Mag, "If we're done tomorrow or in another ten years, whatever happens, what this show has meant for me and all of it has [been] nothing but positive and wonderful."