NCIS: Hawai’i is being filmed on location in the Aloha State, so rather than leaving her family behind, star Vanessa Lachey brought her family with her. On Aug. 10, Lachey and singer Nick Lachey’s three children started their first school year in Hawaii. Lachey, 40, and Nick, 47 married in 2011 and are parents to Camden John, 8; Brooklyn Elisabeth, 6; and Phoenix Robert, 4.
“And just like that… all three of my babies are in one school,” Lachey wrote on Instagram, adding the hashtag “Ohana.” In the picture, her three children wore smiles, with Phoenix holding a chalkboard noting which grade they are starting. Camden began third grade, while Brooklyn is in first grade. Phoenix is in pre-kindergarten.
In the new NCIS spin-off, Lachey stars as Jane Tennant, the first female Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Pearl Harbor field office. She is also the first female character to lead an NCIS series. Yasmine Al-Bustami, Jason Antoon, Noah Mills, Tori Anderson, and Alex Tarrant play other members of Jane’s team, while Kian Talan stars as Jane’s son Alex. CBS released the first trailer for the new show earlier this week. NCIS: Hawai’i begins on Monday, Sept. 20, at 10 p.m. on CBS, following the premiere of NCIS Season 19.
In an interview with PEOPLE last month, Lachey said she “cherished” working on the show in Hawaii. The show and her upcoming book Life From Scratch: Family Traditions That Start With You helped her stay focused during the coronavirus pandemic. “At the end of the day, I found the silver lining that I got to spend that much more time with my kids and get to know them even more,” she told the magazine in July. “It really tested Nick and I’s relationship, and I think we’re better than ever. It was probably the hardest time for us because it forced us to really communicate more, and you literally couldn’t run away from anything. Now this book is my fourth baby.”
Lachey also has personal roots in the military. She was born on an Air Force base in the Philippines, and her father, Vincent Minnillo, was in the Air Force for three decades. Her character is often out in the field with her team, ready to solve any problem they face. “She’s out there and, yes, she asks her team to help out,” Lachey told TVInsider. “She’s [all about] love of country and love of family, so I love that I get to bring that to the screen for everyone to watch.” Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of ViacomCBS.