“NCIS: Hawaii,” the latest spinoff of long-running cop drama “NCIS,” premiered on Sept. 20. As was announced prior to the series’ debut, “NCIS: Hawaii” stars experienced TV actor Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant, a Special Agent in charge of a branch of the Naval Criminal Investigative Unit located on the Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii. Lachey is now the first woman to ever lead an “NCIS” series.
Traditionally, prior to the premiere of a new “NCIS” spinoff, its characters will appear first in a storyline on the primary version of “NCIS.” However, “NCIS: Hawaii” bucked this trend and introduced audiences to its cast for the very first time upon its Sept. 20 premiere. Among the new roster of characters first showcased in that pilot episode is Lucy Tara, a junior agent working for Tenannt’s Pearl Harbor NCIS office.
Lucy is portrayed by actor Yasmine Al-Bustami. If Lucy seems familiar, it’s most likely from one of the following roles on TV and in other short-form media.
Whereas “The Vampire Diaries” is largely geared toward a teenage audience, spinoff series “The Originals” is a vampire show with comparatively more to offer for adult viewers. Its story follows three members of the Mikaelson family, popularly known as the original vampire family, giving the series its title. Yasmine Al-Bustami portrays Monique Deveraux, a witch who acts as an antagonist to the Mikaelson family over the course of its first season.
Upon her introduction, Monique is one of four witches to be sacrificed to The Harvest, a recurring ritual in which the French Quarter Coven of witches in New Orleans, Louisiana must sacrifice four of their own in order to appease their ancestors. The sacrificed witches are then later resurrected, hence Monique’s recurring role in the first season of “The Originals” following her character’s death. Upon her return, Monique goes on something of a murder spree, either killing or trying to kill some of the people closest to her before meeting her eventual demise.
While Al-Bustami’s career as an actor includes appearances in a number of network TV series like “SWAT” and “Nashville,” one of her biggest roles by sheer volume was as a part of the main cast of musical series “I Ship It,” in which she portrays Sasha, an actress and close friend to the series’ central character. Originally, “I Ship It” was produced by creator Yulin Kuang as a short film without Al-Bustami. She then appeared in nine out of ten episodes of its next incarnation as a web series. Finally, The CW, the same network on which “The Originals” aired, produced its second season initially for TV, continuing the story kicked off in the web series. Al-Bustami likewise appeared in all six episodes of the CW version of the show.
That said, “I Ship It” only aired on The CW for two of those six episodes before it was dropped from their broadcast lineup in favor of reruns of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” The show instead returned to CW Seed, The CW’s free online streaming platform, and home of the series’ first season.
Among Al-Bustami’s various acting jobs is a starring role in a music video for the John Legend song “Surefire.” She portrays one of two central characters to which the video devotes the majority of its screen time. On YouTube, the video has been viewed more than 14 million times.
Her character, named Jamila according to a Glamour article about the video, is introduced in the video’s opening moments as the romantic interest of a teenage-or-thereabouts boy, named Roberto, working as an auto mechanic. Jamila’s father seems to notice the boy’s interest in his daughter and hands him some cash, presumably to use to take her out.
However, their romance quickly runs into some major road bumps — first Jamila is subject to harassment by a random bystander, and upon returning home Jamila’s father almost comes to blows with Roberto. Then Roberto is deported to Mexico by ICE agents. Jamila, however, finds her way to Mexico and reunites with Roberto, proving that their affection for one another is, in the parlance of the song, “surefire.”
“The Chosen” is a multiseason, serialized TV drama based on the life of Jesus Christ as recounted in the canonical gospels of the New Testament. While it’s not available through either major streaming services or traditional TV network, its production company Angel Studios distributed the series both through a proprietary app and their own YouTube channel.
In “The Chosen,” Al-Bustami portrays Ramah, a woman who once worked as a winemaker before joining Jesus’ crew. Ramah initially appeared in one episode of the series’ first season before joining the regular cast of Season 2. Ramah is also the business partner of Thomas, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. While Ramah isn’t the name of a character explicitly mentioned in the New Testament, fans of the series on Reddit have proposed that she stands in for a number of nameless characters mentioned in the Bible that made up part of Jesus’ congregation.