“NCIS’s” Brian Dietzen — that’s eccentric Assistant Medical Examiner Jimmy Palmer to fans — has been notified that Jimmy “will be married by the end of the year. It’s yet to be seen whether we’ll be in on all the bachelor party-type stuff,” says the actor, who admits he has “a lot of questions” about his pending nuptials, which will be toward season’s end in the spring.
“He’s been talking a lot about his fiancee, Breena, who’s an embalmer, in the episodes we’ve been doing,” he says. What’s been on Dietzen’s mind a lot is, “What’s going to happen on Jimmy’s wedding day? Will it become a crime scene?”
According to Dietzen, Jimmy’s days of under-the-autopsy table assignations and such are over with. “Jimmy did have a pretty lascivious affair with a past agent. That got her nowhere,” he notes, referring to Liza Lapira’s character, who was shot to death in the line of duty by none other than Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon). “I’m not sure Jimmy is that adventurous any more. If he thinks enough of this woman to marry her, he’s being a little more conscientious.”
Dietzen is celebrating his eighth year of playing Jimmy — which is particularly good considering he initially came in for a one-day-only appearance. “I still really love, love, love going to work at ‘NCIS.’ Everyone really does love working together,” he says. And as for Harmon, “When the No. 1 guy on the call sheet shows up before you do and leaves after you, it’s hard not to take cues from him. He’s an executive producer on the show too, you know. Add to that he’s just a nice person and we have fun.”
Dietzen has his own producing project in post-production right now. It’s a film called “Congratulations” in which a young couple (played by Dietzen and Abby Miller, who also cowrote the screenplay with him) confront diverging feelings about whether or not to marry. “People in my generation have different views about marriage than our parents. We’re waiting longer and longer to get married, longer and longer to have kids, longer and longer to buy houses and all that stuff,” says the actor, who is, in fact, married with two young children. “It’s a great theme to explore: what does it mean to be married? Is it spending time with the person and loving them, or being able to tell family and friends that you’re married?”
Debra Jo Rupp (“That ’70s Show”) and Kevin Rankin (“Unforgettable”) are also in “Congratulations,” which Dietzen is just about to send out for Sundance Film Festival consideration.