Vanessa Lachey had the best support system behind her as she took the lead in the latest NCIS spin-off, which premiered last week on CBS.
The actress, 40, revealed husband Nick Lachey's supportive reaction to her landing the lead role on NCIS: Hawai'i, as she opened up to PEOPLE (The TV Show!) senior correspondent Jeremy Parsons on Monday.
She and Nick, 47, moved to the Aloha State, where the show films on location, along with their three kids, Camden John, 9, Brooklyn Elisabeth, 6, and Phoenix Robert, 4. "I lightly joke that when I did say it to Nick, he 100 percent was on board. He was like, 'Absolutely,'" she says.
"And then we actually had to open a bottle of wine, put the kids down to bed and we sat on our back porch and we talked about it," Vanessa recounts. "He said the most supportive thing he could have said, and I just gave him the biggest hug. He said, 'This is your time. And I will do whatever I need to do to support you in that. I've seen you work so hard. This is your time. Let's go.' And I'm like, thank you!"
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Vanessa stars in NCIS: Hawai'i as Special Agent Jane Tennant, head of the fictional Naval Criminal Investigation Service at the Pearl Harbor Field Office. With the role, she makes history as the first female lead in the franchise.
"I constantly tell the creators and producers, 'I won't let you down,'" she says. "And I hope that both young girls and young boys and single moms and moms with spouses and partners —anybody, really — can just see it for what it's worth and that's that there are no boundaries or limits to what we want and what we can do."
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The former Total Request Live VJ and her family have since acclimated to island life, sending their kids back to school in Hawaii last month. The couple also celebrated the Fourth of July with their kids at Pearl Harbor.
See Vanessa Lachey in NCIS: Hawai'i, airing Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.