SEAL Team airs its latest episode “Never Say Die” tonight at 9/8c on CBS. The latest entry in the show’s second season, tonight’s episode see the team traveling to Saudi Arabia to stop a band of extremists from polluting the water supply with anthrax. Meanwhile, the team is still reeling from the events of season one and Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Jason Hayes is left struggling to adapt with living back at home with his family.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to David Boreanaz, who plays Jason Hayes, to discuss the show’s realism, his training regimen and what’s to come for the members of Bravo Team.
MW- Good morning David!
DB- Good morning, how are you?
MW- Doing well man, doing well. SEAL Team season two episode two premieres tonight on CBS and something I really loved about the first season and last week’s episode as well is the attention to detail you all put in to making things realistic from the uniforms, to the equipment to the language. What’s the mental preparation like to play a Tier 1 Operator like you do in this show?
DB- It’s intense. I was on set yesterday talking to one of our producers, conceptually we don’t like to call them advisers because it’s such a conceptual show and the authenticity flows through them to the page to the screen. We always talk about the mental aspect of dealing with certain moments in scenes, the fact that failure is not an option, we’re examining that right now in an episode.
They take their wins, and when I say a win they go in and they INFIL (infiltrate), they hit their target, they EXFIL (leave) and they wait. If it is a win they don’t talk about it. These guys do their job, they come home, they have beers, they hang out, they crack jokes, but they’re not talking or gloating about what they just did when it’s a success. But if it’s a fail that fail stays with them.
That’s the mental aspect of this show and that you’re constantly going over and over each moment of these scenes. You have to think about what it takes to survive that and ultimately as a Tier 1 Operator you’re compartmentalizing. You’re leading a team, you’re talking to somebody in your ear that’s got eyes above you on this mission and then on the flip side when you come home you have to deal with the emotional toil, relationships and life that’s going on back home. It can get very confusing.
That’s what we examine, the relationships and the character drives. We hang our hats on that a lot. There’s a lot of thought that goes into it and there’s a lot of stories I hear where I need to take a step back and really focus on understanding to get it right, happens on a daily basis.
MW- But the mental aspect is only half the equation, there’s also a heavy physical component for being on a show like this. You and and the rest of the cast are in phenomenal shape to play these roles – did you have to go through actual SEAL training exercises for this show or is it more working out on your own?
DB- We all work out in our own capacity, in our own time. We didn’t go through the BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) experience specifically and then after that to be a Tier 1 Operator you have to go through another nine months of mental and physical anguish – they break you down to build you back up.
For me, physically I play a lot of ice hockey, I train that way. I do a lot of stretching obviously and try to stay in shape mentally and physically to have that kind of balance. The mental and physical aspects have to be bounded together, you cant have one better than the other – it’s a challenge. Your body feels it and it’s very taxing but it’s also very rewarding when you can get into the character’s minds. As a show, if we can show that light in their shadow we’re doing them justice and to what they deal with. It’s a great show to be a part of.
MW- You mentioned earlier the strain on a soldier’s personal life and SEAL Team does a great job, in my opinion, of showing that side as well a part from the action sequences. Your character, Jason, in particular
DB- We come back and Jason is working on his relationship with his wife and his kids. The first season we kind of saw how they separated and went their separate ways but now he’s back living at home because of the injury. According to the doctor it was best to stay at the home, his wife took him back in and nursed him back to health, or what he thinks is healthy.
There’s always that concern that’s going to be there with him from her. We see that the ground is still shaky and we see that Jason’s mind is always unraveling to getting back with the team. There’s a tick that’s always in him, the clock is always ticking for him so it’s hard for him to come down and ease into the home life – it’s very uncomfortable for him. We’re going to examine that dynamic in the first five episodes and it’s going to be very interesting to see how that unravels and how the team comes back together.
MW- Well I’m a big fan of the show, I really love the realism aspect that you and the rest of the crew supply, so I’m excited to tune in tonight to see what happens next. You all shed a light on some guys and girls who really deserve more recognition than they get.
MW- Thanks for the time David, all the best!
DB- Thank you so much, appreciate it!
SEAL Team returns tonight at 9/8c, only on CBS,. Check your local listings for more information.