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Jon Cryer Is Heading Into Surgery On NCIS

But what part did he really want to play?

Shelli Weinstein

Jon Cryer spent 12 years playing a chiropractor on Two and a Half Men, but his latest doctorial role is a bit more...surgical.

Cryer will be sporting scrubs in the premiere of NCIS, where he will play Dr. Taft, a Navy surgeon who has Gibbs life in his hands after he was shot in the season finale. The actor spoke with EW about taking on the part and the guest role he's been waiting for since the drama's premiere in 2003.

Cryer said he would hound NCIS' actors "incessantly for a chance to act on the show," over the years, though...the role isn't exactly what he was hoping for. "I always wanted to be one of the characters who die entertainingly in the first two minutes of the show. Then you'd see me dead on a slab in Ducky's lab with my genitals all lit up later on," he said.

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To prepare for playing Dr. Taft, he spent a day working with a surgeon, who ultimately ended up beside him at the on-set operating table. "In fact, everyone at the operating table with me in the scene was a trained medical professional," Cryer said. "So it was only me, the guy who was supposed to be the badass doctor, who didn't know what he was doing."

So what will the "badass" Dr. Taft be like? "He's kind of the Jeff Goldblum of naval surgeons," Cryer said. A "bit of a wiseass," and far too comfortable with cracking jokes in the operating room. Oh, and he "can probably play a mean jazz piano."

NCIS returns Sept. 22 at 8/7c on CBS.

(Full discolsure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS)

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