Jason Antoon, Vanessa Lachey.
Robert Voets/CBS

Jason Antoon had a “crazy” connection with all his NCIS: Hawai’i castmates from the start, but his bond with Vanessa Lachey goes deeper than the rest.

“Vanessa and her husband, Nick [Lachey], we share the same birthday,” Antoon, 52, exclusively told Us Weekly. “We’re November 9th. It’s the weirdest thing. The three of us have the same exact birthday.”

He revealed that if their joint birthday falls on a filming day in Hawaii, they often celebrate with treats.

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The showrunners will “bring out a big cake and Nick will show up and then we’ll sing and then everybody eats the cake at some point,” Antoon explained.

Antoon, who plays tech guru Ernie Malik on the CBS series, said that his connection with Vanessa, who plays Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant, also began during a party.

Jason Antoon Reveals How He Met NCIS Hawai i Costar Vanessa Lachey Details No Asshole Policy 774
Karen Neal/CBS

“She invited me when I got the job and she got the job [to] this big sort of luau party at her house in Encino, [California,]” Antoon recalled. “She reached out to me through Twitter [or] Instagram. She’s like, ‘Come over, I’m throwing a party. I want to meet you.’”

The actor brought his kids to the “big blowout” and instantly bonded with Vanessa, 43, noting that she and the 98 Degrees singer, 50, “throw great parties.”

Antoon remembered an “instantaneous” meeting of the minds with his “crazy Scorpio” counterpart.

The same chemistry can be felt throughout the entire NCIS: Hawai’i family, according to Antoon. “Everybody’s cool,” he told Us. “There was a ‘no asshole’ policy from the showrunner. And that makes a big difference when you’re doing a show. It really does.”

Jason Antoon Reveals How He Met NCIS Hawai i Costar Vanessa Lachey Details No Asshole Policy 776

The feeling of ohana, which means family in Hawaiian, is one of the biggest reasons Antoon enjoys playing Ernie.

“My favorite thing [about him] is his, I would say the sort of brother [and] father figure to Lucy and to Whistler,” he said, referring to characters Lucy Tara (Yasmine Al-Bustami) and Kate Whistler (Tori Anderson).

He added: “I would say [being] an older brother and sort of digging into their personal lives. I just love that he gets all that information out from them.”

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Antoon noted that after doing a few crossover episodes with the flagship NCIS series, he learned that their friendships are very similar to those on other spinoffs. That closeness has Antoon hopeful that if Hawai’i gets picked up for season 4, there will be more joint episodes with other franchises.

“I think CBS likes it, and it was successful when we’ve done them with L.A. as well and [regular NCIS],” Antoon said of future crossovers. “And that’s just cool. It’s like the Marvel universe. It’s like, ‘Why not?’ You should dabble in that. It’s really cool.”

NCIS: Hawai’i airs on CBS Mondays at 10 p.m. ET.


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