Judd Lormand – Seal Team
By: Paige Zinaman
Q) What are the recent projects you have been working on?
A) I’ve got a spot on an upcoming episode of the new Amazon series “Lore” that starts I believe in October and I play Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in LBJ that will be released in the US in November, directed by Rob Reiner and Woody Harrelson is in there. I have a role in Geostorm coming up and really all I’ve been shooting recently is “Seal Team.” The ones I mentioned were shot earlier this year or previously.
Q) What can you tease the premise for “Seal Team” and your character Eric?
A) It debuted Wednesday night and I think the pilot gave everybody a good idea about what’s to come as to action, intrigue and the personal issues behind that action. And I think that is going to be the most interesting part of the show; it’s not just a bunch of battles where the guys go out and win a battle every week. It’s going to explore the people behind those situations which I think is the appeal for the show and is the heart of the show. It’s going to deal with the people and the decisions and how it affects their families and affects them psychology to do those things on the battle field.
Q) What made you want to be a part of the series?
A) I was attracted to the role early on because I liked the fact – I play Lt. Commander Blackburn in the show I am basically the go between for the Seals who do the job and brass (the higher ups) who give the orders. It’s really a complexed role. There are scenes where I agree wholeheartedly with what the brass says, but I also have to look out for what my team needs to do their job physically and safely. So, I think the duality of having to answer to both sides is what really attracted me to and still attracts me every time we shoot to each and every episode. It’s a thinking role.
Q) How much did you know about the Navy going into the show?
A) I think the most that anyone knows. I had the respect for everyone in the Armed Forces does for our country no doubt and I have family who has served in the different branches, but as far as knowing the specifics of the Navy, I definitely wouldn’t give myself an A on the knowledge prior to doing the show. Once I started doing the show and doing the research on the Lt. Commander and the Seal teams I was really blown away then getting to set the best part of the show is we get to have actual Seals on set with us every single day. During breaks, if we are not asking them questions or help, they will be telling us stories and about how they stayed awake on the planes for over forty-eight hours. I’ve learned so much about it starting that now I look back on my knowledge and I probably would have given myself an A prior to the show, but now knowing what I know I go back and think, “Wow! You knew nothing before.” It’s unbelievable what I know now.
Q) How did you prepare for such a strenuous role?
A) I’ve watched quite a few documentaries of military nature. I called up lots of friends who used to be in the military by large I wanted to get to the heart of what the Lt. Commander did for “Seal Team” and for that I spoke to all the Seals and got their take about whether he was just their boss or is he their buddy – you know what the Seals consider him to be and what the other side considers him to be. So, as far as preparation goes it wasn’t so much physical for me as it was mentally. I wanted to get inside the head of a Lt Commander but also get inside the heads of the others around him.
Q) “Seal Team” looks to have some pretty impressive stunts. How much of the stunt work did you get to do?
I don’t do a lot of stunts because as Lt. Commander’s role I’m basically involved in very planning session. My job is to plan every mission that we go on and when we go on the mission we land in a country and we set up a command station and that’s where I stay. I am the man who watches the drone footage and satellite coverage and saying, “Alright the enemy is twenty clicks out. It’s time to move, get out of there.” I’ve gotten to watch a lot of the stunt work for this show. I’ve done a lot of stunts for previous projects, but for this almost stunt free for this one. I get to watch the stuff the other guys are doing and it’s pretty impressive.
Q) With so many great costars, what are some of your most memorable behind the scenes moments?
A) Oh man. Gosh, the most recent memorable moment was just this week I have three little children ages five, five and six. I flew them all out here and they came to visit set yesterday, in fact. So, home family got to meet my work family, getting to see my kids hang out with Toni Trucks and sitting in the makeup trailer with the crew and high-fiving AJ Buckley and David Boreanaz it was just a dream come true to just experience the merging of my two families sort of speak. But the things I think about are hanging out with Toni and Jessica [Pare] during breaks and just having so much fun, every single day that I work has been an incredible learning experience or a massive amount of fun.
Q) What have you personally taken away from working the series?
A) The thing I’ve taken away from it so far and the thing that I hope others will also take away from it is I mentioned this before, but previous to doing this show I would consider myself someone who had the utmost respect for the men and women serving our country. Despite any political feeling on anything, I think we can all agree that these guys are just incredible for laying their lives on the line, but when I got on the show I quickly learned and I hope everyone else will too that it’s fun to go watch Ironman, Batman, Spiderman and The Avengers, but honest to goodness these guys that are doing this these elite special forces guys are one hundred and fifty percent superheroes. I mean that with the utmost honesty, what these guys do in real life is unfathomable to most of us. My kids right now watch superhero movies and I just hope the audience will quickly learn watching this series that are right there on the team. They are true superheroes.
Q) You are a part of social media. Are you excited to see fan reaction to the series?
I’m super excited! I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on social media, Instagram, etc. I’ll tell you what it’s been phenomenal so far, the build-up; CBS did such a wonderful job letting everyone know it was coming out. Almost every person I let know about the show once it was on and was about to air they had already heard about the show. Which was great, there wasn’t someone who said, “What is it? When is it?” They already knew. I think social media has played a huge part in word spreading and I think it will continue to do so. I know all of us cast members are constantly posting and CBS encourages that.
Q) Is there anything else you want to be sure fans know about Seal Team?
I think what they should know is that there is a group called Got Your Six that consist of actual Seals who certify different forms of entertainment on how legit it is and we were just recently certified by those guys. I think what people should realize is how authentic we are striving to be and again with the Seals who are with us on set everything from “What’s my intention on this line. When they give those orders how do they affect us?” We ask them and they tell us, anything from deep things like that to if your patch is crooked or if it’s not on the right side they are there to make everything as authentic as possible. I hope everyone takes away the fact that again these are real life superheroes in their jobs and what they do and this show is striving to be as real and authentic as possible. It’s a show with so much heart and I really, really believe that. It only gets better from here, there are episodes to follow that are just incredible.