David James Elliott almost wasn't Harm

By: H&I Staff     Posted: October 22, 2021, 2:32PM

It's hard to imagine anyone else as Harmon Rabb Jr. than David James Elliott on JAG. For an entire decade, Elliott gave JAG fans a humanistic view of the United States military through Harm. Helping JAG become a hit drama of its time, the role was made for Elliott.

While Elliott's performance on the naval drama is highly regarded amongst fans and critics, the showrunners were initially hesitant about his performance and put him through many auditions until they were convinced.

Casting for the show, JAG series creator Bellisario admits that the role of Harmon was one of the hardest to fill. Wanting to capture a realistic view of modern-day Naval officers that could be convincing to audiences, Bellisario didn't know if Elliott could pull it off.

“I went through so many people, over and over," said JAG series creator Donald P. Bellisario.

Bellisario and the other showrunner's biggest concern with Elliott was that he didn't have the right humor and wit they wanted from Harm. They didn't want their main character to be straight-laced the entire time, they wanted him to be a believable officer with dry humor.

"He was always this big, tall, good-looking [guy] and a good actor, but I was looking for a certain style of humor."

Elliott had to come back on go through four rounds of audition for the character. Understanding what they were looking for with the character, Elliott locked down the humor and emotional center of the role by the end of the fourth audition and became the Harm we know today.


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