The 37-year-old actor is all in.
Barry Sloane is all in.
The 37-year-old actor stars as Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Joe "Bear" Graves on Six, History’s drama detailing the lives and missions of SEAL Team Six. But if the show’s first season served as a SEAL Team 101, fans better get ready to jump to upper division when season two premieres on Memorial Day next week.
“We kind of set the parameters in season one of what this world was, and now that you've come inside, we've closed the door, and now you're locked in there with these guys,” Sloane told ET in a phone interview on Monday. “Whether it's comfortable or not, you're going to have to watch it.”
The show’s season finale showed the team’s leader, Richard "Rip" Taggart (Walton Goggins), shot in the chest and clinging to life after an unexpected attack by a terrorist group on home soil. According to Sloane, season two will pick up right where season one left off, with the “initial aftermath.”
“What’s interesting is watching how each man deals with this fall out, and it’s not always in the way you’d think,” he said, describing getting inside “Bear’s” head. “There’s a weight that comes with this guy, and it’s hard to sit with him, and it’s also one of the reasons we do what we do.”
Sloane removes any trace of his Liverpool upbringing when he steps into character on screen, something which he told ET he was initially insecure about. “I didn’t know whether a foreigner was the right guy to portray this character,” he revealed, though those questions quickly subsided. “In hindsight, for me to step outside of the Americanism of it all was actually easier for me to just play the guy, without trying to play the hero, or without having this extra burden of responsibility on my shoulders.”
Plus, it helps when actual Navy SEALs are preparing you for the job. Months after shooting season one in Wilmington, North Carolina, Sloane and the rest of his on-screen SEALs were dropped off in Vancouver, British Columbia, a week and a half before season two started to begin their training. “They actually threw us back into it,” Sloane said. The group summitted Black Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park, was dropped off at locations and forced to find their way back to the group and thrown in a glacial lake, fully clothed. Their reward? A “manly” campfire in the woods with the SEALs themselves.
This season will get a little less manly, however, as Olivia Munn joins the cast as Gina Cline, a high-level CIA Operations Officer. “Olivia’s fantastic, and a great addition to the show,” Sloane boasted of his new co-star, teasing the “interesting dynamic” and “history” her character brings to the table. “[The team is] really only guns for hire, to some degree… we’re just there to do the dirty work that she can’t do.”
At the end of the day, it really is about the ensemble for Sloane, and paying proper tribute to the real Navy SEALs who put their lives on the line every day. “We do not take this show or our roles lightly,” he said. “We hope that we shed some light on what they do in a very respectful and truthful way and not just try and dramatize it by blowing things up for the sake of it.”
“That's what sets Six aside from anything else you might be watching that is based in a military, or dare I say, SEAL Team, [world],” he said with a laugh. “There you go. I said it.”
“The experience of playing these characters and the experience in training to become these characters mentally and physically has changed us all for life,” Sloane concluded. “You can't be given the tools for a strong mind that we've been given from these warriors and it not stick with you long after I've played Joe Graves and I'm onto something else.”
Season two of Six premieres Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History. The show will move to its regular time slot on Wednesday, May 30, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.